Ray’s Indian Originals in Avondale to close

Posted by Dena Mellick November 4, 2015
Mark Belcher holds up a photo of the old Ray's store. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Mark Belcher holds up a photo of the old Ray’s store. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Longtime Avondale Estates business Ray’s Indian Originals is closing its doors on December 30.

The announcement came in a city email, which said, “What started as a radio and jukebox repair business by Ray Belcher in 1948 evolved into a family-operated Native American gallery, Ray’s Indian Originals, by 1972.”

Earlier this year, Avondale Estates recognized the family of Ray Belcher, the man behind Ray’s Indian Originals, for being in business in the city for 66 years. State Rep. Karla Drenner, D-Avondale Estates even drafted a resolution on the family’s behalf.

Mark Belcher and his brother Jonathan run the business. Mark previously told Decaturish the family was pleased to see their father’s business recognized. Ray Belcher passed away in 2005, but Mark said the honor meant a lot to their mother, Peggy, who started the American Indian apparel business.

The city email said the Belcher family wanted to thank the residents of Avondale Estates for supporting the family businesses over the years. They also thanked Rep. Drenner for the recognition of Ray’s accomplishments.

The email said the date of an open house to celebrate Native American Heritage Month and to thank the community will be scheduled soon.

Here’s the full announcement from the city:

Ray’s Indian Originals Set to Close Its Doors

What started as a radio and jukebox repair business by Ray Belcher in 1948 evolved into a family-operated Native American gallery, Ray’s Indian Originals, by 1972. Over the years, the store had visits from celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Timothy B. Schmit, Kevin Costner and Nelson Mandella. In recent years, the brick and mortar store struggled as the online store flourished causing the owners to make the decision to close their doors on Wednesday, December 30, 2015.

The Belcher family would like to thank all the residents of Avondale Estates for supporting their family businesses over the years. Also, Karla Drenner, State Representative, for having Ray’s accomplishments recognized by the State of Georgia.
The family will be hosting an open house to celebrate Native American Heritage Month and to say thank you to the Avondale Estates community for supporting them over the years. All are invited to attend. Date and details to be announced.

About Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of Decaturish.com.

View all posts by Dena Mellick

  • Angela PM

    Ah, complete with misspelling. Sigh. It’s ≠ its. (The headline of the city press release.)

    • Damnit. We should’ve caught that. Thanks. We had a long night …

      • dred7

        Ah, Angela PM is completely wrong. Sigh. The world is rife with instances of bad grammar. This is not one of those instances. There are many online resources available: use them.

        In this instance, its is possessive. It’s would be read as “it is.” As in, “Ray’s Indian Originals Set to Close IT IS doors.” Is that better?

        Free and useful: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/660/1/

        • dred7

          Hey, I just realized that this correction was already made and that APM’s comment was referring to the story prior to the correction that you must have made. Sorry for the unnecessary response, Angela. You were right, based on the initial story (which I hadn’t seen).

  • Viola M

    A sad day. Avondale needs more retailers like Ray’s selling useful consumables and essential neighborhood services. After Dec. 30 I’m not sure where I’ll go for the navajo rugs and feather headdresses I buy every week.

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