Hatton’s Hardware celebrates first year in business

PEABODY – One year ago this month, Jamie Hatton brought a hardware store back to Main

Street. Hatton, who spent years in the construction and wholesale industry, purchased the

store, renamed the business and rebuilt the hardware store.

“Every man wants to own a hardware store. What man do you know that doesn’t want to go to a

hardware store and spend time?”

Transitioning out of his previous career, “I wanted to do something I enjoyed going into

retirement. I wanted to have something that was mine, not have to answer to anyone, except my

wife,” he said.

Hatton’s wife, he said, juggles three jobs, working the finances of Hatton’s business, running her

own business, Hatton Financial Services and working for Unruh Fabrication in Sedgwick.

“This is very much as much my wife’s business as it is mine,” he said.

Peabody has had a hardware store for decades, and Hatton said he recalled three owners

before he re-started the business after a brief closure. When he purchased the property, it was

a hollow shell. As a skilled renovator, Hatton built a new front counter, installed new center heat

and air conditioning, refinished the floors, lifted the ceiling, “and brought a lot of newness to

this.”

“I had to adapt on the fly, setting all of the store up by myself, literally down to putting stickers on

displays and where everything’s at. I had no clue I was supposed to have a team of people

come in and help me do that,” he said.

As a first-time retail business owner navigating a pandemic in his first year, “it’s not what I

expected. It’s been a rollercoaster.”

Hatton said as an independent shop, and not having any full-time employees, the challenge has

been “not having any free time,” Though, Hatton hires his brother from time-to-time for jobs.

“It’s way more hours. It’s like working two full time jobs. It’s seven days a week, purchasing and

restocking on Sundays. I sacrifice a lot of family time,” he said.

Hatton’s youngest daughter, he said, has expressed frustration with her father’s new career.

“I thought it would be a little more rewarding, and it might get there. With all the chaos of

COVID going on, it adds up and it doesn’t allow us to settle down,” he said.

Despite the challenges of being a first-time Main Street business owner during COVID, Hatton

said he “loves the challenges that are thrown at me.” As a tech-savvy person, Hatton has no

qualms finding how-to videos, product reviews or additional information on the internet.

As an independent hardware business, Hatton chooses all of his inventory, “I stand behind what

I sell. If it’s not quality, I won’t sell it. I try to use all of the products that are here; that way I can

back them up.”

Giving back to his hometown is part of Hatton’s mission as a business owner.

“I stand behind the community. I’ll help out any way possible. I’m not just here to take their

money. I’m here to help. That’s my edge. I’m always willing to try and help someone; it’s not just

‘What are they going to do for me?’,” he said.

Despite growing up in Peabody, and living in the community with his family now, Hatton said he

still meets new people daily, both community members and other business owners in the

industry.

Looking ahead, Hatton hopes to expand further into the equipment rental market, “I have some,

but it is very minimal compared to what I would like to have.”

“I would love to see growth. I’d like to see it sustainable in this town. This town has lost so

much; I’d like to see it have a hardware store so people don’t have to run to Wichita,” he said.

As an almost lifetime resident of Peabody, Hatton said many residents are familiar with his

family and his story. He said the community has shown support for him and his business, and

not just through purchases.

“The gifts and stuff people bring you, cards of appreciation and thank you letters. People bring

in cookies and snacks and pictures. A lot of people knew me growing up and know how it was

for me when I was younger. I grew up really poor and didn’t have much. There were a lot of

people that have hugged me and thought it was really cool where I am in life now. That says a

lot. That helped me; it eased my mind in the decision I made,” he said.

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