MILLERSPORT – “I was a loud performer,” said Jessica Spires. “A noisy chest of drawers. I wrote plays and asked friends to perform them. I painted and drew all the time. My note card always came home with “classroom discussions”. I loved music and the arts. Sang in the choir. I dreamed of being a pop star like Cyndi Lauper, Boy George, Madonna, Diamond Dave. MTV generation. I loved coming up with ideas for art and listening to all the music,” the former Zanesville resident recalled.
“When I was 16,” she continued, “I worked as a waitress in a hotel restaurant/bar. We had a singer/songwriter guy who came to play on the weekends. I loved it listen to him. The idea of being able to write songs on a guitar sounded perfect. I could share the art that way. He showed me some chords. But I didn’t have my own guitar until I was old 23. A co-worker was selling it cheap. But a few years later I sold it and bought a cheap acoustic at the local music store and learned a few songs. I’m still a hack when it comes to playing, but I love everything about guitars.
Today, Spiers owns and operates its own company – Guitar Parts Factory.
“Textbooks, household items, motorcycle parts, skateboards, art and guitars – I tried to sell everything on eBay,” she said. “And I got a little lucky, but nothing was more interesting than guitars. Especially when I got a Fender guitar dealership in 2003. I’m a mega-fan. Technology from the 50s and 60s which really needed little change over all these years. Leo Fender and this American success story really captivated me.
Spiers graduated from Philo High School in 1992 and then from Ohio University in 2001.
“I decided to be an art teacher,” she said. “I worked at the Longaberger basketry factory while I was enrolling in school. I later decided to go into political science, the goal being to live in Athens, Ohio, and be a professor of political science.
“I started selling textbooks on half.com in 1999,” she added, “and realized I had promise in Internet sales. Changing majors a few times, I ended up with tons of credits and years in school and couldn’t afford textbooks. I bought mine by buying and reselling to classmates. used half.com’s new technology as a point of sale to buy and sell, which then led me to eBay.After graduating in political science, I left the basketry factory and felt I’m done with college. I opened a small skateboard, art and music store.
Which, of course, meant guitars.
“I can’t really imagine myself working in any other industry. I also like to support the arts and musicians. Listening to live music and the local bars and restaurants and listening to their guitars is definitely my kind of enjoyment. Recently my husband has been playing more in the Buckeye Lake area. It’s fun to learn about local musicians and get out of the store.”
“I’ve spent my life as a professional musician,” said her husband, David Spires, a Nashville Road musician and songwriter. “In all my travels, I’ve never met anyone who knows more about guitar parts than Jessica. She loves representing the classic American brand of Fender, but her knowledge incorporates the best the industry has to offer.
“I let him play guitar and I collect, learn and sell guitars,” Jessica said. “I take out the trash, build a website, ship parts, answer technical questions via email, import parts – all that needs to be done in a 12 hour day.”