"It's not so much about a sale as it is about having fun." said Pam Hyneman, owner of Jonesboro's Camden & CO. The fun-loving attitude that so defines Pam is also her approach to business. “It is a joy to come to work everyday,” she said.
But Pam doesn’t conduct her business alone; longtime friend Janice Cranford is by her side. It is their friendship that helped get Camden & Co. where it is today. “Our friendship just naturally carried us into business together," explained Janice.
When Pam approached Janice about the designing the store, Janice told her, “You better be careful what you ask for – you just might get it.” And get it she did! Janice and her husband Jeff designed the store to reflect Pam’s personality. Her Vibrant personality manifests itself in color-washed pink walls, leopard print carpet, and the signature Camden & Co. bathroom. Janice’s design efforts have paid off. In 2003, Camden & Co. was chosen as one of “America’s Coolest Stores” by InStore magazine. Described as “where Carrie Bradshaw would shop if she lived in Arkansas”, the store has been designated as one of the country’s best jewelry stores, rivaling renowned New York and Los Angeles shops.
Not only is the shop “cool”, but Pam makes sure that Camden & Co. has a happy and positive atmosphere. That atmosphere is one of the things that repeatedly draws customers back. But visits to jewelry store are not always shopping expeditions. Pam has hosted everything from bachelorette parties to birthday parties in her store at customers’ request. They request such parties because Pam and Janice have created such a welcoming atmosphere.
But Pam isn’t just a party girl. When it comes to jewelry, she knows her stuff. “I learn something new from her just about every day,” said Janice. Pam’s knowledge is extensive. She is Graduate Gemologist, from the (GIA) Gemological Institute of America, an American Gem Society (AGS) Jeweler, and has studied the history of jewelry extensively. In fact, Pam is the only jeweler in Arkansas who has studied at Sotheby’s Institute in London, England, where she learned from the worlds leading authorities. Pam is in demand as a speaker across the country. Janice and Pam take their show on the road where they teach people short seminars on various topics dealing with all aspect of Jewelry.
Being able to travel the country to teach others how to appreciate jewelry is a well-deserved privilege for Pam and Janice. Both women have contributed much to the community. Janice is an active member of First Untied Methodist and has done extensive fund-raising for St. Jude and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Pam is the founding president of Jonesboro Circle of Friends, donates time and money to local charities. Both women are also Junior Auxiliary Life members.
While community service is an important element in their lives, family and friendship are crucial for Pam and Janice. And those friendships are what make Camden & Co. such a success. “It’s all about women’s friendship and women helping each other,’ said Pam.