From Left: William J. Canary, president and CEO, Business Council of Alabama; BCA board of directors member Jo Bonner, vice chancellor for economic development for The University of Alabama System; Spicer’s Music co-founder Corey Spicer; Spicer’s Music co-founder Tom Spicer; Lolly Steiner, president, Auburn Chamber of Commerce; 2016 BCA Chairman Tommy Lee, president and CEO Vulcan Inc. in Foley; 2016 Chamber of Commerce Association President Morri Yancey, president Lake Guntersville Chamber of Commerce; CCAA President and CEO Jeremy Arthur.
On the first full day of summer this year in Auburn, Spicer’s Music gathered more than 850 musicians and their instruments in an attempt to break the record for the “World’s Largest Rock Band.”
Musicians brought guitars, drums, basses, keyboards, ukuleles, harps, harmonicas, violins, trumpets, and washboards to play Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” Hundreds of voices joined in joyful chorus as Auburn University mascot Aubie was on stage leading the band.
It was a fitting event for the business that had been co-founded less than four years before in Auburn by the family team of brothers Corey and Tim Spicer and their father, Tom Spicer, a business that strives to serve the community. Its motto is “Not Your Average Music Store.”
On Dec. 2 at the annual meeting of the Business Council of Alabama and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, BCA member Spicer’s Music LLC was recognized as the “Emerging Small Business of the Year.”
In addition to Spicer’s Music, finalists in the “Emerging Small Business of the Year” category of businesses in operation for less than five years were: Brik Realty, Trussville; The Coffee Shoppe, Selma; ConcertCare, Birmingham; Copeland Security Group, Prattville; Domke Market, Mobile; Finishing Touches, Monroeville; Little Bridge Marina, Rainbow City; Popcorn Pizzazz, Montgomery; and Southern Dixie Auto Repair, Clanton.
“It’s such an honor to be included with such businesses around the state,” Tim Spicer, the company’s CEO, said in a recent interview.
With no previous business expertise, the Spicers pooled resources, relied on their musical backgrounds, took a leap of faith, and opened a full-service music business that sells and services equipment and provides music lessons and jam session space.
“It’s been a dream come true for our family to take what we know and pass it on to the next musician or the next musician-to-be,” said Tom Spicer, a retired educator and counselor who has played in country, folk, and bluegrass bands. “Everyone in my family loves music and we love sharing with others what we know about music.”
Tim Spicer said the music store was “a kind of overflow our family has to serve others and use music as an avenue to reach as many people as possible.”
“Music has always been part of my life,” Tim Spicer said. “The store is a natural outward expression of my childhood.”
Tim Spicer graduated from Auburn a little over four years ago with a degree in special education and “just decided to go for it.” The family didn’t have any background in the retail business, which made their swim in the deep end very challenging. “I think in some ways that was beneficial because we didn’t have a predetermined idea how a business was operated,” Tim Spicer said.
Spicer’s Music has 12 employees and 19 music instructors who teach all instruments. The store serves a lot of local customers but it also sells nationwide and online. Tim Spicer said music lessons, sound and production, conducting events, and installing equipment are important parts of the store’s business.
Tim Spicer said one of the biggest challenges as a new business is that the company’s principals have to wear many hats – stocking goods, purchasing, selling, and cleaning rest rooms.
“Our goal is to create something more than a music store,” Tim Spicer said. “Our goal is to stretch as far into the community as we can, and to reach as many lives as possible through music.”