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Churchwell's Jewelers was founded in the late 1800's in Wilson, NC, by the Churchwell family. An advertisement from THE WILSON ADVANCE, dated 1876, is the earliest indication to the establishment of our business. Mary Churchwell took over ownership in 1905. She directed our fine jewelry store through two world wars and the Great Depression. Mrs. Churchwell was widowed early in life and was not blessed with children.
Mary Churchwell sold her business to Harold Seburn in the 1940's. Mr Seburn operated Churchwell's with his wife Edith until their daughter Marilyn and her husband L.A. Bass joined the firm and expanded the business with the purchase of Geyman's Jewelers in nearby Rocky Mount, NC, in 1967.
In 1974, after Harold Seburn suffered a debilitating stroke, Marilyn and L.A Bass closed Geyman's Jewelers and moved back to Wilson, NC, to take over the day-to-day operations of Churchwell's Jewelers. Churchwell's was selected to provide the labor in a collaboration to hand make an 18 karat yellow gold, peridot and diamond necklace that resides in the Smithsonian museum
In 1991, Marilyn and L.A. Bass's son, Anderson Bass graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and joined the firm full time. 1993 saw the introduction of the Bass family to the show horse world, which changed our destiny forever. No longer just a local family owned small town jeweler, the Bass family started designing, manufacturing and traveling around the country to regional and national horse shows selling their unique collection of fine gold, silver and platinum equestrian jewelry.
2010 saw a physical move just three doors down in the same shopping center, Shoppes of Brentwood. It also saw a passing of the torch from Marilyn and LA Bass to Anderson and Angie Bass.
In 2013, Angie and Anderson answered the call of the ocean and relocated Churchwell's to the coastal enclave of Emerald Isle, NC. In 2016, Anderson designed and made a gold broach featuring four horses pulling a park drag carriage for Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday. Today you can visit with Anderson and Angie in our flagship store on Emerald Isle or at any of our traveling boutiques at many prestigious horse shows around the country.
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