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story.lead_photo.caption Sally Ince/For the DemocratChris and Devin Wilkerson stand together Thursday outside C&D Auto Repair in Russellville.

Chris Wilkerson's automotive career has come full circle, having just opened a shop in the same building where he started his mechanic career 10 years ago.

Chris and his wife, Devin, recently opened C&D Auto Repair at 5410 Route AA in Russellville.

The shop previously housed Professional Automotive but has been vacant for almost three years.

Shortly after graduating, Chris started working at Professional Automotive. After Professional Automotive moved to Jefferson City, Chris worked various automotive jobs before decided to open his own shop.

"It's nice but, then again, it's scary," he said in late December. "We have a lot of stuff to do and a lot of cleaning, and there's still some old cars in the parking lot that's kind of an eyesore, so I'm going to get that cleaned up. So we're just taking it one day at a time."

Chris said he is excited to be his own boss, joking that his wife "pushed me into it and won't let me back out now."

"It's really exciting because I know he can do it," Devin said, smiling at Chris. "I've been trying to push him into this for a long time now, and there was always, 'Oh, let's wait, let's wait.' And then I was just like, 'No, let's do it.' Just because it's hard doesn't mean it's impossible."

For about a month, the Wilkersons were busy cleaning up the shop and getting rid of more than two dozen cars that were on the property.

"I think we're ready to put my name on it," Chris said.

C&D Auto Repair will provide most standard shop repairs, like oil changes and diagnostic work. However, the Wilkersons do not have all of the required equipment, so they plan to sublet some work until they have all of their equipment.

Their end goal is to be a one-stop shop in Russellville.

"We've seen the need for it, so we figured we would give it a shot," Chris said.

The Wilkersons plan to host a meet-and-greet at the shop from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 18.

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