I’m the third generation to own our tack store. We started out over 50 years ago with my grandfather being a horse trader and selling horse tack at horse sales, horse shows, wagon trains and out of his home on Hwy 9 in Alpharetta.
When my grandfather passed away in 1985, my father, Hamp Phillips, purchased the business from my grandmother. At the time, he was still employed full time at General Motors and could only work part time at the shop. It became known as “Hamp’s Saddle & Tack”.
When Dad retired, he focused on the business full time and in turn; the business prospered and grew due to his down home way of doing business, his wit and charming personality. The business transitioned from a single trailer to multiple units for storage and focused solely on tack. Dad was adored and known for his integrity and honesty.
In December of 2014, a fire completely destroyed Hamp’s Saddle and Tack. My sister and I were so concerned because the business was his passion that kept him going through difficult years of caring for our mother with Alzheimer’s and our Grandmother whom he also cared for after our mother passed. Dad was so depressed and considered (for a day) retiring for good.
But ….. God and his customer’s had other plans and a day after the fire a customer established a Gofundme site where they collected over $25,000 to help rebuild Hamp’s in less than a week! Local stores donated building supplies and paint, Danny Richards designed his new building, the City of Milton approved everything and by spring, he was up and running again!! He loved his new shop, it was so well organized we worried he wouldn’t be able to find anything.
The day after Dad’s official grand opening, he was diagnosed with gastric cancer. He lived his last few months still going down to his shop, eating his chili cheeseburgers, enjoying his family, friends and customers. He will be forever missed by us and many others who he touched in his life.
After Dad passed, my sister and I decided to keep the business open and for me to run the shop. I have found that I share the same passion and joy that my Dad and Grandfather had for the business and look forward to continuing to service our great horse community. It’s an honor for me to carry on our family business.
One of the main things I’ve learned from my father is that YOUR RICHES ARE NOT IN THE MONEY, BUT IN THE WORDS PEOPLE WILL SAY UPON YOUR PASSING. I’m so blessed to have seen how rich my father and grandfather were in this life – not in the money, but in the friendships they had here.