Spicer Greene Jewelers: Bringing new blood to an old family business

SPICING IT UP: Eliot and Eva-Michelle Spicer are adding a new touch to an old family gem. Photo courtesy of Eva-Michelle Spicer

Wick & Greene Jewelers is in the midst of a facelift and name change. In August, it will reopen as Spicer Greene Jewelers. The new owners, Eva-Michelle and Elliot Spicer are currently in the midst of bringing the building’s art deco exterior to the store’s interior. “The furniture…the light fixture…we’re bringing it back to how it would have been built in 1932, if it had been built as a jewelry store,” says Eva-Michelle.

The store’s new aesthetic comes by way of Canadian designer Ron Harris. The renovation design is by Asheville architect George Stowe. Caldwell Constructors of Greenville, SC is the site’s contractor.

Originally a filling station, the building was designed by architect W. Stewart Rogers, of Greene and Rogers. According to Eva-Michelle, local Shell gasoline distributor, W.C. ‘Bert’ Shuey wanted to create “the most modern gas station in America.” It operated as a gas station until the 1970s.

For over a decade, however, the building sat vacant. It wasn’t until 1986 that Wick & Greene relocated from its storefront at 10 Wall Street to where it stands today. By then, both Eva-Michelle’s parents and grandparents owned and operated the store.

With Eva-Michelle and Eliot Spicer’s recent purchase, the business will carry on in the family for a third generation. “We call it three and a half, though,” she says. “Mr. [Ernie] Wick basically raised my grandfather [Paul Greene]…who started working for Mr. Wick when he was 14.” By 1953, Greene partnered with Wick before taking over in 1956, after Wick’s death.

As a child, Eva-Michelle never envisioned running the family business. It was her husband, Eliot, who initiated the process. The two met while attending Gemological Institute of American in Carlsbad, California.

“I’m excited to continue the legacy of the Greene family,” says Eliot, “while also adding the Spicer twist.”

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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