In 2010, Honey Minshew had a wonderful idea. Why not establish a non-profit gift shop gift shop in Sherman, staffed with volunteers, with the objective of donating profits to charity? Gathering together 8 more women, that idea began to take shape. Under the name of Women's Gift Exchange, a board of directors was formed, objectives were written, and merchandise was assembled. In September of that year, Women's Gift Exchange invited community members and friends for the grand opening of one tiny room at the back of Kelly Square. The 8 original board members knew they were taking a big chance, but that there was the potential for big benefits for Grayson County. Before opening the doors for the first time,Carolyn Montgomery, first board president, quoted Margaret Meade, "Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world; for indeed, that's all who ever have." Several months later, Women's Gift Exchange made its first charity donation of $1,000 to the Grayson Literacy Team, which teaches adults to read. Honey's idea had taken root, and as it has grown, Women's Gift Exchange has increased its giving to over $10,000 last year, as we say our logo. "...for goodness sake"!
Our Founding Board Members
Honey Minshew (pictured)
Our Location - Kelly Square
The Women's Gift Exchange is located within the historic Kelly Square and we're just one of the many stores, eateries, and offices that surround the beautiful atrium in this unique place.
Kelly Square's history begins in 1870 when the buildings that would become the Square were first built. At that time they were yet four separate buildings, one of which housed a candy shop owned by Robert Minshew - our current proprietor's grandfather for whom he was named! In 1918 Leo Kelly united the four buildings with a common facade, giving it both a shared identity and a name.
The following year, in 1919, Mr. Kelly leased the center two buildings to J.C. Penney and the store remained there until 1969. Many current Sherman residents fondly remember venturing downtown for new school clothes and watching, transfixed, as the cashiers sent their parents' money shooting up to the accounting desks via rapid wire cash trolleys and the change arriving back a minute or two later by return trip.
In 1983 Robert and Honey Minshew bought the old building and spent many, many hours restoring it to the beautiful place it is today. Now a number of shops (the Women's Gift Exchange among them!), eateries, and businesses surround the three-story enclosed courtyard.