For the Stockton family, impeccable style and entrepreneurship are both multi-generational traditions. In 1963, Ham Stockton founded the men’s specialty store, H.Stockton, with a desire to provide the men of Atlanta with carefully curated goods of lasting quality. He was later joined by his sons Chip and the late Court Stockton, and eventually his grandson [Court’s son], Ryan Stockton. In celebration of Father’s Day, we had the privilege of chatting with 2nd and 3rd generation H.Stockton operators and Duck Head retail partners, Chip and Ryan to discuss what the father-son legacy means to them.
Q: The Stockton family has been styling Atlantans for generations. Tell us a little bit about who you are and describe your relationship.
Chip: I started at age 14 in the amazing world of grown ups and have enjoyed dealing with intelligent, successful working men since and developing a point of view from practical experience.
Ryan: I’m a third-generation haberdasher, I grew up in my family’s stores. I have worked at H. Stockton since I was 17, except when I was studying consumer sciences at the University of Alabama. I have worked closer and closer with [uncle] Chip since becoming manager of our Midtown location, I deeply value our working relationship, and enjoy learning from him.
Q: You guys have an incredibly loyal customer base in your Midtown, Buckhead, Cumberland and Perimeter locations. Tell us what sets H. Stockton apart from your competitors?
Chip: It is a privilege to serve fine folks whom you admire. A true appreciation for the person and a desire to help him be more effective in business & life.
Ryan: When our customers come to H. Stockton they know that they will be treated like family. We strive to give personalized, white-glove service, and we truly care to help people find exactly what they need.
Q: Chip, how did the tradition of inviting your customers to “Stop by and have a Coke” start?
Chip: In 1963, Ham Stockton bought 2 used Coca-Cola machines for $50 each, which we still use today, and were put on the route for 6oz. bottles ever since. It's "ATLANTA"… we are proud to have this as part of our culture.
Q: Ryan, did you always know you wanted to follow in your dad's footsteps? What is the key to making a family business work?
Ryan: I love my Dad and have always wanted to be like him. I know my Dad would be proud of how I am following in his footsteps, yet paving my own way. I think the key to working with family is having open communication and knowing when to leave work at work!
Q: Ryan, being the 3rd Generation of Stocktons to operate the stores, what does it mean to you to continue the legacy set by your father, uncle, and grandfather?
Ryan: It’s something I always aspired to do, and it gives me pride to know I’m continuing a tradition. I want to keep it going and to hopefully hand it down to the fourth generation one day.
Q: How has your father and grandfather, Ham Stockton, the store’s namesake, influenced your style and work ethic?
Chip: Style influenced by commitment to a point of view you stay in but improve, refine, adapt. Regarding work ethic, very little toleration for not thinking! No BS. Treat others with respect, as you want to be treated, and enjoy the fruits.
Ryan: He influenced my style by teaching me to always dress for the occasion, and to never be afraid to be overdressed. He also taught me that hard work and putting your customers first will get you far.
Q: What’s your current favorite Duck Head product?
Chip: Basic Gold school, british khaki [dark khaki], because I work outside in evenings on a farm & they are washable, functional and I like the updated fit.
Ryan: My favorite product is the 1865 Five-Pocket Field Canvas pant. It’s the first pant I grab when it’s time to relax. It’s casual, yet makes a statement. Though I’m now transitioning to my Chino Shorts for these hot Atlanta summers.
You can follow H.Stockton via Instagram, or if you’re in the Atlanta area, we’re sure they would love for you to “stop by and have a Coke.”