Co-founder of Hudson's Hill, William Hudson Clayton, takes some time to offer a glimpse into his local life, perspective, and what generally makes him tick.
When I first met William 10 years ago during a Triad Local First member mixer, I didn't know that we would one day own and operate a business together. At the time, he and his dad Tinker, were both in attendance at the gathering. Fast forward to today, and the three of us are the owners of Hudson's Hill, the brick and mortar retail store for our business, Hudson Overall Company. When we met, Tinker and William had relatively recently opened a small shop in the very space we are located today. The space was named Civic Threads, and there you could find locally made items as well as printed and embroidered items from their main line of work, Stitch-FX. The 500 block of South Elm was home to antique stores, Dudley's Beauty School, Kinley's Used Furniture, Area Modern Furniture, and Al's TV & Appliance. Not much else. The heart of downtown was two blocks north, and dilapodated buildings comprised the majority of the South End. Nowadays, the epicenter of downtown is without question Lewis St. and South Elm, there are only but a few units not occupied south of the tracks, and the South End serves as the arts and culture hub of downtown Greensboro.
As I've come to know William through the years, traveled to the west coast together for Denim Bruin, and built a decade-long business together, I've learned quite a lot about him beneath the surface. He's a family man, and comes from a good family, and definitely from a household filled with love. He's a husband to a beautiful bride. He's a guitartist and bandmate. He's a skilled producer. He's a friend. He's a soccer fanatic. He loves a good pair of cleats, a fast car or old van, and a sleek motorpickle. He likes slim, modern-fitting clothes with a touch of timeless. He likes coffee, but only really, really, really good coffee, like the really good kind. He prefers Donut World over Krispie Kreme. He's a son. He keeps good faith, and can always laugh anything off.
William really is a modern-day reniassance man, but he sometimes references his talents as a makeshift professional. But, he really is a jack-of-all-trades. He can design graphics, print graphics, run embroidery machines, tune a guitar, drift a curve, sew a seam, sip a beer, hear and then play a tune. He's passionate. He's admired. And the best part about William is that he's curious, of life, and that means he will continue to find trades and tasks.
Just recently, William, his wife Abby, Daniel Davidson and his wife Abigail all opened a new taphouse together in downtown Greensboro, The Abbey Taphouse. William will inevitably learn some new trades in this venture! If you're in the area, or a local, stop by and check out the beautiful place they've created together.
I could go on and on about Wild Bill, Billhelm, Willy C, but its best to let you tell the tale of him, hisself:
"Depending on who's around, you may hear Wild Bill, Wio, Wilhelm, Wily, or Lumpy. Hey there, my name is William Hudson Clayton.
Aside from Hudson's Hill, I have been involved with my family's embroidery and screen printing business, Stitch-FX for nearly 20 years. There, I handle art and design setup, run the screen printing shop, conduct R&D on new processes and introduce new equipment onto our production floor. Additionally, I am co-owner of a newly-opened taphouse also located in downtown Greensboro called The Abbey.
So, what do I do at Hudson's Hill? Ya know, with small business you end up a jack-of-all trades, and before you know it doing everything from cleaning toilets to web design and everything in between, literally. Two areas I find myself involved the most are keeping the store stocked with small goods, and also I run and produce our printed and embroidered items over at Stitch-FX (naturally).
My favorite product at the store? What a tough question! It's always changing. I really love the sneaker collaborations with Opie Way, the Mister Freedom sateen pants and jackets, and [wild card] the Good and Well Car Air fresheners.
Everyone on our team loves support a local haunt to grab a bite to eat, so here are my favorites for each meal, and what I'd order:
You can follow William's band LOWBORN on Instagram here.
You can follow The Abbey Taphouse on Instagram here.