Lynn McCary Thomas
What is your single best money-saving initiative?
We’ve been in business for 75 years in various locations. We started in downtown Shreveport, then we moved into the first shopping mall in north Louisiana. Currently we’re in a strip mall, where we’ve been for 30 years. But after all these years, we’re building a freestanding store. And that will be a good move for us financially. My son, Miles Thomas, is in charge of the new store and creating a really innovative environment. We always wanted to own our own lot and building because we knew that would be a savings in the long run.
What has been your most memorable sale?
This speaks directly to our philosophy as a business. The day before Christmas one year, a man came in with his teenage children, and we found out he had never given his wife a diamond in all the years they’d been married. My father [co-owner R.L. McCary] practically gave him a diamond because he really couldn’t afford much. We put the piece together for him that day so he would have it Christmas morning for his wife. He and his kids were very moved; you could tell it was a really special thing for all of them. We’ve had a lot of big sales, but it’s moments like that that I remember the most, and that feel the biggest. We want everyone who comes in here to leave feeling valued and important.
What do you like most when you walk into your store?
I like that we greet each person like they’re coming into our home, not into a store. It’s a very friendly atmosphere. You get that it’s our family trying to help your family when you’re here. That’s the feel I’ve always wanted in the store. You will see people behind the counters when you come in, but we’re quickly going to get up, step out, and greet you.
Can you describe a time when you went above and beyond for a customer?
We’ve pulled off some pretty amazing things over the years. My dad loves to travel overseas, so he actually hand-delivered a bracelet to Belgium to someone—it was a special gift from her parents. The client was a great client of ours, so it was something that seemed [reasonable] to do. We’ll go completely out of our way for our customers. My dad has been doing that kind of thing for years—that’s how we operate.
What makes your store competitive with other jewelry stores in your area?
We are here to solve problems. We have five jewelers in-house, so we’re not just selling jewelry. We’re really creating special things, which gives us our own niche in our area. My dad has always said that there are people who sell jewelry, and then there are jewelers. We’re jewelers. We highlight artistry and gemology and have a lot of knowledge in those areas. We’re able to do anything a customer wants, and we can make really unique things and think outside the box. And word-of-mouth in our town has been very good to us.
Photograph by Henrietta Wildsmith
(Top: McCary’s Jewelers’ Lynn McCary Thomas)