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Bryan County People: Meet Chris Hartley
Chris Hartley Jr - photo by Photo by Ross Blair
Meet Chris Hartley Jr.: Military veteran and business owner.

How long have you been in Bryan County?
My wife and I moved here in 2002. We moved out of Richmond Hill in 2007 because we purchased some land in Claxton, but we’re looking to move back.

What is your impression of Richmond Hill?
I love it. It’s a close-knit and well-rounded community. It’s all about the kids and everybody makes sure church is in their life.

Where are you originally from?

I grew up around Columbia, S.C., so I’m a Gamecock fan. My grandmother lived right across the street from Williams-Brice Stadium. My wife is from East St. Louis, Illinois.

What brought you here initially?
My wife Lashonda and I were both in the military and got stationed here. I arrived at Fort Stewart in 2000, but we shopped for a home for about a year.

Did you meet your wife in the military?
I did. I met her the second day she arrived in Savannah and we started dating her third day here. Our first date was at Steamer’s in Georgetown and it never really ended because we’ve been spending our time together ever since.

Do you have kids?
We have two kids. My daughter Kamiesha is 13 and my son Chris III is 5.

What inspired you to open your own business?
Even though I was doing well with my military career, what meant more to me was family. My military life limited my family time. We opened Exclusive Engravings in Richmond Hill in March, and it’s something we all can do together as a family.
I do still love the military, and I’m actually in the 117th Air Control Squadron as far as the Guard. I kind of miss active duty, but it’s better this way because I’m actually making memories with my kids as opposed to making memories with other soldiers.

How is business?
It’s great. We’ve picked up a lot of business from the rec department and schools. Our customers are excited about the fact that they no longer have to leave Richmond Hill for services like this. We do awards, trophies, pet memorials, jewelry engravings, T-shirts – you name it.
We love the fact that lately people have been bringing a lot of different items for customizing, like IPods, laptops and weapons.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I love spending time with my kids. I enjoy riding my 4-wheeler around my property. I’m a member of the Richmond Hill Exchange Club and I recently signed up for the Leadership Bryan program through the Chamber of Commerce. I’m also on the Chamber Board of Directors.

What’s your favorite TV show?
I can’t enough of the show ‘House.’

Do you have a favorite movie?
I’d probably have to say Bad Boys 2. It’s a perfect mix of comedy and action

What was the best family vacation you’ve taken?

Disney World was the best, but we also enjoy just hopping in the car on a Friday for a weekend venture and seeing where it takes us. It’s spontaneous and a lot of fun.
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