Style Icons: Virginia & George Jones

Owners, Snoozy’s Bookstores & Snoozy’s Kids

by Tracy Robinson

Photography by Joe Desciose

Per Se dress; Snoozy’s Kids rhinestone bracelet; Black patent pumps with ankle strap, Virginia has had so long the brand has worn off on the inside. On George – Versace suit, purchased at NYC’s Century 21 for $100; Banana Republic shirt; Pocket square from Zoe’s Consignment in Forest Park; Ferragamo shoes.

I know I’ve chosen the right couple to feature in my Valentine’s edition of Style Icon when I spot the small heart-shaped rocks on a lovely end table in the living room of Virginia & George Jones. The frequent travelers explain the collection is the result of a long-standing tradition to find and gather these special souvenirs no matter where they are. France is a favorite destination, and the Joneses are admitted francophiles, evidenced by much of their home decor and their local restaurant of choice, Chez FonFon. Even the family dog Hugo is named after Les Miserables author Victor.

Rolling up the sleeves of his shabby-chic navy blazer complete with red elbow patches (found at a vintage store in Rennes, France), George motions toward a large stack of leather-bound photo albums. “Let me show you our children, we’re very proud.” Growing up traveling with their parents, the Jones children developed a love for life overseas. Daughter Lillian, 21, is an au pair in Munich, Germany, and son Jackson, 23, is working on a Masters in International Business in Brest, France.

For George & Virginia, vacationing is a rewarding respite from their busy lives, spent running the family businesses: Snoozy’s Bookstore at UAB and Jeff State, and Snoozy’s Kids in Crestline.

While the Joneses will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary this May, the spark lit when they first met as students at Huntington College still burns bright.  “The problem Virginia has with shopping is…look at her…everything is amazing on her!” George gushes. Indeed, at a statuesque 5’11”, Virginia wears clothes well. A fan of local boutiques, Virginia favors picking up unique items here and there as opposed to purchasing an outfit right off the mannequin. She describes her everyday look as “jeans and something funky.” That funky piece might be a posh jacket by Carlisle, whose decadent showroom Virginia enjoys visiting when attending the NYC market, or a cool jewelry piece from Snoozy’s Kids.

Chic (and affordable) jewelry surrounds the register at Snoozy’s Kids. Several years ago, George realized that the majority of his customers were moms purchasing for their children, for birthday parties, etc., and astutely surmised that they just might want something for themselves. Thus he has developed a keen eye for finding and stocking a variety of accessories that stylish southern women want to buy, even keeping tabs on hot, celebrity favorite items (like the Rachel Zoe recommended handbag that sold like gangbusters). Spring 2012 trends include bright color in jewelry and scarves, retro-vibe color blocking, and hobo bags, including ones from Big Buddha that have a “Missoni-ish” look, reports George.

When dressing himself, George often turns to one of his signature blazers or a printed button-down shirt. He loves finding a great sale, whether while in NYC at H&M, Zara or Century 21, or shopping locally at Shaia’s for shoes and at Saks “because they carry my size,” says the slim and trim George.

As our interview concludes, the Joneses are preparing to have friends over for dinner, one of their favorite pastimes. Virginia handles the cooking, while George crafts the tablescapes, a talent he learned by merchandising his own store. “George is very creative, better than he knows,” Virginia says, squeezing George’s arm. “You didn’t even know you had a such good eye until you started doing all this, did you?” Smiling back, George responds, “I picked you, didn’t I?”

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