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The Family Jewelers A son uses a franchise to follow in his father's jewelry-fixing footsteps.

By Devlin Smith

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Ben Vargas was little, he'd sit on his father's lapand watch him fix watches. Later, father and son workedside-by-side as jewelers for the Navy.

Today, Vargas, 39, is running his own shop. The owner of aFast-Fix Jewelry Repairs franchise in Temecula, California, Vargasrepairs, designs, engraves and makes jewelry and watches, andrepairs eyeglasses.

Vargas got his start as a Fast-Fix employee in San Diego, afterhe and his father lost their Navy contract. Impressed with hissalesmanship, the location's owner offered to sell Vargas hisbusiness. That deal fell through, but Vargas was able to buy alocation from another franchisee in 1996. The only problem was, thestore was two and a half hours away from his home, making for anawful commute and little family time.