Retailer Spotlight: Spicer Greene Jewelers
Friday, February 9, 2018
The story of Spicer Greene Jewelers is one of opportunity and passion. With a desire to leave the hectic lifestyle of New York City, E.O. Wick left his position at Tiffany & Company in 1926 in order to open his own jewelry repair shop in Asheville, NC. He was an expert enamellist, hand engraver, and jeweler, and did so well that in 1942, he was able to bring on apprentice, Paul Greene.
While working alongside Mr. Wick, Paul learned the business and the art of creating one-of-a-kind custom jewelry. In 1953, Paul became a full partner and the jewelry store became Wick and Greene.
In 1975, Paul’s son, Michael Greene, joined the business, and Michael worked as an apprentice for his father, furthering his education in the world of jewelry. In 1981, Michael and Eva Buckner were married, and she joined the family business. They later welcomed their daughter, Eva-Michelle.
| Michael and Paul Greene
Art Deco gas station.
During this same time. Wick and Greene moved locations from a small shop to a beautiful, 1920s Art Deco building, which was once a gas station. Paul, his wife, Lucia, and Michael did all the renovations themselves, turning the former gas station into the jewelry store it is today.
Fast forward to 2012, Eva-Michelle Greene studied at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) where she met Elliott Spicer, who also had a strong family background in the jewelry business. They married in 2013, and in 2014, became partners in the business, and began the journey to become Spicer Greene Jewelers.
Elliott and Eva-Michelle Spicer
Inside Spicer Greener Jewelers.
Spectra Update got the opportunity to ask Eva-Michelle Spicer, co-owner of Spicer Greene Jewelers, a few more questions about their business, which has consistently been designated as “Best Jeweler in Western North Carolina” by the Mountain Express.
Could you share with us how being a member of the American Gem Society has helped you and Spicer Greene Jewelers?
The emphasis on education, and partnership with the GIA, has always been a driving factor for us. My father urged me to get my GG before I came into the business full time and it was the best advice he could have given. Not only did I get an amazing education, that’s where I met my husband and co-owner of the store, Elliott.
What best practices do you utilize in your company and what inspired you to implement them?
We wholeheartedly believe in customer service. By remembering to send birthday cards, wedding gifts, or just a thank you card, we really try to go above and beyond customer appreciation. In the age of the internet and making everything so impersonal, we really tried to twist that norm and make things personal again. People want to shop with people. As a fourth generation business, we are so blessed to have helped so many people in our community and it’s our way of showing gratitude.
Do you use storytelling when working with your clients?
Of course! Don’t we all? We are in an emotional business. I use stories of my own personal jewelry and what the pieces mean to me, like the occasions for which I received them and the milestones they celebrate.
Is there a custom-designed piece of jewelry that you absolutely love?
I think it’s in the computer-aided design (CAD) right now. It may be one of those that’s hard to sell. I often find myself falling in love with the things we create and have to remind myself that someone else will love them just as much as I do!
If you weren’t in the jewelry business, you would be…
I’ve joked that I would love to be one of the people who gets paid to travel and name nail polish (“Suzi has a Swede Tooth,” anyone?). But really, what an amazing gig!
What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
My dad, Michael Greene, always said that anything worth doing is worth doing well. It’s how I face every day – do things well and it will pay off.
What advice do you have for new members of the American Gem Society?
Ask questions! Those in this industry are very willing to help each other. There are a great number of people who have so much knowledge in the industry and as a young woman in the jewelry industry, it’s so nice to have a network of people whom we can ask for help!