Ann Arnett helped shape the downtown Yazoo City business community for over six decades.
Arnett, who retired and closed her Main Street jewelry store in 2019, died Monday at age 86.
Arnett began working at the Main Street jewelry store for her father C.V. Weller in 1955. He had been in business on Main Street since 1945. The store was known as Weller Jewelry at the time.
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 in a previous interview with The Yazoo Herald.
Arnett 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. At this time she changed the name of the business to Arnett Jewelry.
During this period, serving couples preparing for their weddings became a growing part of the business.
"The brides would come in with their lists, and I would help them pick out what they wanted or needed," Arnett said in 2019. "I have probably had close to a thousand brides in here since 1955."
For many years the first thing customers would see upon entering Arnett Jewelry was 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. 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 she closed the doors on her beloved store in January of 2019, Arnett expressed great appreciation for all of her loyal customers.
"I appreciate my customers for everything, and for doing business with me all these years," she said.
Many of those customers felt the same way about her.
“What an incredible woman,” said Meredith Muizers. “I remember going into the shop to by my first strand of pearls. I bought my first class ring from her.”
“She was a fine lady, indeed,” said Natalie Davis.
“She was a beautiful person,” said Cantrell Wilson. “I did a lot of business with her over the years.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Graveside Services will be Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 3 p.m. at Glenwood Cemetery observing social distancing guidelines. Rev. John Yates will be officiating.