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Upsy Daisy shop brings faith-inspired gifts to Gainesville square
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Dawn Parks runs the new Upsy Daisy Boutique in downtown Gainesville with her daughter-in-law, Erin Parks. - photo by Erin O. Smith

As its name suggests, the Upsy Daisy Boutique is designed to uplift its customers, not just sell to them.

“We want (the store) to be a place for encouragement,” owner Dawn Parks said.

The store sells various items that ring true to this statement, like ceramic and wood decorations with positive quotes, Bible verses and other sayings on them.

The store also sells Bible cases and plays Christian music over the speakers, but Parks doesn’t want her store to be only for the faithful.

“It’s faith-inspired,” she said. “I didn’t want to just have stuff here like a Wal-Mart. I want it to have a purpose.”

Part of that purpose comes from Parks’ mission to have a monthly focus on a specific charity or organization.

Last month’s focus was on the Pray for Brecklynn campaign, which benefits a young local girl with a rare type of cancer. Upsy Daisy sold pink holiday ornaments with the toddler’s name on them and donated the earnings to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Brecklynn’s name.

“We bought them and then sold them here,” Parks said.

The purpose is also further clarified by the shop’s slogan, “Be Thoughtful. Be Happy.”

And Upsy Daisy sells fans, with proceeds going directly to the CenterPoint Church in Maine, where her previous pastor presides.

Parks attends Riverbend Baptist Church, where she helps with discipleship and gives advice to people who need it.

“I deal with people whose husbands have died, who need guidance,” Parks said.

Sometimes, she would give these people encouraging books, like the ones she sells in the store.

But she needed more to do with her life.

“I don’t want to be just busy, I want to have a purpose,” Parks said.

Parks, who runs the shop with her daughter-in-law, Erin Parks, asked God about opening it when she noticed the empty space at 114 Washington St.

“The inspiration for opening the store really came from the Lord, too,” Parks said.

Another inspiration was to fill a need the 50-year-old Hall County native saw for a gift shop.

“I missed having a place on the square to buy specialty gifts for babies and weddings,” Parks said.

The store, which opened during the week of Thanksgiving, sells baby registry and wedding registry items, as well as personalized or monogrammed products and the Norma Fleming brand.

Some of the items Parks plans to sell haven’t made it into the store yet, like locally made journals and candles that she hopes will be in soon.

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