Steve and Sheila Clark have experienced an incredibly interesting past which has brought them full circle to Oxford. The Clarks are now the proud entrepreneurs of Clark Jewelry and Interiors. And for an added bonus, they only have to walk a few feet to work as their condo overlooks Lamar Park, directly behind their store.
The couple met in the late ’70s in Drew, Mississippi, and have been married for 40 years. Ironically, during Steve’s last two years at Ole Miss (1970-71), he bartended at night at the Oxford Country Club, maintained the golf greens in the morning and played golf with Coach Vaught in the afternoons. Sheila was majoring in marketing a few years later. The couple has two daughters who also graduated from the University.
Previously, Steve owned an insurance agency and sold wholesale jewelry on the side as a hobby. Eventually, the hobby became his life’s passion, and he obtained a certification in diamond grading. In 1993, the couple sold the agency and acquired a jewelry store in Cleveland. The historic building they purchased in Cleveland was 100 years old at the time and was large enough to allow the couple to expand into interiors.
In 2017, the Clarks sold the building, deciding it was time for retirement. Steve and Sheila’s passion for Oxford and the former Country Club location brought them full circle to the place they proudly call home. After falling in love with their condo at 800 Park, they discovered the available retail space fronting the condos on College Hill Road.
Steve purchases most of the jewelry for the store in New York, but also deals with cutters in Chicago and Los Angeles. Steve’s philosophy is if you “buy in fine quality, the jewelry lasts forever, holding its value.” Steve sets his own center stones, presenting a beautifully displayed inventory that is striking to customers. Also featured in the store is a case of Rolex watches that will definitely catch your eye’s attention.
Sheila is focusing on interior items that she especially enjoys dealing with, such as wine glasses, antique chairs and other selective merchandise like fragments encased in acrylic by famed designer Abbey Price. The interiors inventory also includes lamps, cocktail napkins, pillows and even patio furniture. One item that jumped out to me was a decorative garden torch that can even be used inside for parties and special occasions. The fuel contained is a sunjel, which has a three-hour burn.
Clark Jewelry and Interiors (across from Sky Mart) is open five days a week Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Clark’s initial retirement didn’t last very long. Let’s hope this time for the benefit of Oxford shoppers that phase two of the Clarks’ retirement is many years down the road.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.
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