It all began, sometime around 1971, as an idea for a gift. Kellie Burke and Rye Mann, two girls from Wrightsville Beach, NC, wanted to make some hammocks to give as gifts to some friends. The girls took apart an old rope hammock to see how it was made. Kelly’s father built all of the equipment necessary to make a hammock, and Nautilus Hammocks was born. Local entrepreneur Woody Styron, a native of New Bern, NC, took over the operation in 1972 and renamed it Outer Banks Hammocks, after one of his favorite places. The first shop was nestled at the corner of Stokely Rd. and Wrightsville Ave, just west of Wrightsville Beach. Woody was always striving to improve the quality of the hammocks. He soon began to sell surfboards and clothing from the hammock shop, and eventually founded Surf ’n Stuff, one of Wilmington’s first surf shops.
Clark Helton, a UNCW graduate and native of Kenansville, NC, began to work at Outer Banks Hammocks in 1975. Clark took over the shop in 1977 and began what would be almost 30 years of dedication to making the finest rope hammocks, chairs, and porch swings available. His innovative built-in pocket is an Outer Banks signature to this day. Clark’s love of woodworking and attention to detail inspired him to create a few original pieces and to make constant refinements to all Outer Banks products. With the help of Trey Rufner’s woodworking skills, the Outer Banks porch swings have become some of our most popular items.
In May of 1986, Wilmington native Jonathan Allen wove his first hammock after graduating high school, and he never really stopped. During the 90’s, as OBH grew and expanded, Jonathan managed the hammock shop while weaving and tying off countless hammocks before pursuing a teaching career. He never lost his love for making hammocks, and was always at least a part-time member of the crew at OBH. In the fall of 2005, Clark finally decided that it was time for a change, and Jonathan took over the business.
Outer Banks Hammocks now offers a few other products along side the ones that we have always made, but we have not lost our commitment to quality and craftsmanship. All of our rope and wood products are still hand made at our shop, which moved up the road a block closer to Wrightsville Beach on Wrightsville Ave. We continually strive to maintain the tradition, quality, and innovation that have been the hallmarks of Outer Banks Hammocks for 35 years. We know that you will enjoy countless hours of relaxation from all of our products. Thanks for visiting our site, and if you’re ever in Wrightsville Beach, be sure to stop by and watch us doing what we do best.