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Local Artist Emigrates from Russia to Start Career

Olga Yukhno
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

The art business continues to grow across our state as more and more government entities, organizations, and businesses embrace the value that a vibrant arts environment creates for area communities.  But it’s still not an easy career choice.

Mike Switzer interviews Olga Yukhno, a visual artist living and creating in Columbia, SC with her business, Five Peaks Studio.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.