Jacklyn’s Hallmark to close following 40-plus years in Elizabethton

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2017

After nearly half a century of operation, one local shop is closing its doors for good.
Jacklyn’s Hallmark, located in the Ingles shopping center, nestled between the grocery and Greg’s Pizza, recently announced its closure after 40-plus years of operation in the community.
“Over the course of the last three years, I’ve seen fewer and fewer people walk in through the door,” Jacklyn Isbell, owner, said. “With the Hallmark brand, I’m competing against Ingles, Walgreens, Food City, Wal–Mart … and my piece of the piece has just gotten shorter. I can’t blame it all on Hallmark, it’s a multitude of reasons.”
Isbell expressed her gratitude for the community that has grown alongside the store. Recently, readers of the Elizabethton Star named the store the “Star Readers’ Choice” award winner for Best Home Decor Store and Best Gifts & Collectibles.
“The thing I have been blessed with as we started going out of business May 1 has been the people,” she said. “I sent out letters to a lot of our gold crown customers to let them know. There’s been a lot of tears, hugs and people saying they’re sorry. I can’t say enough about their support.”
The store was more than just a place to sell items, Isbell added, recently telling the Elizabethton Star about some of the perks of having a small business.
“People,” she said with a smile when asked what she enjoys the most. “People, I probably wouldn’t have ever met over the years, now are friends and family. If you don’t see them for a couple of days, you start to worry about them. There’s also several ladies that have worked here for over 30 years. I’ve enjoyed it and appreciate everyone.”
Isbell recalled some special moments and talked about some recent encounters, ranging from men and women recalling their time coming in as children, to men jokingly discussing the store “saving” them for anniversaries or birthdays.
The store began roughly 46 years ago after Isbell’s parents came up with the idea. At that time, the store was named Zimmerman’s.
“Once I bought the store from my parents, I changed the name to Jacklyn’s because it could no longer be under the same name,” she said. “I grew up in the business, I worked here as a teenager.”
Isbell added that the store will close July 31 and items in the store are 40 percent off. As the closure date gets closer, items will be at an even more reduced rate.
While the Hallmark store is closing, don’t expect this to be the end of a store managed by Isbell.
Isbell added that her husband, Gregory, a jeweler, acquired a building near Dick’s Sporting Goods in Johnson City. The bottom half will be jewelry and managed by Gregory while the top half will be a boutique store operated by Jacklyn.
The tentative plans, according to Jacklyn, is to open the jewelry store in a couple of months then have the boutique store open in October.
While there is some excitement for the future, Jacklyn added nothing will ever take the place of her time in Elizabethton.

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