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Castles to celebrate 25 years of business

Photo by Donna Campbell/ Joshua Holcomb (left) and Castles owner Cathy Franck help Jason Gaskin decide which outfit to buy for Gaskin’s wife. Castles celebrates 25 years in Brookhaven on Friday with giveaways and store specials from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo by Donna Campbell/
Joshua Holcomb (left) and Castles owner Cathy Franck help Jason Gaskin decide which outfit to buy for Gaskin’s wife. Castles celebrates 25 years in Brookhaven on Friday with giveaways and store specials from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Twenty-five years ago, Cathy Franck never thought she’d be celebrating a quarter century milestone as owner of Castles, a ladies apparel shop in Brookhaven.

But her customers believed in her from the start.

To thank them, she’s hosting a 25th birthday party Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the store on Brookway Drive.

“I’m only here because of the customers,” Franck said. “I have great employees and great customers.”

With balloons and cake come deals and door prizes. She’s offering customers 25 percent savings storewide and 25 door prizes, one for each year she’s been in business.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 11 a.m. followed by free hamburgers, chips and drinks until 1 p.m.

Brookhaven jewelry artist Kasi Johnson of KLJ Limited is planning a trunk show during the festivities. Johnson designs jewelry to match outfits in Franck’s store and she’ll have several new pieces to display.

Franck’s opened Castles, which is a family name, in 1991 after moving back to Brookhaven from Colorado. The first boutique was located downtown.

She moved the store to its current location at 534 Brookway Boulevard in 1994.

It’s hard to miss. It’s a huge gray castle on the north side of the road.

Franck helped design it.

Inside are Merle Norman cosmetics and racks of ladies’ clothes by designers her customers have come to love and request. Women drive from as far away as New Orleans and Kosciusko to shop there, she said. She prides herself on the service her customers receive when they shop at Castles.

“I want to make people happy,” she said. “I also want to surround myself with people who make others laugh, help us forget the bad and inspire us to focus upon good. I want to love those who treat others right and pray for those who fail to do so.

“Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a natural part of life, but getting back up is what living is all about.”

Without her supportive family, friends and employees, Franck believes she would have been challenged to achieve what she has through almost 25 years in retail.

“I’m giving back to Brookhaven what they’ve given me,” she said.

Her staff includes her mother, Jetty Gary and her sister, Carol Gary, as well as Cindy Townsend and Tina Brister-Ates.