Teacher’s Toolbox celebrates its last Christmas on the square
This Christmas will be a bittersweet one for Bobby and Debra Hamby. After 13 years in business on the Covington square, the Teacher’s Toolbox will be closing at the end of January.
“We’ve been agonizing over it for a while and finally came to the decision,” Hamby said. The past three months saw particularly low sales volume, he said. “The way the economy is now, and other obligations, we’re not going to be able to continue.”
The store, which sells a range of pre-kindergarten through ninth grade level supplemental educational materials and supplies such as decorating materials, furniture and mats, will discount its materials through the holiday until the end of January to clear its inventory but will continue taking orders from the Newton County School System, said Hamby.
When the couple first opened the store, there was nothing quite like it locally, and teachers, churches and parents had to travel to find a store with the materials they would need for a classroom.
“We just felt like there was a need for it in this area,” Hamby said. “(Debra) was getting closer to thinking about retiring. We opened it up with the intention of getting it established and she would retire.”
But after injuring his leg in an accident, Hamby left his job at Hercules to handle the day-today operations of the store while Debra, an educator now for 36 years, remained with the school system.
The couple celebrates the holidays quietly with family, said Hamby. They bring out the ceramic nativity scene they bought when they were first married and assemble and decorate the 12-foot tree they bought 25 years ago, a three-day task usually completed right after Thanksgiving. This holiday, they will do the same, even with the sad task coming up in January.
“We want to thank all the long and dedicated customers that have been with us for the last 13 years,” Hamby said. “We regret having to close, but it’s just inevitable. We’ve got to do it.”
Teacher’s Toolbox owner Bobby Hamby stands with one of the popular children’s books carried at his local store located on the Covington square.