Imagine a local jewelry store where you can browse among nearly a century of family history, purchase the promise of a lifetime, admire Texan and African wildlife specimens (professionally culled for healthy herd management) and select your favorite something from a fabulous collection of women’s fashion, all under a shiny pressed tin ceiling. There’s even a 9-stool soda fountain in the corner. This is Beasley's Jewelry & Boutique, today owned and operated by the third and fourth generations of the family that first opened the doors in 1948 at 177 West Main Street in Old Downtown Lewisville.
This is the story told by one of those generations. Little Lisa was a bright-eyed eight-year-old who may have served coffee to your parents at the store’s soda fountain in the 1960s. Or she could have been the talented kid who expertly wrapped a gift you once received. Working at the store was something little Lisa loved, never a chore. Today, as she prepares her own daughter, fourth generation Alle McKinney, to take over the store, Lisa Dubberley spared time to share how things got started and expand on the family beliefs and values that remain core to their everyday operation. “I never spent Saturdays hanging out at the lake. Every day after school I was at the store, learning what the grownups did. This store was my passion, even at that age. I always loved people.” She followed that up with a big smile and a special look. “Our family rules were laid out early: Live a decent life and enjoy it.” She added, “I never went to college. My dad was a graduate. We were all plenty smart. But I loved this store and what we were doing here. There were plenty of offers for school but I chose to stay here.”
Lisa explained that “Grandpa” was a hard worker with an eye for the future. Grandpa Tom Beasley and his wife Mildred came from Monroe, Louisiana to open a clock repair shop in Oak Cliff. “He could build or repair anything,” Lisa recalls. “Grandad always told us that if we just paid attention to how things came apart, they would go back the same way. That made it sound kind of simple.” In 1948, Tom and a few buddies moved over to Lewisville and built the Beasley store by hand. And after a few years of buying, selling and trading, they purchased the space of Kings Drugstore to complete where Beasley's Jewelry resides today. The brick, the ceilings, and most of the interior today remain how it was laid out. And you can still enjoy a hot coffee at the old-fashioned fountain.
About those wildlife trophies: Lisa says that was her mother’s idea. Lisa's dad, Norman Zuspan, met with a “Coffee Club” most mornings at the fountain near the back of the store and the fellows went on regular big game hunts which only selected aging or infirm animals and the meat was given to local families. In 1978, Lisa's mom, Mrs. Martha Zuspan, told her husband he would have to take the trophies to the store. Later, there was even room for a boutique collection of women clothing, which came in 2008. But Owner, Operator, Buyer and Chief Salesperson Lisa makes clear that jewelry is the main attraction. But she wants visitors to have fun and enjoy their stop. There are about 3,500 retail jewelry stores in Texas. Unlike many of those, Beasley's Jewelry & Boutique does no TV or radio advertising. Lisa says she depends on satisfied customers to keep the business healthy.
“Word of mouth has built us. I always make sure our people know that our job is to know our product and create a relationship, not just sell an item.” According to Lisa, Beasley's Jewelry & Boutique has very few returns. Their practice of working with the customer to find the prettiest thing for $100 or $1000 and not pushing for a quick sale builds confidence in the product and the store associates (prices can range from $25 to upwards of $15k - $520k).
What is the most amazing thing about buying jewelry from Beasley's Jewelry & Boutique? Lisa's store employees do not work on sales commission. Everyone is paid a salary. Beasley's customers are buying on trust, product knowledge, and personal choice. And maybe a cup of coffee.
And that’s done the job for 75 years.
I never spent Saturdays hanging out at the lake. Every day after school I was at the store, learning what the grownups did. This store was my passion, even at that age.