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Lamon sees dream become reality

Howard Lamon dreamed of owning a log cabin for nine years, and his dream recently came to fruition. Lamon, owner of Lamon Jewelers on Kingston Pike, completed renovations that turned his jewelry store into a log cabin and doubled the space of his business.

“We decided a log cabin goes with the image we want to project to people,” Lamon said. “A log cabin is an expression of love, joy, fun and excitement. That’s what we want our customers to feel when they come here.”

The exterior of the building resembles something out of the Appalachian past. Lamon said he imported 20 tons of rock from Middle Tennessee for the landscaping and the stone columns, which face Kingston Pike.

“We decided to have only one entrance and exit for security purposes,” he said. “We made it the back door because back door friends are best.”

The gas-powered fireplace in the showroom gives the feel of neighborly warmth, a feeling Lamon is hopeful will be felt by all customers.

The height of the exterior chimney attached to the fireplace is a little higher than average.

“I remember when they put me on a boom and asked me to decide how high I wanted it to be,” Lamon said. “I kept having them raise it higher and higher until I could see Papermill Drive, about two miles away.”

Lamon plans to turn his business into a landmark by placing a large, lighted diamond on top of the chimney during the coming year.

The interior of the building expanded to almost 4,000 square feet of space, but Lamon said linear inches of showcases, not square feet, are the benchmark for expansion.

“We were doing two-and-a-half times the business according to the national average for a store of this size,” he said. “Now we meet the national average.”

The idea for the log cabin appearance came from a dream Lamon carried for many years.

“I grew up on a dairy farm in Blount County,” he said. “I always thought how wonderful it would be to relax in a log cabin with a view of the mountains.”

He and his wife purchased land with that goal in mind, but Lamon said long hours at work and then a commute made him rethink his dream. He enjoys working with his customers, which is why he continues to work more than 60 hours a week.

Lamon said the friendliness and caring of his staff, most of whom are family members, are what keep his customers returning.

“We’ve had customers come in here bring us a fresh-baked plum cake because they were worried we were working so hard,” he said. “There’s no business in Knoxville that can touch us in terms of customer service.”

It’s that hard work, a positive attitude and a Christ-centered focus that Lamon credits as the cause of his success.

“We celebrate Christmas around here, not a holiday,” he said.

In addition to selling jewelry, Lamon and his wife, Ann, have started their own line of watches.

“We named the line after Lydia, the first woman baptized by the apostle Paul,” Lamon said. “We copyrighted it and we will begin marketing them nationally early next year.”

The Lamons also sell a product not usually associated with jewelry stores — stuffed bears. These large, stuffed bears, which sit on the floor and allow children to recline in them, are imports Lamon uses to benefit both the community and his customers.

“We take the profit we make from the bears and use it to purchase duffel bags for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services,” he said.

The customer purchasing a bear then receives a tax credit as if they had made a donation directly to the department, Lamon said.

It’s just one more thing we do to help our customers,” he said.


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