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franklin county times

A family affair

By Staff
Weathering the cycle of business,
Majure Jewelry and Gifts remains
a beacon on Quitman's Main Street
By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
March 4, 2001
QUITMAN Businesses have come and gone in this small town during the past 50 years. But Majure Jewelry and Gifts remains family-owned at the same Main Street downtown location where it started, and its owners aren't planning to go anywhere.
The late Bob Majure opened a small business in the corner of a drug store in August 1951 where he did watch repairs and sold watch bands. Majure, a native of Neshoba County, learned his trade at Jones Junior College, and saw an opportunity to start a business in Quitman.
As she now looks back, his wife, Doris Majure, admits she had her doubts at first.
Patience was the key, she added. Majure Jewelry grew slowly, adding small lines as they could afford them. They also provided good service and Mr. Bob was a master clock repairman who could make parts when none were available.
Slowly, the business grew. During the 1960s, Majure Jewelry took up the entire building it once shared, and eventually the family bought it. It expanded to take in extra space a few years ago and went through a complete renovation.
Today, the former soda shop and dominoes parlor have been transformed into an attractive and well arranged jewelry and gift shop.
The Majure's made a living and raised their family on the business, and today, two of their three children, Steve Majure and JoEtte Smith, help run it. Mr. Bob died after a battle with cancer a couple of years ago, and now the others are left to run the business.
Steve does the diamond settings and repairs, while JoEtte handles the bookkeeping, along with some repair work, too.
Steve said this experience influenced his decision to make business a career, but he never planned to come back to Quitman and work at the jewelry store.
Christmas is the busiest time of the year. Some nights, the lights stay on until well after midnight, and it seems that Majure Jeweler should be nicknamed "Santa's workshop."
Interestingly, if you ever shopped at the old Marks-Rothenberg Store in Meridian when it was open and noticed something familiar when you came into Majure Jewelry, that's because the counters came from the old department store.
The new Highway 45 four-lane bypass scheduled to open in April will take a lot of traffic out of Quitman. The Majure's are not looking at this as a negative, but say the business will have to change with the times.
JoEtte, who went to school to become a teacher and works "part-time" so she can be at home with her children, added that she expects to see the business around for another 50 years.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.

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