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Finalist-ACS 2003 - Camden & Co.

Where carrie bradshaw would shop ... if she lived in Arkansas.

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Camden & Co., Jonesboro, AR

OWNER: Pam Hyneman; DESIGNERS: Jeff and Janice Cranford/Pam Hyneman; PROJECT COST: $50,000; ADDRESS: 2704 Alexander Drive, Suite A, Jonesboro, AR 72401; PHONE: (870) 932-6456, (800) 400-6456; DESIGN ADVICE: “What worked for us was having a central color and theme that we followed from the inception. The advanced marketing, billboards, fixtures, packaging, silk drapes and the interior from the stain glass doors to the bathroom reflect a Moulin Rouge atmosphere! Donʼt hesitate to be extreme. Big is good, but exaggerated is better!”


WHEN PAM HYNEMAN wanted to open up her fourth outlet, she had a public relations firm size up the best area in Jonesboro for the very special store she wanted to bring to life. They advised her to snap up this Alexander Drive property, so she did, in September 2002, and she has never looked back.

Continental DiamondPamʼs extravagant store is unashamedly aimed at women shoppers, and itʼs clear that thereʼs any moderating masculine hand wishing to tone down this palace of pink has been thoroughly overruled — although you would have to speak to co-designer Jeff Cranford about that. Jeff and his partner, Janice, who also manages Camden and Co, worked on all three of Pamʼs previous stores, so when she told them she wanted a “shocking store, with the look of Moulin Rouge,” they were happy to oblige. The team had a raw building to work with, so the whole floor plan was put in anew. Pam wanted to create a non-intimidating store where women can come and be themselves, and coo over some of the storeʼs quirkier design features, not to mention the jewelry. One example is the lifesize portrait of Marilyn Monroe perched on the commode in the bathroom, flanked by the immortal words, “Diamonds are a girlʼs best friend!”

Continental Diamond interior
The doors to Camden and Co feature the storeʼs logo in stained glass, which Pam says is “gorgeous when the sun hits it in the morning.” Once inside, customers are greeted by washed pink walls and a black-and-white leopard skin print carpet. The ceiling is black and features long lights hooded in black and pink, and even the safe is pink. Thereʼs an 18th-Century gilded display case which teams up with two matching hall mirrors, and Pam particularly prides herself on her innovative jewelry displays. She says, “Our jewelry isnʼt displayed in a conventional format, but rather has a theme or color story, always with an air of surprise.” There are heavy red drapes which help to add a sense of drama, as well as being practical for when the store has private showings or events. At the back of the store is an unusual addition for a jewelry store: a kitchen area that looks as though it has just been plucked from someoneʼs bachelorette apartment, complete with the wicked inscription “Coffee Bitches.” Pam believes that the storeʼs atmosphere of fun and playful self-indulgence helps put her customers at ease, and higher sales at this store indicate her theory is bearing fruit.

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Despite the girliness of the store, the panel arenʼt as divided among gender lines as one might predict. The highest mark comes from Debbie, who compliments “the low-hanging lights, art on the walls, black lacquer tower cases, large plants and Victorian style seating. It creates a mood and follows through!” Penny, too, laps up the design, saying, “Wonderful color … Unabashedly going after women who like jewelry. I like her attitude!” Brett is ambivalent about the store, and while Fred finds it a little rich for his blood, Marilyn works her charm on even him, as he adds, “That bathroom is a gas!” RoxAnna, however, has this advice for Pam: “It seems a bit cluttered and confusing, with too many different elements. Simplify.”

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