Longview jewelry store reports ‘record months’ after pandemic-related shutdown | Local
Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series about how locally-owned, small businesses in the Longview area are faring — and in some cases surviving — in the COVID-19 pandemic.
After 50 years in the jewelry business, Sondra Moore says she still gets excited about what she does.
“When the customer comes in and I help him buy something for his wife — and I know it’s something they were wanting and I know they’re going to be so excited about it — its just fun,” said Moore, who has co-owned Henry and Moore Jewelry in Longview with her sister, Mamie Henry, since 2015. “I love what I do — I love to sell pretty things, and I’ll just keep doing it until my health won’t allow me.”
Moore said she started her career in the jewelry business when she was first hired at McCarley’s Jewelry in downtown Longview for a temporary Christmas-time job 50 years ago.
“I was fortunate to have been hired by H.C. ‘Stormy’ Bennett, so I’ve been mentored by the best,” Moore said. “I learned so much from him and Margaret Florey about customer service.”
In 2015, about a year before McCarley’s permanently closed its doors and with the encouragement of Bennett, she and her sister went into business for themselves and opened Henry and Moore Jewelry on West Loop 281.
Since reopening after being forced to close earlier this year because of the government-mandated pandemic-related shutdown, Moore said employees are in a near-constant cleaning mode. All surfaces are wiped down and pieces are cleaned after being shown to customers. The store also makes hand sanitizer and masks available for customers as they enter the store.
“We also wear our masks, and our customers have all been great about wearing theirs,” Moore said. “If a customer is uncomfortable coming in the store, we’ll take it to them.”
Moore said throughout the shutdown that she kept in contact with her customers any way possible —phone calls, postal mail, email and even texting photos of products to her customers.
“I’m old school — we get it done,” Moore said, laughing. “You make those sales.”
Moore said the business has been making progress at regaining the revenue lost during the shutdown.
“When we re-opened May 8, it was like Christmas in here,” she said. “People were buying. Getting caught up on birthday gifts. Getting caught up on anniversary gifts — and then the engagement rings … we’re still selling a lot of engagement rings.”
“We’ve had some record months since reopening,” she added. “The person that does my bookwork and sales report said, ‘y’all are catching up.’ ”
Henry and Moore Jewelry also offers engraving along with watch and jewelry service and repair.