Lucy Boyd Diaz
Lucy Boyd Diaz has lived in Kempner Texas for 25 years, but she was raised in the Hicks Heights community of Person County. As an army veteran she has seen the world, and as an entrepreneur she has had tons of interactions with people from all over the country, but she has always kept her finger on the pulse of Person County. Her story reminds us that no matter how far away we go, home is where the heart is.
Q) What was your upbringing like in Person County?
I was raised in Person County in a family of seven. My parents are Booker T. Boyd, Jr. and Lucy Winstead Boyd and they raised me, my older sister, my two older brothers, and my younger brother in a tight-knit household. I have a lot of family on both sides, so I spent a lot of time around aunts, uncles, and cousins growing up. When I was younger, my father was a martial arts instructor and he trained us and a lot of other kids in the community. It was really just his way giving us something constructive to do because there were not a lot of positive things that we could occupy our time with back then. But we all became pretty good at it.
We were raised in church. Religious activity was a big part of our lives, and later on my father became an ordained minister so we are all very strong in our faith. I went to elementary, middle, and high school in Person County. When I graduated from Person Senior High School in 1980, I joined the U.S Army so that I could see the world. I saw that Person County was not growing and feared that it never would. I knew there had to be something better in life than what I was seeing.
Q) What is your career path and what are your proudest achievements?
I retired with more than 2o years of honorable service in the U.S Army. I served from September 1980 until December 2001 and I was a 92Y40 Unit Supply Specialist with the rank of Sergeant First Class. Throughout my years of service I received quite a few honors and awards I received multiple Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medals, Army Good Conduct Medals, a Nation Defense Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and Sharpshooter Marksmanship Qualification Badge.
During my military service I also pursued my educational goals. I earned an Associate’s Degree in General Education in 1998 from Central Texas College in Killeen, Texas. I then begin undergraduate studies, and in 2004 I earned a Bachelors degree in Administrative Management with a minor in Sociology from Excelsior College in Albany, New York. Since then, I have also completed a two year bible school certificate through my church.
After retiring from the military, I decided to pursue my interest in jewelry making and business, and so, I started a retail jewelry business called “The Jewelry Lady.” My business operated as a brick and mortar store for nearly 14 years, from 2007-2020. But when the pandemic hit, I had to go virtual like everyone else. And I realized that my store could succeed virtually which would also prevent me from having to pay for a building. So, I went totally virtual in 2020 and we have been doing well ever since. You can shop The Jewelry Lady on Facebook live on Thursday nights at 8pm, 7pm Central. My goal is always to design jewelry to fashion and adorn women in the beauty and gems of God’s glory.
Q) What organizations or community endeavors do you participate in?
I’m a member of Christian House of Prayer in Killeen, Texas. I’ve served with The Refuge Corporation through my church and I’ve also served with our thrift store which sells clothing, furniture and other necessities to support a homeless shelter for women and children. I’m currently serving on the hospitality committee which I have been on for the past 12 years. I am a servant of the Lord. And I especially love to serve and assist other women who are looking to become business owners.
Q) Why is it important that women be recognized for their foundational work in our community and our nation?
From the earliest existence of this nation, women have served a vital role. We are crucial to the success of the family, the church, the community, education, government, politics, the military, science, and sports. It’s important for girls to see women be recognized for their contributions because it inspires them to lead and helps them to conquer their obstacles in the pursuit of success. And men should be eager to celebrate women because without women, men wouldn’t be here.
Q) What do you envision for the future of Person County?
My hope is that Person County grows economically. Person County would benefit from family resource centers, distribution centers, and major restaurants. I know that many young and middle-aged people have great ideas and visions that would really benefit Person County. If racial divides subside and people are able to come together with those great ideas, the county will definitely grow.
Q) What is your advice for girls and young women who may look to you as motivation?
Everything you need for success is already inside of you. Activate the gift. Love
yourself, empower yourself, and always be a woman of excellence. Learn new things, especially business and entrepreneurship. But always focus on your purpose. Maintain an attitude of gratitude and be willing to help others grow. And if you fall short in anything, just remember, everybody fails in something. Just get back up and do your best. And above all, keep God first.