Design Focus

Brenda Warburton, a jeweler with a string of prestigious design awards, is the co-owner of Austin & Warburton in Ann Arbor, Mich. This story details how she and her husband, Craig, made CAD/CAM technology a major part of their successful retail venture and the role it now plays in her creative process. Brenda Warburton started her career at the bench by attending Gem City College in Quincy, Ill. After graduating in 1978, she got her first bench job from Dobie Jewelers, a retailer in Royal Oaks, Mich. The retailer moved her to a window location in a mall, which generated interest from passersby. Her skills were recognized by personnel from several other jewelry stores who approached her to take in their work. When she reported this to her employer, he encouraged her to start her own business and offered her all of his trade work as well. So in 1979, Warburton became a self- employ
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