The business was started in 1974 by Jay, Helen, and their daughter Linda. They built the business by doing jewelry shows, swap meets, and arts and craft fairs all over the country. Jay made some of the sterling silver jewelry himself by converting a storage room into a small shop to supply some of the beginning inventory. Jay has some of his jewelry in many museums and gift stores across the country and still practiced his silversmithing until he passed at age 90 in 2015.
Jay's Indian Arts opened their first store near the corner of 12th and Valencia in Tucson, Az in 1979 and in 1983 a second location opened in Flagstaff, Az. With business booming in 1996, they moved from the South side of Tucson to the current location at the Northwest corner of Speedway and Swan, a more central location in Tucson for their customers, which included a name change to Jay's of Tucson. The Flagstaff location was sold in 2006 with the retirement of Jay and Helen.
Being a true family affair, they have employed more than a dozen family members over the years, and today Linda, Jack and daughter Cherri continue to provide the same outstanding customer service that has made Jay's a successful business.
Jack and Linda have been married since 1988 and are the parents of 5 children/step-children, three daughters and 2 sons; and have 5 grandchildren, and 1 great-granddaughter that they love spending time with. Jack was in the Air Force which brought him to Tucson. Since 1998 he has served the community as a part of the rodeo committee, where he served on the Executive Committee for 6 years, was Vice Chairman for 3 years. Linda was born in Oklahoma but raised in Tucson, now she enjoys quilting, antiquing, and gardening outside of work.
Cherri is a native of Tucson; she graduated from Desert View High School in 1987, and then attended Northern Arizona University where she graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Minor in Sociology. Outside of work she enjoys raising her dogs who are a big part of her family. She is a member of the Desert Wiener Club for Dachshunds and enjoys participating in all their events. She also has started a small business, We 3 Beaders, with her step-sister Jen, and best friend Kristy. They do local craft shows and home parties.