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RETAILERSPOTLIGHT BY JENNIFER RAINES

The Lazy Daisy: A Special Place Created for a Special Reason Full of love and inspiration felt by so many people, the Lazy Daisy has changed the life of everyone associated with it.

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hen Michelle Leshok opened her first Lazy Daisy store, she never imagined what it would turn into in just a few years. Started on a “total whim and a complete leap of faith,” she opened her first location in Chester, Virginia, in 2011 to cope with the grief over the tragic death of her 7-year-old son, Morgan. Her precious boy was killed alongside his father, Scott, at the hands of a total stranger in what Michelle says was “pointless violence.”

From Tragedy to Inspiration

The tragic incident instantly changed her life forever, as she went from having a wonderful life to “nothing.” Once full of love, laughter, work, and “typical fun family chaos,” her life came to a complete standstill. After having lost everything and

hitting rock bottom in her personal life, Michelle was driving through Chester when a building she had seen countless times caught her attention. A sign on the window read “For Lease.” The two words stood out like a light to her. Before this, she had never thought of opening a store. But it hit her that now this was exactly what she wanted to do. Michelle called the number and met the landlord right away. “I explained that I had nothing and wanted to do this, and he gave me that chance,” she recalled. “I called my mom and said, ‘What do you think about me opening a store?’ She said, ‘What kind of store?’ I said, ‘I don’t know… a country gift store… with pretty things and painted furniture’?! She said, ‘You should do it!!’” It didn’t take long for Michelle to turn the place into a beautifully decorated store. She started painting the walls and gathered a wide range of items to fill the shop. Christmas was just around the corner, so she brought in many Christmas ornaments and decorated trees in the store.

Retail Therapy

Her round-the-clock engagement with the store provided her with the “therapy” she desperately needed. As Michelle put it, “It was my calling. I absolutely dove into creating this store, 24/7, consuming myself with it. It was my therapy, and ultimately, my survival.” When Michelle opened the store on November 17, 2011, she had never considered what a great a journey she was about to embark on. It had not even crossed her mind that the store she had opened to deal with her sorrow would go on to change the lives of many. 50  Smart Retailer AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

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The store’s merchandise soon expanded to include a variety of handmade gifts, beautiful jewelry, and countless one-of-a-kind products. Besides providing a range of unique gift items, the store became famous for restyled and upcycled home décor and furniture — something Michelle said they specialize in. If customers are looking for refurbished furniture, they’ll see it at the store. Those looking for uniquely created handmade gifts will find those here too. If someone needs to hang something on their wall but don’t know what they’re looking for, the Lazy Daisy is the place to find it. The store is also well-equipped for DIYers, as it offers classes for customers who want to create handmade goods like the ones on display.

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Smart Retailer August/September 2019  

Smart Retailer August/September 2019