Ginger’s Jewelry has returned to Roanoke.
Ginger Mumpower has reopened her jewelry store on Towne Square Boulevard more than five years after closing it and one in Christiansburg.
“It sure feels good to be back,” Mumpower said.
Mumpower decided to take a break from retail in 2007 after being in business for 25 years – partly to focus on her family, which was struggling with her son’s drug addiction, she said.
She leased the Roanoke store’s building to Samuel’s Jewelers In the meantime, she continued selling Virginia Tech memorial bracelets and other school bracelets online, and she wholesaled her designs to other retailers. She also worked for a business coaching company that sent her to jewelry stores to analyze their business and provide plans for improvements.
At one point, she decided to try to sell the building in Roanoke, as well as her house, so she could move to Smith Mountain Lake, where she opened a store in 2010.
She also made a run for the Virginia House of Delegates in 2011, but was defeated by Greg Habeeb.
She managed all of this while her son’s addiction to heroin landed him in jail, charged with supplying the heroin that caused a former classmate’s death. Spencer Mumpower began serving a four-year prison sentence in a low-security prison in Petersburg on Aug. 1. The Mumpowers, who have been open about their struggle, earlier this year were part of a series published in The Roanoke Times that documented Spencer’s addiction, recovery and efforts to help other addicts.
The timing of his incarceration and Mumpower’s daughter’s departure to college played into her decision to reopen her jewelry store, she said. At the same time, Samuel’s notified her that it would not renew its lease. The building had never sold.
“It was a sign that I was supposed to be back” at the Roanoke store, she said.
Samuel’s closed at the end of August. Mumpower closed her lake store at the beginning of November and opened the Roanoke store a few weeks later.
Already, the opening has been a success, she said. Old customers have come by, including one woman who told Mumpower that she had pierced the woman’s ears when she was 4 years old. Now, that woman wants Mumpower to pierce her daughter’s ears.
The store is carrying Mumpower’s designs, which include the university-themed bracelets and a collapsible cross necklace that Mumpower calls “When Life Falls Apart.”
The store also has new lines of jewelry, including Hearts on Fire, Princesse Pearls, I.B. Goodman and Ze Bridal. Mumpower also offers custom designs.
On a recent afternoon, she buzzed around the store’s floor helping a couple with a diamond ring. She was surrounded by some of the same employees who worked with her at the original store and were hired by Samuel’s.
Mumpower said it has been great reconnecting with customers.
“I feel very, very blessed to be in the business I am in, to be part of people’s happiest moments,” she said.
She doesn’t have plans at this point to open any more stores, saying she wants to put her energy into making sure the Roanoke store succeeds.
Also in the column, shops in South Roanoke’s Crystal Spring holding a block party to offer shoppers discounts and raise money for Family Promise of Greater Roanoke, and a carry-out seafood restaurant will open in Roanoke County later this month. Click here to read more.