Made in Tennessee: Hockaday Handmade Brooms
One local family continues their legacy of broom making, here in Selmer, Tennessee. Starting with broom corn and ending with a handmade broom.
“And he would grow a little broom corn in the summer time and make a few brooms in the winter. Sell em, trade em, that type of thing. So, that’s how it started with my great grandfather", says Jack Martin, 4th generation owner of Hockaday Handmade Broom.
Will Martin, the great grandfather of Jack, began making brooms after building his own broom making equipment in the early 1900’s.
The family primarily used farming as a source of income and made brooms as a hobby, but after generations of perfecting the craft they finally decided to start a business.
“I never planned on being a broom maker that’s one of those things that just kind of happened. Actually I am still a farmer at heart, but I am able to farm by raising the broom corn to make my brooms with", says Martin.
Jack gives his late wife Virginia most of the credit for pushing him to grow the business outside of Selmer.
Now they have customers from all over the world.
“I guess we needed it as much as it needed us and that’s really what happened and it just twisted and we never looked back and we’ve stayed focused on it all these years", adds Martin.
Although Jack did not plan on being a broom maker he says he enjoys being in the folk art industry because its more like a family.
“And so most artist have almost always tried to stick together and promote each other and that’s what I enjoy about this lifestyle is that we all kind of still stick together, old school and promote each other and try to help each other the best way we can", says Martin.
Hockaday Brooms, Made in Tennessee.