CORRECTION: This story was updated to correct the spellings of Wendy Shoemaker and Marisanne Shiver's names on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, at 5:32 p.m.
During the coronavirus pandemic, a record number of people quit their jobs while many retail shops were forced to close their doors.
But Wendy Shoemaker and Marisanne Shiver are taking a far different approach to the retail environment coming out of the upheaval of the pandemic.
Shoemaker, an affiliate broker for Real Estate Partners in Chattanooga and a Georgia franchisee for Domino's Pizza, and Shiver, a veteran jewelry retailer who has spent the past seven years in the industry, have joined together to open a unique, independent jewelry store in East Brainerd.
Known as Henri's Fine Jewelry, the new shop at the corner of Commons Boulevard and Ogletree Avenue, just off of Gunbarrel Road, will open its doors Friday with what Shoemaker says will offer a variety of customized jewelry for most any occasion. Henri's will carry designer jewelry and will be introducing its own private line of bridal rings and bands.
"It's really a dream come true for us," Shoemaker said. "At Henri's we want to be a one-of-a-kind jewelry store where we provide an extraordinary experience, variety of products, education and fun. Our job is to make their happiest moments happen."
Shiver said the store will offer jewelry, watches and other items ranging from $20 up to $40,000 to cater to almost any need.
The 2,215-square-foot store is opening in a remodeled space previously leased by the Chattanooga Salad Co., which closed in February amid the pandemic slowdown for many restaurants.
"With COVID, our perspectives were shifted for us all," said Shiver, who will serve as the store manager. "We have somehow managed to make it through. Things may have changed, and for many changed for the better, but we are who we are, and it is important to learn from our history and, unfortunately, that includes a global pandemic."
Shoemaker said the idea for the new jewelry store began about seven months ago. After locating the new site for the store, Shoemaker and Shiver have spent the past few months remodeling and getting the merchandise ready for this week's grand opening. Even with nearly a dozen other jewelry outlets in and around the Hamilton Place mall area in East Brainerd, Shoemaker said she is confident Henri's Fine Jewelry will find success as a distinctive locally owned and managed store.
"Not just any diamond meets our elevated standards for a superior quality and a superior cut," she said. "And we have a secret weapon, but you'll have to come to the store to discover Henri's difference. Henri's is a light, bright vision of hope and promise and, most importantly, love."
Henri's Fine Jewelry will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. During the upcoming holiday season when most jewelry stores generate their biggest sales season, the store will also open on Monday.
The store is decorated with artwork prepared by students at East Hamilton High School who will be recognized during Friday's grand opening.
Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepresscom or at 423-757-6340.