An Interview With James (Jimmy) Davis for The Pretty Gritty

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This article appears in the December 2013 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, visit Loumag.com.

Have you always dressed well for work?

“Well, you know, when you come to work, you gotta dress up. My brother (Benn Davis, 98, owner of Seng Jewelers) says he has nothing to wear because he wears his best clothes every day.”

What are some essential jewelry pieces that men can buy?

“They can buy a tie tack. We can set them with little diamonds. Men are buying more jewelry than they used to buy — mostly rings, bracelets and necklaces.”

Do you have a favorite fashion era that you wish would make a comeback?

“Well, I think people are dressing more casual, but as far as missing another fashion era, I really don’t. You have to go with the flow. The styles change. When I got married, women stayed at home, took care of the kids. Today, everyone works. Everything changes.”

What do you enjoy in your free time?

“I love to read. I just finished reading a book about Steve Jobs. The guy’s a real genius. (Pulls out an iPhone with a multi-colored neon case.) I just gotta keep up with the modern generation.”

What’s the most important piece of jewelry?

“The diamond engagement and wedding ring. That’s what starts everything out. Every girl’s gotta have a diamond engagement ring. We have an antique jewelry department. It’s nostalgia; people want something that’s part of the past, part of their family.”

 

What pins are you wearing?

“This (diamond pin) is a Shriner pin. I’ve been a Shriner for over 65 years. And these are my initials (on this tie tack). We made these originally for collar pins. Gentleman still wear pins; they want equal rights (laughs).” 

What is your philosophy as a store owner?

“My idea isn’t to get too big. You have chain stores — nothing wrong with them — but they don’t have personality! You do what you do to keep people happy. I’ve even delivered rings to the church so they could have a wedding. It’s been a real pleasure.”

Interview by Amber Garvey

Photos by Brett Marshall

For more local street style, check out our collaborator the Pretty Gritty (theprettygritty.com), a blog that's the product of Kertis Creative and its team of roaming photographers.

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