The Greenville story of Lacey Keigley: Travelers Rest’s Storyteller

Name: Lacey Keigley

How long have you been in Greenville? Eleven years

What is the most interesting fact about yourself? Everyone seems shocked that I have six kids as I am both a single mom and a small business owner.

What is your background? I grew up on a dairy farm in rural Virginia and had all brothers. My life was a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ type of life and I have always joked that my mom is like Florence Nightingale, Dad like Grizzly Adams.

I went to a tiny Christian school in Kentucky, Cumberlands College and got married. My only rule for my marriage was that anyone I would date and marry could not be a dairy farmer, or be from a dairy farming family. After marriage, I worked at a newspaper and then made a shift and became a high school teacher, teaching English.

I never really wanted kids but within about seven years I had six, two of which are adopted and I haven’t looked back. My life, as is everyone’s really, is broken down into parts: a before, a middle and then an after: I believe that I am in the after as I am not sure what is coming next.

Planning for life has always been a big part of me: from five years, ten years to fifteen year plans, I always felt like I knew where I was going to be as I try to think big picture. But my big picture of my almost twenty year marriage broke in one weekend. On a Friday I was married and on a Saturday, my husband had left in a very dramatic and explosive way with one of my closest friends, and a teacher of my kids.

In my early forties, I had to reinvent myself. I had a vision for education but I needed a professional job, one that could keep us afloat. Knowing that I always had this creative/writing mindset, I stumbled upon an opportunity, ‘Travelers Rest Here,’ which has exploded recently. It has been fantastic, I am able to be with my children and do something that I love.

My Faith is vital, I believe in someone that is much bigger than I am. I also have an army of people, an army of advocates here in this amazing community that advocate and want only the best for me. This makes it more difficult to fall off the face of the Earth or have a pity-party as I have a cheering squad.

By nature, I am very optimistic, the kind-of figure it out mentality. It is very easy for me to take a bad situation, say for example divorce, and see something positive. By no means am I saying divorce is great, but I can look at situations in another way, an angle that the average person wouldn’t look at it from. This is how I have always been, I try to keep my head up and be positive, there is something within my DNA that allows me to do this.

What are you currently reading and/or watching? I love This Is Us and A Million Little Things. Both TV shows are about rich communities and friend-driven lives. I also drag my kids along with me to watch Survivor.

Reading, I am a big fan of Wendell Berry and am re-reading Hannah Coulter, ahh, I love it, it is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I also still teach, and I am reading The Old Man and the Sea for the first time…I am not sure how I received a degree in Literature without reading this book.

What are your hobbies? I love to hike, I drag my kids out. Half of them want to go hiking, the other half want to stay home. Even though I write professionally, I would still consider writing as a hobby. I like camping, anything outdoors, and taking care of my Goldendoodle.

Just this past year, I bought a home after being wrecked financially from the divorce. Now, I am decorating, rearranging furniture, painting my deck. Going to Lowe’s like an old man, it is fantastic.

What phrase do you live by? “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”E.B. White

If you work, who do you work for? I work for two websites: Travelers Rest Here and So Every Day. I am the owner and editor of both websites.

What is your day-to-day at work? Meeting new people, networking.

I meet with a lot of people in the community to help them promote their events, businesses, etc. I also help manage the website, manage the writers, Instagram, Facebook and coming up with new content.

Tell us more about Travelers Rest Here: We tell the stories of both the people and the places of Travelers Rest. What that really means is that we have a website, Instagram, Facebook and weekly newsletter of the best places to eat in Travelers Rest, the best places to get your tires fixed, to local events taking place to great hiking trails and great neighborhoods and changes coming to downtown.

We want to put a face on Travelers Rest and allow everyone to have a sense of community, enabling them to meet with one another. We want you to know the small business owner at Sidewall Pizza when he or she comes to your table at their restaurant. I really want people to feel connected with our Travelers Rest Community. Connection is good from a human standpoint, but also from a business standpoint: you are helping families pay for their children’s college, you just never know. They do not become a stranger anymore. I want people to know their story.

How would you describe Greenville? It still feels friendly, it still feels charming after a lot of growth. It has everything that you need, I do not necessarily need to go to Atlanta or Charlotte.

How would Greenville describe you? Enthusiastic. I am always preaching something.

What is your happiest Greenville moment? There has been a lot. I would say it is continual, having one-on-one time with my children and then going with all of them to the Peace Center. For example, my twelve year-old daughter and I just saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this past weekend.

What is your favorite Greenville morning hangout? Tandem

What is your favorite Greenville evening hangout? Monkey Wrench Smokehouse