BY JACLYN ROSE –
Renell Lindy’s passion for jewelry making began in her parent’s garage, where she played with her brother’s jewelry tools. After graduating high school in her hometown of Metairie, Louisiana, right outside of New Orleans, in 1997, she completed two years of college before moving back home to work at a large jewelry store, Aucion Hart Jewelry. “I worked polishing for six bench jewelers. I apprenticed there and learned to size rings, replace chains, re-tip prongs, and many other things. It was a hard job, but I learned a lot,” said Lindy.
After working there for five years, Lindy began working for Symmetry Jewelers in New Orleans, where she worked for thirteen years. “They did a lot of custom work and I learned so much and made some friends for life,” explained Lindy.
Lindy married her husband, David, in 1980 and they raised three sons: Allan, Paul, and Eric, they knew they did not want to raise their children in the city so in 1993, they packed up and moved to Mena, where they had visited many times to see David’s family. “We moved in 1993, just in time for the first tornado, as I call it, and I had no idea I would still be here for the second tornado in 2009,” said Lindy.
Shortly after moving to Mena, Lindy visited with Mr. Korey, who owned Korey’s Jewelry and began working for him. “Mr. Korey and his wife kept asking me when I would take over and I finally did in 1996,” Lindy explained.
Lindy’s Jewelry located at 1000 Mena Street, on the corner of Mena Street and Gilham, offers an impressive selection of well priced jewelry, including Sieko brand watches, both new and used. But Lindy’s is much more than just a retail jewelry store, with her extensive background as a jeweler she also offers: custom work, repairs and maintenance, she sells and replaces watch batteries, size rings and much more. “I am a jeweler first and a salesperson second,” said Lindy with a laugh. Lindy does the vast majority of the work in house and is able to keep her prices competitive and many times, much lower than out of town jewelers. “I am the secretary, the salesperson, the janitor and mostly the jeweler. I greatly enjoy refurbishing jewelry and making old things look new. People forget to maintain their jewelry, but it is as important as changing the tires or the oil on your car,” said Lindy.
For many years, Lindy considered Louisiana her home and was slightly resistant to becoming a true Arkansan but after years in Polk County, the thoughtfulness and compassion of the local community won her over. “When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, Polk County opened its arms wide for the people of my old home. Strangers, people I did not know just went over and above to help. Then my middle son passed away in 2009 and my family was shown such kindness and that’s when I knew that this was my home! I love the slow, honest pace and the people, they have such good morals,” explained Lindy.