Today, the company is owned by Graham, her siblings Carol Vance and Joe Grant, and son-in-law Justin Jones. Graham said her brother, Johnny Grant, hasn’t been able to devote much time to the company since taking on responsibilities as state senator.
“Over the years, we’ve changed the facade... and eventually went with blue, which has been our signature color now for about 10 years,” Graham said. “Dr. Renee Fontenot’s Georgia College marketing class did a project on us. The students asked us questions and looked at our merchandise, and for their final project, they said they were confused when entering the store because gifts and jewelry was everywhere and it didn’t flow. They suggested that we keep the jewelry in the front of the store and the gifts in the back, so that’s what we’re doing now.”
Since starting store renovations in mid-August, the business has remained open during normal business hours expect this week.
“We did most of the remodeling ourselves. We have 24 showcases now, where before we had 13, and in addition to that, we have four towers that will display jewelry in the windows,” Graham said. “We have taken out the shelves that were on the main wall. We have new carpet; we replaced the linoleum which hadn’t been replaced in 34 years. We’ve painted all of the walls and knocked down the gift wrapping wall and built three walls.”
The company also now offers new and expanded lines of jewelry and gift items, including holiday items by M. Bagwell priced under $75.
“We’ve added John Wind, which is scheduled to arrive in time for your Christmas shopping. Nina Nguyen is new and is all natural stone with stalactite and tourmaline in some pieces; the most expensive piece in that line is $450,” Graham said. “We’re expanding our Lafonn line, which is sterling silver, rhodium or platinum-plated and has simulated diamonds in it. We have earrings that start at $55 in the Lafonn line. We’re also expanding on our color-diamond jewelry.”