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the sissy's story
Story by Audrey Hanes; photo by Amy Long

In 1970, Sissy Jones purchased a log cabin along U.S. Highway 79 in Pine Bluff and turned it into a well-known antique store. Now, after 42 years of success and after opening two additional locations, one of which recently opened its doors along Stadium Blvd. in Jonesboro, Sissy’s Log Cabin is known and respected for its extraordinary selection of new, custom and antique jewelry.

Bill Jones, Sissy’s son and president of the company, says Rolex was a huge factor in why the jewelry store chose Jonesboro as the newest location for one of its stores. At the time, Memphis and Nashville were the only two large metropolitan areas in the entire U.S. that did not have a Rolex provider. After careful consideration, the company decided that the “Jonesboro bubble,” which Bill says exists because of the great direction from the city government, would be the best and most economical choice for the store.

“Rolex contacted us about carrying Rolex, and after looking at our options, we chose to open a Sissy’s in Jonesboro and draw from Memphis and Nashville,” said Bill. “This is the first-ever Rolex boutique in the state of Arkansas. We thought that Jonesboro had a huge amount of potential and that Sissy’s would be a great fit.

“We looked all over Jonesboro as far as location. It was divine intervention from God that we ended up here on Stadium, where there is now Panera and so many other new businesses.”

Managing the Jonesboro branch of Sissy’s is Mark Sanders, who previously worked at Sissy’s in Pine Bluff for 16 years, including two years as a manager at that location. Before he began at Sissy’s, Sanders, who was originally in the jewelry business for 10 years, had returned to his tennis pro roots. In an effort to hire him to work at Sissy’s, Bill took twice-weekly tennis lessons at 6 a.m. for more than a year before finally talking Sanders into joining the family-run business.

Sanders, who is also a member of Sissy’s board of directors, said he already feels at home in Jonesboro.

“I have only been here for three weeks, and I have been warmly welcomed by everyone,” he said. “Everyone wants to hear the Sissy’s story. It’s been a great move for us.”

The jewelry store has hired several new employees from Jonesboro in addition to the employees who transferred from the Pine Bluff location. Bill says the Jonesboro store has a phenomenal team of jewelers, sales professionals and managers, including Sanders, Shop Manager Craig Richter, Assistant Manager Joe Cook and several others.

In addition to the exclusivity that Rolex brings to the Jonesboro Sissy’s, the store also carries a wide variety of well-known, quality lines of jewelry and watches. The store prides itself on its large selection of diamonds and engagement rings, as well as its expansive collections of LAGOS, TAG, Michelle, Scott Kay, Pandora, William Henry and more. Pieces at Sissy’s range from $50 to a 24-carat ring called the Star of Jonesboro that is worth $1.3 million. For those who wish to fix an existing piece or design a completely original work of art, the store employs two talented jewelers who handle all repairs and custom jewelry.

Sanders said that the store also has a large estate department because estate jewelry is Sissy’s favorite. Staying in touch with Sissy’s vision and where it all started is very important to everyone who works for the store, especially when it comes to faith. Every Friday morning, the staff begins their day with a devotional.

“We’re a big family here,” said Sanders. “It’s important to us to continue what Sissy started in an actual log cabin. It’s about family. It’s about service. It’s about quality.”

Sissy’s is also adamant about encouraging its employees to become heavily involved in the local community.

“Community involvement is very important to us,” said Bill. “Mark has already met with the chamber, the university and the hospitals to get a pulse on the community and see what we can focus on.”

Sissy’s Log Cabin of Jonesboro is located at 2900 Parkwood Road and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This month, the Jonesboro store will take part in a Sissy’s tradition, its annual May sale, along with the Pine Bluff and Little Rock stores. For more information, visit sissyslogcabin.com or call 336-0066.