By Kyle Siegel
Sedalia native Michelle Swords wears many hats ranging from business owner, mother wife, board member and advocate of downtown Sedalia. She manages to juggle all of these responsibilities at the same time.
Swords was born in Sedalia and graduated from Smith-Cotton before moving on to State Fair Community College. While at S-C, Swords participated in the Art Club, choir and track. Her time and effort in choir and Art Club were well spent.
“We got a one in state, our group of six girls. I also received ribbons in art contests for my drawings,” Swords said of her time in high school.
After attending SFCC, Swords went right into the work place.
“I got a taste for working and pretty much went into work full-time,” she said.
She added, “My first real job was retail at Reed and Sons Jewelers downtown. I had quit there and came over to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled and the owner asked me to come and work for him,” Swords said.
Swords began working at the then 50 + Pharmacy in 1988 and five years later she and her husband purchased the building along with another couple. Five years later the Swords became sole owners after buying out the other couple.
“The Lord had a plan for me. It went from buying to in to totally owning it. It is unusual to have a non-pharmacist owned pharmacy,” Swords said.
Swords was asked when they made the decision to rename the pharmacy to Swords Family Pharmacy.
“I waited for quite awhile before making the decision to change the name. It had name recognition,” she said.
Over the years Swords became enamored with the downtown and it has continued on to today.
“Starting with Reed’s, my passion and dedication for downtown, it is addictive. We now own six buildings downtown, both residential and commercial,” Swords explained.
Due to her love of downtown Sedalia, Swords has joined a couple of the groups strongly associated with the promotion and care of downtown. She is currently a member of the Central Business and Cultural District as well as being the current vice-president of Sedalia Downtown Development, Inc. She has also been a past president of the SDDI.
Swords has also been known to attend various meeting throughout the City of Sedalia with the purpose of being a well-informed citizen.
“I try to attend city council and water department meetings. I feel that it is important to learn the process of the different boards,” Swords explained.
Michelle and her husband John were married on 1985 and together they have a daughter Alex, who is fourteen. Alex is very interested and involved with performing on stage and she likes to participate in shows for the schools, as well as the Liberty Center.
Swords was asked what she likes to do in her rare spare time.
“I want to be part of Alex’s performances. I also enjoy scrapbooking and doing art. Honestly, we dedicate a lot of our time to not only our business but downtown.