By Marie Roberts / Guest writer
The Meridian Star
Known best for his popular jewelry line, Ronaldo visited Southern Accents and Gifts in Meridian on Thursday in celebration of the storefront’s sister business, Southern Business Supply’s 28th year in operation.
Store owner Jeanne Calvert-Jones, a resident of the Porterville community, said she strives to provide the area with a unique and hospitable shopping experience, which led to hosting the original trunk show for Ronaldo this past summer.
“Southern Accents is a boutique that has southern hospitality and we try to offer the hottest trends,” Calvert-Jones said.
Ronaldo, who has gained a nationwide fan base in recent months, is quickly becoming a voice for American politics as he speaks out in support of American made products and American based philanthropy work.
“I will never do anything overseas. We are an American company, and I am going to keep it that way,” Ronaldo said.
The jewelry designer uses profits earned from his 30-plus years of success in jewelry making to fund more than 55 charitable organizations, and strives to use his company as a platform for change.
“We are a faith-based company and we are 100 percent American made," Ronaldo said. "I want my company and my designs to be relatable to all.”
Calvert-Jones shares this philosophy in making positive changes here at home. Southern Accents and Southern Business Supply, celebrated its ninth year of business in May, and offers a bridal registry, collegiate memorabilia, custom monogramming and home décor.
“We are definitely three stores in one to serve most of a person’s needs,” Calvert-Jones said.
For Ronaldo, making a difference in home starts from the ground up, which is how he continues to run his now not-so-small business. His brand will feature a children’s clothing line next spring, where a percentage of proceeds will go directly to benefit children’s charities in the United States.
In his usually quirky style, Ronaldo donned a custom Fedora hat while interacting with customers throughout the event. An accessory, he said, that became a necessity after having thyroid issues more than 10 years ago. Southern Accents and Gifts employees, as well as some customers, sported Fedoras in support of the well-known jewelry designer.
As for his jewelry line, each piece tells a unique story. During the lunch hour, Ronaldo hosted a giveaway for customers visiting the Marion-based business, and more than nine participants were rewarded with the opportunity to select a free bracelet that helped “express their own story,” Ronaldo said.
Shopper Evelyn Smith drove from Livingston, Ala. to purchase an early Christmas gift for her mother, a breast cancer survivor. Smith chose the Hope bracelet and had Ronaldo sign the inside of the gift box.
A percentage of the proceeds made from each sale of a Hope bracelet goes to breast cancer research.
“He snapped a photo with me and I really enjoyed being able to celebrate Southern Accents and Southern Business Supply’s anniversary,” Smith said. “Both Ronaldo and Mrs. Jeanne Calvert-Jones are so pleasant and genuinely kind.”