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Liberty Shop celebrates 25 years

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2000
Accountants base the life expectancy of small businesses on a mathemathical formula but for Meridianite Robbie Hales, the formula for true success is based on three simple principles.
For 25 years, as the owner of The Liberty Shop, Hales' recipe for success has been paying off. Since October the shop has been celebrating its 25th anniversary without any indication that the trend will slow down.
Hales attributes much of the shop's success to its ability to change over the course of its history, adapting to a changing American culture in women's clothing.
When Hales opened for business in 1975 she had partners in the business including Ina Carmichael, Hazel and Bill Brewster. Now, years after Hales bought out Carmichael's share of the business, her only partner is Bob Longwitz, the son of the Brewsters.
Despite being told by others that the shop wouldn't turn a profit for several years, Hales said it turned one its first year and has never looked back.
She said some of the early success was partially due to the fact that her and other owners named the store after a popular upscale store open in Meridian during the 1940s that was also named The Liberty Shop.
Although the name carried the store to some early success Hales said the driving motivation behind the thriving business has been a personal commitment to its customers.
The shop will host an open house with special sales all next week in conjunction with the store's anniversary.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at