The Gadsden Times:

Anna Heard opened the stylish clothing store in 1995 to offer dressy church wear. “Sunday hats and suits you couldn’t find locally,” Heard explained.

Dressing up always has been a passion for Heard. “I used to save my money and catch the bus downtown to put clothes on layaway at specialty shops like Ike Saks, Hadeson’s and Boutique Junkins,” she said. “I always liked the specialty stores because they were unique.”

A unique shopping experience is just what Heard has created with Jireh’s.

“I don’t want to have what the malls have,” she said. “We want something to flatter you and make you feel good. Something that makes your friends say ‘wow, where did you get this?’”

Several times a year, Heard and her husband, Earl, travel to markets across the country to find the items Jireh’s will offer.

“We don’t go on vacation to relax; we go to shop for the store,” she said.

The Heards make pilgrimages to Miami, New York, Dallas and Las Vegas to find the “one-of-a-kind pieces befitting a specialty store.” They order small quantities of each item so customers won’t find themselves wearing the same thing at an event.

Photo by Joi Ito