Sonya Teal, Sweet Shoppe of Hartsville

Lauren Baker Downtown Stories

“With the turmoil that our world was in during the year 2020, my children’s boutique, Tommi Mack, was starting to see a downward trend. When the Governor signed the order to close down retail businesses, I started praying for God to give me direction on what to do. I have always heard him clear, especially when doing yard work. I spent time while shut down redoing all of my landscaping, but God remained quiet.

The day that the state reopened, we made our reopening announcement and I went into work early that day. I was there for less than an hour when I heard the Lord clearly say, daughter, your season is up. I called my husband to tell him that we were closing Tommi Mack and that we were going to choose to be okay. That night, he came to the shop to record a video and I could see doubt all over his face. When we went to record the video to announce the closure, I prayed, Lord, just let them know that I love them.

As soon as we posted the video, my phone did not stop dinging for 36 hours and we managed to sell our inventory down. We held on to the video for a little over two days and during that time, God showed us signs of the next chapter. He showed me the triple scoop ice cream cone that I later painted on a mural in the shop. He started to give me other details about the shop during the season of closure for Tommi Mack.

My passion has always been, ‘Lord how can I serve our community so they’ll know you?’. I missed the families, children, and intimate moments that we had at Tommi Mack, but that was such a niche market. Opening up the Sweet Shoppe of Hartsville, we are able to serve even more of the community and beyond. Instead of seeing mothers and children, we now see fathers, grandparents, and siblings as well. They all come in to make memories just like we did at the old Eli’s Candy Kitchen.

I get the most joy being in the shop each day because I get to see these families smile. It is more than just kids, but I’ll tell you what, seeing the twinkle in grandma and grandpa’s eyes means just as much to my heart as seeing the babies and kids. I never thought it would be that way, but it truly is. I love working Sundays here because that is the day that families come to spend their family time together Downtown.

We want to do more for the community to make Downtown Hartsville sweeter!”

-Sonya Teal, Owner, The Sweet Shoppe of Hartsville