Cornerstone Businesses

Our 16 Cornerstone Businesses have been successful through the decades.  We asked each of them for the most useful advice that they would share with someone who wants to start a small business. These valuable insights form a guidebook to anyone who provides products or services to the public.
Mr. Woodrow Parks, Parks Clothing Shop, 1947
“Have ample cash flow to keep your head above water. Select the type of business that you would be happy operating.” Woodrow Parks

Billie Wimpy, A.G. Wimpy Company, 1945
“Always be dependable and available to your customers.” Billie Wimpy
The West Family, West Cleaners, 1934
“Stay involved with your business.  Build a good customer relationship and deliver your promises made to your customers.” Derrell, Jewell, & Carol West
Paul and Frankie Stringer, Stringer Insurance, 1954
“Have a good product, and always give your customers the very best service.” Paul & Frankie Stringer
Roberta Butler Green Sims, beginning with Wellworth’s 5 and 10 Store, 1955
“The two most important things that have contributed to my success are to have the Lord’s blessing and hard work.” Roberta Butler Green Sims
Ruby Gooch, Ruby’s Precision Hair Kutters, 1960

“Work hard. Be honest. Enjoy your work. Get to know people, and be a friend. Be educated in your work, and know what you are talking about.” Ruby Gooch
Dover Family, Vic and Melissa, Dover Realty, 1961
“Have integrity and honor, work hard, and build client relationships that last a lifetime.” Vic & Melissa Dover
Norman Adams, Adams Insurance, 1961
“Be honest. Treat all your customers the way you would like to be treated (use the golden rule).” Norman Adams
The Welch Family, The Smith House, 1970
“Don’t expect business to always be good.  If you’re in it long enough it will be like a rollercoaster ride.  It will have its ups and downs.” Freddie & Shirley Welch
Jon and Jay Stone, 1970
“Have unique merchandise and good prices.  Keep regular business hours. Open on holidays. Don’t let your employees park out front.” Jon & Jay Stone
Alton Jarrard, Woody’s Barber Shop, 1971
“Keep regular hours; don’t be tempted to close just because business might be slow that day.  Be honest. Give good service.” Alton Jarrard
Brad Walker, Brad Walker Pottery, 1976
“Start your business with conviction, desire, and hard work!” Brad Walker
Mary Miller, Golden Antiques, presently The Bear’s Den at Mary’s Mini-Mall, 1977
“My husband Don, an attorney, always advised clients who planned to a start a business to have enough capital to be able to operate at least a year at a loss.” Mary Miller
Rachel Wilkerson, The Gold Shop, 1977
“My dad taught me this. He said, ‘Keep yourself on the other side of the counter.’ That is our rule for good customer service.” Rachel Wilkerson

Debbie and John Owens, the Fudge Factory, 1982
“In whatever business a young person may go into, most important are honesty and integrity in all business dealings — with employees, customers, suppliers, creditors, advisors, etc.  Treat all people the way you would want to be treated.” Tony Owens
Thomas Scanlin, Studio Jewelers, 1982
“Keep and nurture your sense of humor,think globally, be flexible, watch your cash flow and debt load, keep it fun, and give back to the community in which you live.” Thomas Scanlin