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Bill Underwood, Founder of Underwoods Fine Jewelers, Sept. 22, 1932 - April 2, 2023 April 11, 2023 (0 comments)


Fayetteville, N.C.--William "Bill" Underwood, the founder and chairman of family-owned Underwoods Fine Jewelers in downtown Fayetteville passed away on April 2 at the age of 90 after a brief battle with cancer.

[Image via TB&P; Photo courtesy the Underwood family]

A report states that Underwood's son, Craig, is the company president and took over most of the business about 14 years ago. Bill launched the business on December 27, 1957, on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, where it still operates today.

An Oklahoma native and former watchmaker in the Navy, Bill purchased the struggling retail store for $1,000 on credit after being offered the opportunity by John Roberts, a company that specialized in manufacturing class rings. After years of hard work, Underwood successfully paid off the credit in three years and earned a business degree from the University of Arkansas in 1961.

Underwoods Fine Jewelers became the first jeweler in Arkansas to earn the Accredited Gem Lab designation from the American Gem Society (AGS) in 1961.

Bill's numerous achievements include serving on the AGS board of directors, creating a unique jewelry piece for the Smithsonian Collection, and being a National Jeweler Hall of Fame member.

He was also recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Sam M. Walton College of Business in 2004 and received the Citation of Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2019.

Learn more about him in this report.

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