Copelands reflect on four decades of business and customers
Dale and Angie Copeland minding the store on the Downtown Square with the help of Layla. Photos from the beginning of The Clock Shop and Dale Copeland – Jeweler were provided by the Copeland family.
Dale and Angie Copeland have embarked on their store’s 40th anniversary. The couple has been working together at their store’s location in the heart of downtown Batesville, almost every day of the past four decades as the Dale Copeland – Jeweler business has become a local landmark.
In April the couple will have been married 42 years. When their lifetime adventure began Dale was 21-years-old and Angie was 19. Their business originally opened under the name The Clock Shop, but after not much time the young Copelands found the demand for jewelry repair began to overwhelm that of clock repairs.
The Copelands were in their early-to-mid-30s when their two children were born. “Jim Tom and Sam were raised in the store,” Angie said of her sons. “Both still help out, especially during Christmas, but Jim Tom coaches and teaches and Sam is a licensed mortician, with Wells Funeral Home, and Emily (Jim Tom’s wife) is a physical therapist in town. They all have very busy lives of their own.”
Dale Copeland – Jeweler sits at the ground floor of a two-story building on the historic Downtown Square, nestled between two long-standing stores, Davis Family Pharmacy and Flint’s Hardware, the latter with a distinct facade reading Batesville’s Oldest Store.
The couple says they have seen lots of changes in business in the 40 years, but the main thing to stay the same is the relationship with their customers. It’s unquestionable they care about each one of them. It’s seldom, if ever, guests aren’t greeted with a “hey sugar” or “baby, how are you today?” And likewise, leave without receiving an “I love you,” or a good ole “we appreciate you.”
With regards to the topical matter of how local businesses continue to deal with the growing popularity of online retail, she maintains that there will always be need for a “real jeweler.”
“Prongs still have to be rebuilt, watch bands adjusted, rings sized,” she said. “There will always be a need for a real jeweler’s wife to listen, to laugh with you, cry with you, to look at the pictures on your phone. Just to be a friend, to pray with you and for you.”
Angie shared that Dale had a health scare a couple months ago, and that it turns out the old saying “men make the worst patients” fits Dale perfectly. So with their 42nd wedding anniversary coming up Angie jokingly admits she should have thought through their vow of love forever, “in sickness and in health.”
Even though these two are very serious about their work, it’s clear that a great sense of humor goes a long way, as they plan for lots of years still ahead.
“Even though neither of the boys were interested in learning the jewelry business, now with the granddaughter it’s another chance that she will,” Dale said. According to the longtime store owner, he’s already sitting with her at his desk, and while she holds his tools he thinks to himself, Jewels by Saylor Margaret has a really nice ‘ring’ to it.
In closing, Angie said the last 40 years working together with her husband “seem like a dream.”
Dale and Angie are open for business most days of the week, except on Wednesdays, and Sundays, when they can be found worshipping at New Beginnings Community Church.
Cutline: Dale and Angie Copeland minding the store on the Downtown Square with the help of Layla. (Davis Coen)
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