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Helene is crystal clear about Crystal Couture

By Bonnie Bucy Living Writer • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:21 PM

Helene Singer Cash has been a blur of motion for nearly all her life. She claimed Philadelphia as her birthplace, but said her early life was spent between there and Atlantic City, N.J.

“I attended high school and college in St. Petersburg, Fla., graduating from the University of Tampa with an international business degree,” she said. “I came to Tennessee for the first time when I finished school.”

The St. Petersburg area of the country brought another historic point into her life in the form of Robert Cash. A friend had introduced them, they liked each other, had their first date Feb. 12 and just stayed together. Nearly 10 years later, she was attending a sales conference in Phoenix, Ariz., so she and Robert planned a trip built around the event. They had driven to Flagstaff, Ariz., the Grand Canyon and finally arrived in Las Vegas. When they left Vegas, they were married.

“We still don’t know why we eloped to Vegas after being together for 10 years,” Cash said. “We still count our anniversary date from that first Feb. 12 date, not from the time we actually got married.”

From the time she was a child, Cash said she always wanted to work for Chanel.

“I had moved to Nashville and was working as a paralegal when they launched Chanel’s Coco, the first scent after her passing,” said Cash. “Dillard’s had opened in Cool Springs, and I went calling on Chanel. They were going to put me in the Donna Karan clothing line, but I defied them and told them if I couldn’t work Chanel, I wouldn’t work anywhere there. I guess they took me seriously, because I stayed in that specific store for a year and with Chanel for the next 10 years starting as a counter girl, went to Atlanta and then back to Nashville as a retail market manager.”

Cash has also worked in Dillard’s corporate and store management and served as national operations manager for the Oreck Vacuum Cleaner Corp.

“Oreck is the vacuum equivalent of Chanel,” said Cash. “They came to me, and I spent over a year in New Orleans with Oreck. I can still take that motor apart and clean it and put it back together. I can’t even believe I can do that.”

She also spent time with the division of L’Oréal that represented two of their luxury hair care products, Kérastase and Shu Uemura.

“Not many people realize I have the marketing background, fashion and other experience I have,” said Cash. “Even my parents had fashion stores of their own.”

Then, about 15 years ago, Cash’s mother-in-law fell ill and needed full-time care. She and her husband went back to Florida to take care of her until they finally had to move them to Tennessee. After caring for them around the clock for a rather long time, Cash said she needed to do more...to expand her business efforts.

Cash started to do Bling decorating on pieces from her parents’ stores. This practice has grown to the point she is now getting “to play with my folks on a regular basis.” When she got her in-laws settled in, Cash opened up a new outlet at Opry Mills Mall in the Black Lion multi-store there. That was about a year before Opryland suffered a devastating flood.

“When the flood there happened in the fall of 2010, I knew it was an omen,” said Cash. “I had already been a consumer here in Lebanon because I had shopped here.  I liked the warm feeling that permeated from it everywhere I went. I knew Lebanon had to be the Crystal Couture’s new home, so I started looking at space. We opened on the square a little more than 3 1/2 years ago.”

Cash has been in the 3,000-square-foot space since opening in Lebanon and knew some time ago she was going to need more. She found 8,600 square feet in the bend of the square just up from where her current quarters sit. One thing after another prevented her move into the expanded space.

“We are so excited because it’s finally going to come to pass,” said Cash. “We will be in there in June and should be able to party by the Fourth of July this summer.”

Cash said the store will expand the number of sizes it carries. The store will feature many more shoes and include a spa, featuring medically aesthetic massages, etc. All the bling will be back in jewelry, watches, purses, clothing, etc. 

“The people here didn’t know me from Adam, but they embraced me from the beginning,” said Cash. “The community was so generous and kind to us, we wanted to respond in kind. So, we continuously try to give back. Whether we sit on a board, donate an auction item for a fundraiser or sponsor an event, we live in a very generous community and want to continue to be a part of that nature of a community.”

Cash said her family consists of her sweet husband and their Rat Pack of dogs, namely Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford. New Leash on Life is one of her favorite charities, and their third puppy came through the shelter from the last puppy mill raid. Oh, they also had a cat named Sammy.

She said they love working with United Way and the Lebanon High School Band Boosters’ Second Chance Prom where she and her husband were named the first king and queen of the ball in 2011. 

Upcoming in May is the Cannon Balls for Charis fundraiser.

Robert Cash has now retired so he can take care of his mother. 

She was moved to Tennessee into a small condo with around the clock help, and it’s working out the best at the present.

“We’ve been through the assisted living and other quarters, but this is working for the moment,” said Cash.

She said they don’t get to freely travel as much as they’d like, but they do get to go to Las Vegas from two to four times a year for fashion shows and business.

“I also still love to go to New York to shop and attend fashion shows. I just returned from there on a business trip. It was a blustery 28 degrees, but we walked all over Chinatown,” she said.

Cash said she loves to travel, but she’s always glad to get back home to Lebanon. On that note, she said she was thankful for the flood that removed her from Opry Mills and brought her to the place where she calls home.

“Continue to come see us at our present location, but watch for our big move in a month or so. We can’t wait to show off our new quarters,” she said.

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