A Shining Gem on 16th Avenue


Right in the middle of the PineTree Village shopping center on 16th Avenue, you’ll find a real treasure. Hill’s In-House Jewelers is owned by Jeff and Cortney Hill, who have learned over the last nine years how to best meet the jewelry needs of locals and beyond, while also providing amazing customer service. 

Jeff Hill entered the jewelry business in 2003, when he went to work as a jeweler at the long-time downtown Laurel staple, Burton’s Jewelers and Gifts. During his time there, Jeff expanded his knowledge of jewelry as well as jewelry repair and design through hands-on experience and at various trade schools. In 2009, Cortney was brought onto the Burton’s staff by Jeff. When Burton’s closed, Jeff and Cortney both felt it was important that they carry on the tradition of in-house jewelry repair and custom design. They began business together in 2010. 

The Perfect Pair
Jeff and Cortney really do make the perfect pair when it comes to running a successful business. Their distinctly different personalities fit their roles at the store completely. Stop by most any day and you will see Cortney’s smiling face ready to help you find just what you are looking to buy. She’s very intuitive and learns the preferences of her regulars well. On more than one occasion, she has been able to help a husband identify a piece of jewelry that his wife had her heart set on without the wife ever saying so. 

Jeff’s talent lies in taking the design a customer has in mind and making it a reality. Cortney also says that she has been amazed to watch him repair damaged jewelry. “Sometimes we will have people bring in rings or other jewelry that has been badly damaged, and I will even doubt whether or not Jeff can fix it, and yet each and every time, he does,” Cortney says. 

If you visit Hill’s in the late afternoon, you might just encounter a giggling, dirt-covered boy or two as the couple’s two children, Ryan and John, round out the family business. The boys hang out in the store after school and during the summer, and they are always sure to provide some extra entertainment. Ryan, age 7, sticks close to Jeff, taking in all he can, watching his dad create exquisite pieces of jewelry. At only four years old, John enjoys working alongside his mom and picking up sales skills. 

Hill’s carries a large selection of wedding sets, children’s jewelry, birthstones, pearls and stunning pieces by LaFonn. They also have their own line of watches, and they are the only local Kendra Scott retailer. Cortney says that their selection allows them to be a part of big surprises and milestones in the lives of their customers - from birthdays to engagements to anniversaries - and this is one of her favorite parts of the business. 

Jeff and Cortney are proud to be a part of the Laurel business community. Cortney says that they knew from the start that 16th Avenue would be a great place for their business, and they love being located in a shopping center that is easily accessible and has plenty of parking. Starting their business here, they knew that they could create a cohesive relationship with neighboring businesses to help bring continued growth to the community as a whole. 

The Hills also enjoy being able to utilize their business to increase commerce in our area. They are heavily involved in many local community projects. Over the years they have hosted events and have spearheaded fundraisers, giving back to local organizations like the Junior Auxiliary of Laurel. They also sponsor a t-ball team annually through the Sertoma Club of Laurel, and they have a gem mining booth at the South Mississippi Fair each fall. These are just a few ways they enjoy interacting with and being a part of the community that supports them.

When you’re looking for that one of a kind piece for your special someone, Hill’s In-House Jewelers is hands down the right place to find the perfect gift. We are thankful to have them as a part of our community and consider them a standout on 16th Avenue in Laurel. 

If you’re interested in joining the list of patrons for Shop 16th, please check out the website at Shop16th.com for more information.

Stephanie Higginbotham