By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Two locations under two different names, the long running C’s Jewelry and Music has created countless memories through Millington and Shelby County.
Started by Sam and Lucille Needham in June 1965, the business is now operated at 8596 Highway 51 North by their daughters Betty Dye and Susan Lassiter. The lessons taught by their parents has helped the girls run the business for several years. On June 11, C’s Jewelry celebrated its 50th years of business and throughout October Dye and Lassiter have conducted customer-appreciation deals.
“Treating people fairly and of course good prices, good service,” Dye said was C’s Jewelry purpose passed down from her father. “All our work ethics come from Dad.
“Our customers have kept us open over the years,” she continued. “Our customers are like family to us. We know their background and get to know them.”
Customers have had the chance to learn about the C’s Jewelry owners and the business’ beginnings 50 years ago.
Sam and Lucille started Mr. C’s Jewelry naming the business from a chain of Chinese restaurant in California. It was the last past Sam served in the Navy after a 20-year career.
Sam came from a humble background growing up poor in Arkansas. He wasn’t able to finish school but begin serving the country in the 1940s.
“Dad taught us hard work and sticking to something, preserving,” Lassiter said. “We learn not to close because you didn’t see a customer today, you stay open. You have to stay open because I’ve seen in the last minute a sell come through. Like she’s saying, treat people fairly.”
When you pop in do business with Lassiter, Dye or Peggy Lujan behind the counter, expect to chat about life, family and more.
“We get to know our customers on a personal bases,” Dye said. “We really appreciate all of that because that is what has kept our doors open. It’s not anything we’re doing. It the people who have shopped us faithfully over the 50 years.”
“Getting to know people, when they come in here they can talk to us,” Lassiter added. “We’re going to talk back. It’s not like just going to any store. If we want to take an hour to talk to a customer, we can do it.”
Over the year many have passed through the doors of the former 5427 location in the Jet Way Shopping Center and the current spot off Highway 51 near Chris Ford State Farm Agency and David Peel Law Firm.
“Many years ago we had a customer who knew us from the old store that got married to come see us at the new store,” Lassiter said. “That’s happened too, with people celebrating anniversaries and they come to take pictures. They want to come back to one of the places where it started.”
Dye said the tradition of people coming to C’s Jewelry to buy engagement rings continues.
“It’s been about a year ago, we had an older man propose to his wife here in the store,” she said. “He gave her the ring and presented it to her. There’s a picture somewhere of that.”
Over the years the business has grown from just a place to come buy a ring for your fiancée.
“We had to change,” Lassiter said. “If we didn’t change our business, like add on the pawn, with the jewelry and now with the repairs, we would have been out of business.
‘Like the old saying, ‘If you’re a dinosaur and you don’t change, you’ll die,’”she added. “So you have to change the business. Besides our family part, we’ve learn to go through changes. We had to change with the flow.”
C’s Jewelry offers repairs, appraisals, custom designs, batteries for watches, special orders and more.
‘If it’s a $20 charm, we’re going to treat it like it’s a $200 piece of jewelry,” Dye said. “If we don’t have it, we’ll order it. We’ll save you the time of having to go shopping. We’ll do free gift wrap, whatever it takes for your order. A $20 item is just as important to us as a $2,000 item because you are our business.”
Attention to details and devotion to customers have just been two parts of C’s Jewelry longevity.
‘It’s hard to describe what it means,” Dye said. “I look back on it and it’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years. For us it is a special event not only in our lives but in the business.”
Lassiter said a Higher Power guided her parents into business and has allowed them to keep the doors opening for five decades.
“I would put it as the Lord is blessing us,” she concluded. “It’s not a miracle but it is a milestone. He has protected us through the computer age and all the changes to reach this goal.”
For more information on C’s Jewelry & Music, call 872-4270.