On the Road

JCK editors are traveling throughout North America to interview independent jewelers in an occasional series titled “On the Road.” The articles will explore the differences and similarities jewelers face managing their businesses in specific regions of the country. Our first two stops are the New Mexico cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. There may be no place in the United States where two cities so close together are so different. Albuquerque is a growing metropolitan area of more than 712,000 (nearly half a million in the city) that combines natural beauty with urban sprawl. The Rio Grande cuts through the center of the city along with two interstate highways. Its near-endless array of strip malls sit in the shadow of the Sandia Mountains. It is also a poor city, reflecting New Mexico’s dubious distinction as one of the poorest states in the union. But a major university, labo

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