Two years ago Wilson Craig ’ 12 was following a career path familiar toplenty of young Woodberry grads. He’dgraduated from the University of Virginiaafter majoring in history and economics,then taken a job as a commercial real estatefinancial analyst with Wells Fargo in NewYork City.
But whenever Wilson went out for a drinkwith friends or coworkers, he noticed plentyof folks were choosing a drink based onconvenience rather than taste.
“A lot of them were drinking Bud Light,not because they liked it, but because it wasalways available and they knew what they’dget,” he says.
Many of them would have preferred amixed drink, but the quality and consistencyat many bars Wilson and his friendsfrequented were all over the map. And sowhen a jaw surgery left Wilson with severalweeks of recovery time, he decided to spend
BRIAN BOOTH ’00
EVOLVING WITH THE
TIMES IN THE WORLD
WILSON CRAIG ’ 12
BRINGING TIGER SPIRIT
TO THE FAST-GROWING
The jewelry business often has a reputation as being conservative andtraditional.
But from his spot as co-owner andmanager of Booth Custom Jewelers, whichhe and his wife, Lily, founded together in2008, Brian Booth ’00 is watching a businessthat’s evolving quickly to suit changingshopping habits and customer tastes.
“A lot has changed recently,” he says.
“Digital marketing is finally coming to the
fore, and even big-ticket purchases are
After graduating from Woodberry, Brian
studied designed objects, sculpture, and
illustration at the School of the
Art Institute of Chicago. He
then moved to San Francisco
to work for a jewelry
and it was there that he
met Lily, who also worked
in the jewelry business.
The couple moved back to
Brian’s hometown of Raleigh
shortly after they got married
in 2008 and started their business, which
today focuses on estate jewelry
and the Lily Booth collection,
which is designed by Lily
and manufactured by the
“We’re working together
to interpret a creative
vision,” Brian says. “She’s
the style person, and I often
do the function. She does a lot
of the administrative work of the
business while I do production.”
The couple have built a strong reputation
in Raleigh and the surrounding area. And
while word of mouth is still critical in a field
like custom jewelry, the business is seeing
an ever-larger number of sales come from
“A focus for us in 2020 is growing online
and adapting to the times,” he says. “That’s
part of the entrepreneurial spirit; you have
Brian credits Woodberry with giving
him stability and structure at a time he
desperately needed it.
“Woodberry lends itself to excellence,passion, and grit, which are keyentrepreneurial traits,” he says. “Thereare excellent educators who support yougrowing into the best person you can be.”