16 RETAILER HALL OF FAME 2017 S issy Jones’s story, at least as far as jewelry is concerned, started in 1970, when she began renting a small log cabin she discovered randomly for about $50 a month. After renovating and updating that tiny wooden structure and gaining a solid reputation as a seller of fine antique goods, a chance encounter with a customer who brought by a lock box full of jewelry eventually led Jones to change her store’s focus to primarily selling jewelry. When she did she went all in, studying at the Gemological Institute of America and the Trenton Jewelry/Goldsmith School in Memphis, Tennessee, among others. Anytime Jones heard about a jewelry course, she took it. “I had to keep learning, as long as I could,” she says. A woman of deep faith, vision, and purpose, her business acumen and passion for jewelry has built Sissy’s Log Cabin into the largest independent fine jeweler in Arkansas, with three locations—Pine Bluff, where the original log cabin was located; Little Rock; and Jonesboro—as well as a store in Memphis. But the story of Jones’s journey to success is not complete without taking into account all of her hard work and dedication throughout the years—factors everyone around her admires, yet about which she remains humble. “I was very blessed to have the help I did,” she tells National Jew- eler about the early days of the store. “All my friends helped. I was a very blessed person.” EXTENDED FAMILY One person who was particularly instrumental in getting the store off the ground was Jones’s mother, Mary, who pushed her to take classes and watched her kids while she was working, never allowing an “I can’t” mentality to survive in their house. This reinforced in Jones her already great love for family, a senti- ment that now extends not only to those who are blood relatives, but also to her customers, her community, and her store. Jones’s family is still an integral part of the business, with her husband Murphy, son Bill, daughter-in-law Sharri, and grandsons, all involved in the store. (Murphy Jones, husband of Sissy Jones and longtime treasurer and secretary at Sissy’s Log Cabin, died April 25, following publication of this story.) “It’s been a wonderful journey and a real pleasure to be here working alongside her,” Bill says. “Sissy is so deserving of everything she’s gotten.” Michel Gutman, the manager of the Pine Bluff store, says that if the Joneses know his daughter has a softball game, not only will Expanding Her Roots This Southern jeweler and her stores have become integral parts of the community through top-notch customer service, quality merchandise, and an emphasis on giving back. BY BRECKEN BRANSTRATOR MULTI-STORE INDEPENDENT INDUCTEE SISSY JONES Sissy Jones is the founder and CEO of Sissy’s Log Cabin in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.