By Aaron Moser
In 1983 Mike and Jan Henry entered the jewelry business and in 1988 they opened their own store, Design Jewelers. Since then they have been serving the Bartlett community, custom making almost everything in almost every way.
They have been in their storefront at 3135 Kirby Whitten Road since 2000. Mike Henry said that he got into the business because he loved to work with his hands and with people.
“I like designing jewelry and I’ve always been pretty good with my hands,” he said. “I mainly like dealing with people.”
One of the things he has learned over the past 31 years in business is that customers have different tastes and preferences.
“Everybody’s different,” he said, laughing. “Everybody has their own opinion about what they want and how they want it made. What you might like the next person may not like. We make the jewelry to reflect the person’s personality.”
In order to accommodate for all the different preferences, Henry brightly showcases diamonds and gems in many shapes, colors and sizes. When he custom makes a piece, he uses CAD (computer-aided design) to develop a 3D prototype of the jewelry.
After developing a model from the initial thoughts of the customer, he then texts images back and forth with the customer as he adjusts the piece to exactly what they want. The time it takes to create the piece depends on what is being made, and it can take up to four weeks.
Besides custom jewelry, they offer watch and jewelry repair, and they stand behind all their work.
Jan Henry gave up her own homemaking business to help Mike. They have been married for 39 years, and she still runs the finances and advertising side of the business.
When they were asked their favorite part of being in business, they said, “Being our own boss and being together.”
The Henrys explained that they faced challenges when they first began.
“Being in Bartlett was difficult in the beginning as a business owner,” she said. “Because back then they wanted to keep it a sleepy community. There were a lot of struggles for new businesses in Bartlett.”
However, Jan Henry said that she approved of many of the decisions being made now.
“Just watching Bartlett grow and Bartlett accepting businesses now is really a big jump from where we started back in ’88,” Jan Henry said. “Overall it’s been good. Bartlett is a good city.”
Currently Design Jewelers is running a sale with a third off their prices. They offer financing through Republic Finance.
For more information call 901-372-2701, visit designjewelers.net or visit them on Facebook as @designjewelersbartlett.