By Tyler Stocks
Dunn Daily Record
Allison Eason remembers visiting Jordan’s Jewelry Store and having her ears pierced when she was 10.
Jordan’s was also home to her wedding gift registry, a tradition of many Dunn area brides for decades.
As she stood in front of the jewelry store’s wooden counters Wednesday afternoon, Eason, 30, was wearing a forget-me-not bracelet — another Jordan’s Jewelry specialty.
The downtown Dunn jewelry store has sold the bracelets to thousands of customers over the last 133 years.
Eason became the store’s new owner Thursday after Virginia Beasley, who at 91 still teaches Sunday school and sold jewelry for the last time on Monday, said it was time for the business to change hands.
“It’s bittersweet but I know all good things have to come to an end. It’s time for me to go home and do some things I want to do myself,” Beasley said.
But the change in ownership is something that also gives Beasley solace as she knows the state’s oldest, still-operating jewelry store will continue to thrive.
“(Mark and Allison Eason) are just as nice a people as you could want to buy it,” Beasley said. “They’re real energetic, they’re young and I feel like they’re going to do a great job.”
Allison Eason said she and her husband Mark, a local banker in Lillington, are excited to operate a family jewelry store.
“We look forward to carrying on the legacy that was started,” Allison Eason said. “We’re genuinely excited. We’re going to keep it as true to Jordan’s as we can while kind of just updating it a little bit.”
Along with the update is a slight name change from Jordan’s Jewelry Store to Jordan’s of Dunn.
Jordan’s of Dunn will remain closed briefly as renovations begin and inventory comes and goes to prepare for the Christmas season. The goal is to open back up by Dec. 4, Allison Eason said.
“We’ve already got a ton of new stuff on order that will be in and we’ve got Christmas merchandise, new jewelry lines, new china lines. It all will be here hopefully when we open back up,” Allison Eason said.
“They’re very excited about the store and I’m so glad that they’re getting it because we sold wedding presents for them when they got married,” Beasley said. “It’s just time to change hands because at my age, I can’t keep staying here.”
Much of the store looks like it did more than 100 years ago. Jordan’s last renovation occurred shortly after the turn of the previous century and its display cases are believed to be the same ones from 1888. The store stayed open all these years because customers kept coming back.
John W. Jordan Sr. opened Jordan’s Jewelry, then called JW Jordan’s Sons in 1888. It is the oldest business still operating in Dunn.
An embroidered wall-hanging in the rear of the store best described Jordan’s longevity: “We’re not the best jewelry store in town because we’re the oldest. We’re the oldest because we’re the best.”
“Over the years we must have done something right or we wouldn’t be here,” Beasley told The Daily Record in April. “I have a lot of memories. We could write a book about some of the things that have happened here over the years.”
Beasley took over the day-to-day operations of the store following the death of her sister, Joyce Jones, who died due to COVID-19 complications. Beasley and her great-granddaughter, Heather Beasley, caught the virus at the same time. After recovering, they reopened and kept the family tradition of quality over quantity going.
Joyce Jones bought the store in 1975 after working there for more than 15 years. Beasley eventually joined her sister at Jordan’s and the two became known for their customer service and high-quality merchandise. The Beasley family blossomed over the years, adding grandchildren and great-grandchildren like Hailey Beasley, who grew up watching how two sisters made everyone who walked through the door feel special.
“This has been in my family a long time and it’s all I’ve ever known,” Hailey Beasley told The Daily Record in April, at a time when the Beasley family thought they’d have to close the doors for good. “I would come up here as a little girl and look at all the jewelry. I learned a lot and it helped me get closer to them working here for the past year.”
Virginia Beasley’s face beamed with joy as she and Allison Eason talked about the future that lies ahead for the new Jordan’s of Dunn.
Virginia Beasley said she’s made memories to last a lifetime and friendships she will never forget.
Just like the forget-me-not bracelet she wears every day.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years but they’ve been good changes and we’ve had some of the best customers anybody could ever want and they’ve been loyal and supportive and my sister always thought that a satisfied customer was the best advertisement. We made a lot of good friends and had a lot of good customers over the years,” she said. “They’ve been real supportive. And she always stood behind what she sold and she sold good quality merchandise. It’s been a pleasure. I’ve made some of the best friends and had some of the best customers anybody could want.”