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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.”

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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