Ann Arnett retiring after decades of business downtownBy CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,
For the last sixty years, ornately framed engagement pictures of local brides and newlyweds have been featured on the registry table inside the front window at the Arnett Jewelry Store on Main Street. At 84 years old, owner Ann Arnett said she will be closing her shop in a few weeks, and will be hosting sales until the end of the month.
Ann Arnett began working at the main street jewelry store for her father when it was still called Weller's back in 1955.
She and her husband Robin had only been married about two months when they relocated to Yazoo City.
"There were no vacant places or apartments to rent back then, so we rented two rooms in Mayor Harry Applebaum's house," Arnett said.
Arnett said she spent her days managing the store on the second block of Main Street, showing and selling jewelry, and handling the business ledgers and charge accounts for customers. Her husband Robin Arnett was employed as an insurance agent at the State Farm office just three doors down from her store.
Arnett said that when her father Mr. Weller passed away in 1984, he left her the entire business to run on her own, as well as the building it was housed in. It was then that Mrs. Arnett changed the name of the business to Arnett Jewelry, and continued her work in the bridal business.
"The brides would come in with their list, and I would help them pick out what they wanted or needed," she said. "I have probably had close to a thousand brides in here since 1955."
For years and years, the first thing many customers would see upon entering Arnett Jewelry is the round bridal table in the front window, ornately decorated with a luxurious tablecloth, and a place setting of each china pattern chosen by the brides on her registry. As an added bonus, Mrs. Arnett would also include a beautiful picture frame with a photo or newspaper clipping of the bride and groom attached to each registry.
Arnett always kept the latest in home decor, fine china, and stainless flatware to suit the fancies of almost every new bride that came to visit. Her jewelry inventory contains a variety of men's and women's fashion jewelry and watches, baby and teen items, as well as other jewelry items such as pearls, and birthstone rings.
As Arnett prepares to close her doors, she is offering a closeout sale on her remaining merchandise, up to 50-60% off. She added that what little remains of her store at the time of closing will be transferred to other family jewelry stores in Bastrop and Tallulah, Louisiana.
"I am 84 years old," Arnett said. "I have devoted the better years of my life to this business and I am just tired."
Arnett added that she will continue to live in Yazoo City, keeping busy at home when she is not traveling or visiting family.
"I appreciate my customers for everything, and for doing business with me all these years," she said.