Despite a constant downpour on a recent Saturday people lined up for the holiday shopping food and fellowship event at Finds in Midway.
There among the shoppers was a familiar face – Dr. Valya Lee, former Liberty County School System Superintendent of Schools.
Lee was not there to shop.
“This is my store,” she said. “And we moved into this location on Highway 84 in June.”
Lee said she’s always loved the retail business.
“In fact, this is my third store,” she said. “I had a clothing boutique near Atlanta and then a shoe store when I worked for the School System in Twiggs County. But I had to close both of those as I got more involved in my work with the school systems.”
“She loves being in retail and she has this blessed God-given talent, in creating the perfect outfit and looks for people. From the dress down to the accessories,” Lee’s sister Dr. Jacquelyn George said.
Finds was originally opened as Soror Finds. Dr. Lee said she started that store with a small booth inside the Plunder Box store.
Soror Finds specialized in selling clothing and accessories items from the top University Sororities.
“But husbands would come in with their wives and ask if I carried any Fraternity items,” Lee said. “Then more and more people would ask me if I carried clothing and fashion accessories other than those for sororities and fraternities.”
Lee rebranded the store as Finds. The store offers an eclectic collection of fashionable clothing, earrings, necklaces, scarves, leggings, shoes and more.
“I still sell sorority and fraternity items, but most of those items is sold online now,” Lee said.
Lee said she has done well at her store and at local events. She said she sold out of several unique items at the Nov. 9, Rice Fest. She added she has done well at recent pop-up stores and through her online store as well.
During Saturday’s holiday event patrons filled the store, many trying on clothing or perusing the jewelry. Others mingled as they sampled the food offered for the holiday shopping event. Lee’s family was there offering support and filling in as her customer service and clothing specialists.
“For as much rain and cold as we have right now, she sure has a great turnout,” Lee’s husband Gerald Lee said.
“Every now and again a Board of Education member or educator might come in the store. They look at me and they say, “’Dr. Lee you sure do look like you are a lot less stressed,”’ Lee said, then smiled. “Well I am.”
Finds is located at 9784 E Oglethorpe Highway, Suite B, Midway. Store hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon until 6 p.m. All other days by appointment only.
On Nov. 30 Finds will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with 20 percent off storewide for National Shop Small Day.
Bring a friend who shops and get an additional 5 percent off. There will be food, fun and fellowship and a chance to win $100 shopping spree.