A Gallerie debuts under new owner Kaelin Daye
Published 2:00 pm Saturday, September 24, 2022
By MAIA BRONFMAN
NATCHEZ — At the end of June, Kaelin Daye was pushing her stroller down Main Street when she passed A Gallerie with partner, Sean Russell. She said she promised that if the then owners sold it, she would be the buyer.
And she was, on Aug. 4 when she closed the deal with previous owners Ashley Smith and Amber Rayborn.
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“I found out it was for sale by word of mouth and by accident,” she said, “but I fell in love.”
Daye worked as a sales associate at rrus and Conpany in Vidalia for almost four years until 2017. It was the beginning of her path in retail.
Since that position, Daye said she knew she wanted to own a store. It was just a matter of where and when.
When she made the promise to herself while walking the stroller, she didn’t know it would actualize so soon.
It wasn’t easy, though. Daye said Russell helped her through phases of complaining, raving, thinking about giving up and pure excitement.
But at 28, she is now one of the youngest business owners in Downtown Natchez.
Since opening in early August, she’s worked to offer a wider range of size and price options for the home décor, clothing, jewelry and gifts that she sells.
“There is a wide range of people that live and shop in Natchez. I want to cater to all of them,” Daye said.
Daye said she also asks every person she meets what they want to see in the store.
“And we’ve always wanted to have more men’s options,” Russell said, who stood behind the register. He had brought Daye lunch before returning to work at McDonald Collision.
Within the first three days of opening, about 70 people had walked through, Daye said. She was having a sale to liquidate before she went to market in Dallas to select new inventory.
Boho chic and modern western are the feature styles, she said
As a graphic designer, Daye also designed Natchez-specific designs on t-shirts which she is selling.
In the home décor sales, Daye is hoping to incorporate more local artistry and designs. Her grandmother, Penny Daye, was a legendary local artist, Daye said. She plans to add her prints of the tropics and beaches to her shelves.
Since opening the store, and working for herself, Daye said she’s been able to refocus on her other passions, like running the Faith in Wyatt Foundation.
In honor of her first son, Wyatt, who she lost, Daye said, “The foundation helps families that give birth to children that cannot sustain life on their own.”
When she was in the hospital with her first son, she remembers being thankful for the foundations that had given her care packages.
Now, her love for fashion and community allow her to continue forward in honor of her son.
“I genuinely believe that when God opens a door, there is nothing in the world that can stop you from going through it,” Daye said.