A family-owned jewelry enterprise in Antigonish is celebrating a uncommon milestone this yr – 100 years of service.
Since 1922, this jewelry retailer, identified in the present day as Cameron’s, has develop into a staple locally and a widely known enterprise in northeastern Nova Scotia. Cameron’s has been serving clients from Guysborough, Pictou, Inverness, and Richmond counties out of its storefront location on Antigonish’s Principal Avenue.
The shop sells a fastidiously curated assortment of jewelry, watches, giftware, and residential decor that’s aware of each custom and tendencies. Lately the shop has gained a repute as a “should see” Christmas vacation spot for all ages, each close to and much. However what it’s maybe greatest identified for is designing the distinguished X-ring, the ceremonial presentation of which has develop into an essential custom at close by St. Francis Xavier College.
“We’ve served college students from all around the world. We’ve mailed our X-rings so far as South Africa,” says Brenda Hawley, who co-owns the enterprise along with her three sisters – Patricia, Carmen, and Sheila.
One of many causes for the enterprise’s longevity, says Brenda, has been a sustained dedication to offering high quality merchandise and dependable customer support, becoming with the shop’s motto, “A Title You Can Belief.”
A RICH HISTORY
Initially often known as Monahan Jewellers, the identify of the enterprise was modified to Cameron’s when Zina Cameron, who started working for Mr. Monahan in 1926, took over as proprietress afterward.
An enterprising trailblazer and avid sportswoman, Zina was a tremendous girl, “method forward of her time.” Not solely was she skilled in watchmaking and jewelry restore, she was additionally a hockey participant in her youth. She was to not be deterred by what had been basically male-dominated fields in her day. Beneath her stewardship and in collaboration with St. Francis Xavier College college students, the unique X-ring was born in 1942.
Simply after the Second World Conflict, Zina employed two newly minted watchmakers in 1950, Joe MacPherson and Cyril Hawley, each of whom had been conflict veterans. In 1955, Zina retired and bought her enterprise and its revered identify to the 2 males who then shaped a enterprise partnership that lasted till MacPherson handed away immediately in 1969. It was at this level that the possession of the enterprise entered solely into the Hawley household, as Cyril Hawley bought his former companion’s portion and ran the enterprise single-handedly till his premature loss of life in 1976.
Subsequently, Hawley’s widow, Aloma, left her home-based hairdressing enterprise to take over the jewelry enterprise. She ran it for 33 years till she handed in 2009. Though she confronted many challenges alongside the best way, not the least of which was elevating her 4 daughters whereas going through the duty of mastering a brand new enterprise, she was decided to succeed – and that she did.
“Our mom was a robust and principled girl, and he or she labored very laborious,” says Brenda. “I actually consider that if it wasn’t for the best way she performed the enterprise and the astute selections that she made, the shop wouldn’t be right here in the present day.”
Along with their mom’s dedication, the enterprise has labored with many loyal, courteous, and hard-working employees, off-site restore personnel, and extremely expert goldsmiths who handed via and left their mark over time.
“It’s of significant significance that credit score be given the place credit score is due,” says Patricia Hawley. “And, at this commemorative time, public acknowledgement of their contribution is definitely apropos.”
‘RAISED IN THE BUSINESS’
All through Aloma Hawley’s administration, her daughters had been all concerned within the enterprise for various lengths of time and doing completely different jobs.
Patricia clerked and engraved throughout her highschool and college years. Brenda, a skilled watchmaker, spent 16 years within the enterprise earlier than pursuing a college diploma. Carmen did a 10-year stint because the bookkeeper after graduating from college. Whereas Sheila clerked throughout summers and on weekends whereas pursuing her college diploma.
“We had been raised within the enterprise,” says Brenda. “It has at all times been a significant a part of our lives.”
After their mom handed, the 4 sisters, all of whom had long-established careers by then, had a tricky resolution to make about the way forward for the enterprise. Having by no means identified life with out the shop, they determined to hold it on.
They employed a brand new supervisor, stored their mom’s cherished bookkeeper, renovated the shop, and up to date the stock. 13 years later, as they’re retiring and beginning to slowly transition again into the enterprise, they’re celebrating the shop’s centennial and searching ahead to a really promising future.
“When you present high quality merchandise and nice customer support, you’ll develop a loyal buyer base and repute,” says Brenda. “With these two issues, you’ll final 100 years.”
In a spirit of due to the numerous loyal clients whom they’ve served over
the years, Cameron’s can be internet hosting an anniversary celebration on Aug. 18. Each the administration and employees are wanting ahead to this chance to precise their appreciation in individual.
To study extra about Cameron’s Jewelry, its stock and its wealthy historical past in Antigonish, go to cameronsjewellery.ca or name 902-863-1283.