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Craft store to open downtown

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North South Trading Co. owner Kim Dayus poses Tuesday at the business at Station Square.

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Friday, April 26, 2019

A native of Canada with a can-do spirit is planning to open a woodworking designs and arts and crafts business in downtown Rocky Mount.

Kim Dayus, 38, has been setting up the future North South Trading Co., in space by the courtyard of the Station Square business and professional complex at South Church and Nash streets. Dayus said she hopes to have the business open within the next week or so.

The North South name is a play on Dayus being from Calgary, Alberta, and her husband, Mike, 38, a U.S. Army veteran, being from southern California. The couple has relocated from southern California, where they operated a business called North South Wood Works.

How the couple ended up in the Twin Counties is an interesting story.

In Canada, Kim Dayus was a hairdresser for a time and she met her future husband via the Internet. 

She moved to Kansas, where he was stationed at the time, and the couple eventually moved to his next place of service, which was in Colorado. 

She said while in Colorado, she began making wood signs.

"My husband just went to Home Depot one day and bought a whole bunch of tools," she said.

She said she recalled telling him, "You are so crazy."

“I’ve always been super-creative in wanting to learn new things,” she said. “So I saw a thing on Pinterest one day about making a wood sign.

“I thought I would test it out and see how it was — and I just fell in love with woodworking and power tools and just being creative,” she said.

Mike Dayus completed his military service and the couple moved to southern California to be closer to his family members. Mike Dayus worked for a financial company.

Kim Dayus said she and her husband took woodworking classes at Palomar College in southern California and said she studied interior design there as well.

The couple set up a link on the arts-and-crafts-oriented website etsy.com so others could post items for sale.

The two also started making items at their home, putting them in their car, traveling to a variety of markets and setting up tents to sell the items.

Along the way, the Dayus household grew to include four children, but Kim Dayus said living in California is expensive.

“And we wanted to scale back a little bit and put some roots down somewhere where our kids can afford to buy a house one day — and where we can afford to buy a house,” she said.

She said her husband started looking for a job with a railroad company because the rail lines are quite good about hiring veterans. Mike Dayus got a job with CSX and he works as a freight conductor.

Aware of negative stories about the Rocky Mount area, Kim Dayus said since she and her husband relocated to the city, many have asked questions along the lines of, “Why did you move here?”

She said she and her husband believe Rocky Mount is a great city.

“And there’s so much potential and there’s so many neat things and great people,” she said.

Kim Dayus said she always thought she would eventually have a store.

The process accelerated after Kim Dayus went to the Bin & Barrel wine bar, also in Station Square, to enjoy a glass of wine.

She saw a for lease sign in the window of the adjacent space and made inquiries.

She said what happened next was “boom, boom, boom,” with everything lining up within approximately a week.

“There’s so many positive people in this building. There’s so many people here that are really working hard for Rocky Mount, trying to change peoples’ opinions,” she said.

She said she is going to conduct arts and crafts classes and said she wants others to be able to offer specialty items in her space. She noted one person uses the space to sell baby clothes and another uses the space to sell pottery.  

“We wish to help change peoples’ opinions on where they live,” she said. “And when you have things like this, it kind of helps.”

Kim Dayus said the business is going to be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and said she can be reached at 760-468-4978.  

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