This Labor Day has us raising a toast to Cindi Earl Fine Jewelry’s 25th year in business. Cindi Earl, the charismatic Texan with her fiery red hair, is beloved by all — especially her customers and their significant others. No telling how many times she has bailed out a distraught husband or boyfriend with a last-minute gift. Walking through her doors is like meeting up with a good friend, whether you need help retro-fitting your mom’s gold necklace or want a special gift for your daughter’s 21st birthday. Yes, Cindi will always point you in the right direction — and a beautifully wrapped package from Cindi Earl Fine Jewelry always delights!
We stopped by her store last week and asked her to share her wisdom that she’s learned after 25 years in business, one consistently referred to as one of Nashville’s most revered boutiques. We are elated to say Happy Anniversary to our great friend Cindi Earl!
Tell us about your first year in business as Cindi Earl Fine Jewelry?
The Batman Building began construction in 1991 [the same year Cindi Earl opened]. It was completed in 1994. One day someone was talking about how they loved driving up West End and seeing the Batman Building. I said, “What Batman Building?” That describes the first several years of my business. If it wasn’t on the way to the store, about the store, having to do with the store, I didn’t see it, know it or experience it.
One word, though, accurately describes the first year — miraculous. It was a miracle.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned as a business owner as you celebrate your 25th anniversary?
There are two. First, take care of those that take care of you. The people you work with are the most important and valuable asset any business owner has. The people who stand beside you everyday are worth more than you can ever pay them, more than you can ever tell them. You can call them co-workers, team members, I call them family. That goes for everyone you get the gift of doing business with. From the postman to your most important vendor, every person who walks in the door is a gift to be valued and taken care of. Second, own everything you do. Own every decision right or wrong; own every mistake, admit them to yourself and everybody else; own the responsibility to right the wrongs and go on.
There are so many new businesses and new business owners coming to Nashville. Any words of wisdom?
Words of wisdom? Anything you try to accomplish takes more time, more money and more work than you can imagine. Now and forevermore.
What is the thing you love the most about your job?
When a piece of jewelry touches me, and I remember that I do this because I love everything about fine jewelry. That and Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, when everything is said and done, and everyone is gone, there is this perfect moment of calm, good year or bad. In that still moment, I listen to “Oh Holy Night,” look around the store and say thank you for this gift … that’s my moment. Then I go to my other home.
Editor’s note: As we were working on this article, Cindi Earl Fine Jewelry was broken into during the early morning hours of September 3, 2016. The thief was not able to find her fine jewelry, but did a significant amount of damage to her glass cases and the store. Also, many saw the devastating photos of the store during the flood of 2010. We add this to give even more context to the next question, and answer.
In a nutshell, tell our readers why Cindi Earl has such staying power?
In a nutshell, God’s Mercy endures forever. And I refuse to quit, come hell or high water, and I’ve seen both, literally. To last in a small business, you have to have faith, endurance and a good sense of humor.
This is Cindi Earl, folks. In a nutshell, she is one of a kind and our kind of gal!
Cindi Earl Fine Jewelry is located at 5101 Harding Road, Nashville, TN 37205. Stop by this week and wish her a happy 25th! After the break-in, we know she’d love seeing every happy and encouraging face in the store! Plus, she has some great giveaways going on right now to celebrate, and if you stop by, you can enter your name and maybe you’ll win!