Danny Dossett Malone has discovered the perfect boss -- his customers.
On July 5, the seasoned jeweler opened his own store, Malone’s Jewelers, located at 332 Gill St. in Alcoa.
In an interview shortly after he opened, Malone said every customer is his boss. “You tell them what you can do and most of the time, customers don’t put you under the gun,” he said. “They know it takes a little while to get a job done.”
Malone said his strengths are customer service and quality, intricate work. “I treat people right. If you do, they’ll always come back. I don’t try to take advantage of them, and I do good work for them.”
Another strength evident with Malone is that he hasn’t let having a disability get in the way of building his career in the jewelry business. A week after he graduated from Heritage High School in 1982, Malone was in a motorcycle accident that left him a paraplegic.
He said that before the wreck he had gone out on one date with the woman who would become his wife. “She stuck with me all these years,” he said of Michelle Wettergreen Malone. The couple has been married 27 years.
His daughter, Meagan Malone, 20, said she is proud of her dad. “I’ve been waiting for him to open his own store,” she said. “I’m super excited because I know he has always wanted to open his own place, and he really deserves it.”
Danny said when his children were growing up, working for someone else allowed him to be involved in their activities. “All my kids were into sports growing up, and it was easier for me to work for someone else and let them have the headache of owning a business. Now I feel I have time and can concentrate on running my business.”
The couple has a son, Michael, who is 23, and twin daughters, Meagan and Monica. Michael was recently accepted to the University of Tennessee School of Law. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt. His wife is from Sacramento and graduated from Vandy as well. Monica attends Middle Tennessee State University, and Meagan is studying at Tennessee Wesleyan College.
Danny attended Gem City College in Quincy, Ill. after encouragement from his mother and friends.
“My mom knew I liked to work with my hands. She said ‘You would like working with jewelry.’ I talked with Mr. Clyde Ray Tipton and John Cable, and they told me I should go into jewelry repair over watch repair. At that point I went to Gem City College,” he said.
After school, Danny worked at local jewelry stores and later as an independent contractor at various jewelry businesses and for individuals. Danny said his work experience and Maryville roots have helped him grow his own business more quickly. “I’ve been in the community so long, people know me. Each week we’ve gotten more business,” he said.
The veteran jewelry professional said he chose a small shop so he can offer lower prices to his customers. If customers do not find what they are looking for, he can either order it or make the jewelry himself.
“We can pretty much do anything they want, or we’ll figure out a way to get it done,” he said.
Business hours for Malone’s Jewelers, 332 Gill Street, Alcoa., are Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Sundays. They can be reached at 865-233-5605.