Louisiana Jeweler Closing After 61 Years

Facing hardships during
a rough economy, Clyde’s Jewelers in Thibodaux, La., will close this year after
61 years of business.

“Things are bad,” owner
Gary Naquin told JCK. “People aren’t
spending any money and I haven’t been making any money for the past three
years.” The store’s lease ends in January—which, along with the poor economy,
led to the closing.

Clyde’s began a
liquidation sale last Tuesday that will run through Jan. 15. A closing date has
not been determined.

The store was founded
by Clyde Dennis in 1949. Naquin bought the store from Dennis in 1991. Ever
since, Naquin has called Clyde’s home. His wife and son have worked alongside
him for nearly 20 years.

Clyde’s diamond earring
and engagement rings have been a huge staple for the store but Naquin said the
customer connection is most likely what customers will miss most about Clyde’s.
“I’m probably the only jewelry store in town that will change watch batteries
or repair jewelry even if the customer didn’t buy the jewelry here,” Naquin
said.

With a customer base of
nearly 5,000, Naquin said he will really miss the people. “It’s very
emotional,” he said. “I don’t know how I’m going to wake up in the morning and
do nothing, but I’m old enough to retire.”