Family First: Elizabeth and Susan Darden

By Leslie Moore

Family First: Elizabeth and Susan Darden

Susan Darden and Elizabeth Darden, Darden Jewelers

Tell us a little about yourselves.

Susan: I am originally from Lancaster, South Carolina. I met my late husband Buzz when he moved to Lancaster to manage Darden Jewelers. We married in l971 and moved to Conway and later to Murrells Inlet.

Elizabeth: I grew up in Conway, but now live in Murrells Inlet. After I graduated from USC, I lived in Columbia for 10 years. I wanted to be back at the beach, so I moved here and started working in the family business.

Susan: Darden Jewelers is the oldest jewelry store in Horry County. My father-in-law opened the first store in Conway in 1940. In the l950s he opened a store in Myrtle Beach and one in Georgetown. The Lancaster store was opened in the 1960s. My husband and our son Stuart opened the Inlet Square Mall store in l989, and we moved to our current location across from the mall in 2000.

Please share one of your favorite memories of your mother.

Susan: My mother was a lovely southern lady. She was a stay-at-home mom who loved to bake; she was never without her pearls. Even sick, Mom never missed her Thursday morning hair appointment.

Elizabeth: I have always loved going shopping with my mother, and we have made many trips to Charlotte and NYC. And, we love to play tennis together.

What are your plans for Mother’s Day?

Susan: I will go out to lunch with Elizabeth, Stuart, his wife, Lora and my 8 year old grandson, Tyler. It’s a day for family time.

What is the best thing about working together as mother and daughter?

Elizabeth: Working with Mom is easy – we know each other! She keeps me at my best and makes me want to do better.

Susan: I learn so much from my children, whether we agree or disagree we are still family and love each other. My children are the third generation in the jewelry business – that in itself is an accomplishment in today’s world. Being a small family business, our long time customers become family too. We are now serving third generation customers. My life, both family and business, has come full circle, much like a cherished ring passed down through the generations.

What’s new at Darden Jewelers?

Elizabeth: We say “Darden is for Diamonds,” because customers are able to choose their diamond before it is set and have it designed especially for them. We also love gemstones and have a lot of wonderful items that would make special Mother’s Day gifts. Our selections are not the typical run of the mill item you see everywhere. We also do in-house jewelry repair!

Darden Jewelers is located at 2078 Highway 17 Bypass, Unit C, in Murrells Inlet, across from Inlet Square Mall. Hours are 10 am-5:30 pm, Monday-Friday and 10 am-2 pm on Saturday. Call 843-651-5067 for more information.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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