Hammitt’s Founder Couch-Surfed For 2 Years. He Now Runs a Multimillion-Dollar Company

September 5, 2018

By Kendall Fisher, executive producer at Grow Wire

In short:

  • Hammitt is a luxury handbag and accessory company out of Hermosa Beach, Calif.
  • “Chief Cheerleader” Tony Drockton co-founded the company in 2008 with a passion for entrepreneurialism, the craftsmanship of the bags, his loyal customers and his community.
  • Find out how Drockton grew Hammitt out of his garage into more than 800 stores nationwide on this episode of "The Grow Wire Show."


If you ever have the chance to visit Hermosa Beach in Southern California, you’ll find yourself immersed in a culture of sunshine, beach days, dive bars with ocean views and a very close-knit community.

That’s what roped in Tony Drockton, an Ohio native and entrepreneur. He’s founded several Southern California-based companies throughout his career, including his current venture with Hammitt Luxury Handbags—a company that was essentially created at a barbeque in Hermosa Beach.

Yes, Stephanie Hammitt needed a bag for a BBQ, so she decided to just make one herself, pulling together a simple yet trendy clutch with leftover leather and a collection of rivets. After more and more people in the beach community continued asking her about the clutch, she got together with Drockton to start what’s now known as Hammitt.

But despite the beautiful location for Hammitt’s genesis, the days weren’t always a walk on the beach.

On this episode of "The Grow Wire Show," Drockton takes us through Hammitt’s journey—from running the company out of his garage, to couch-surfing for several years as he struggled to build the company, to hitting the company’s 10-year anniversary with Hammitt bags in more than 800 stores nationwide.

Drockton explains how he overcame the challenges—both personal and professional—in starting and growing Hammitt over the last 10 years. He recounts the inspirational story about selling his home in order to continue his work with Hammitt, and how that story eventually came full-circle with an entirely positive outcome. He also reveals the secret to Hammitt’s business model and why their unique offering not only helps them not only stand out in the industry but also create success.

Watch the full episode by launching the video above.

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