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North Carolina Metalsmith Finds Inspiration in Breaking the Mold

Never say “no” to the client, he says.





William Travis Kukovich founded William Travis Jewelry in Chapel Hill, NC, in 2003 and opened a new store 10 years later. A fifth-generation metalsmith, he started working with his grandfather, father and brother when he was just 12 years old. Says Kukovich: “As I grew older, I started narrowing down my ideas when it came to jewelry. Every time I made a piece I thought, ‘How can I make it different?’ And here I am today, following my passion, as I continue to push ideas and design to the edge.”



He Doubled His Sales Goals with Wilkerson

John Matthews, owner of John Michael Matthews Fine Jewelry in Vero Beach, Florida, is a planner. As an IJO member jeweler, he knew he needed an exit strategy if he ever wanted to g the kind of retirement he deserved. He asked around and the answers all seemed to point to one solution: Wilkerson. He talked to Rick Hayes, Wilkerson president, and took his time before making a final decision. He’d heard Wilkerson knew their way around a going out of business sale. But, he says, “he didn’t realize how good it was going to be.” Sales goals were “ambitious,” but even Matthews was pleasantly surprised. “It looks like we’re going to double that.”

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