Most community members have heard of or are familiar with Crossroads Ranch (lovingly dubbed “The Ranch” by those who have reason to refer to it frequently). Some are likely even the Crossroads Ranch angels.
Have you ever wondered who makes the angels or how they’re made?
For almost two years, Zack and Madison Hamm have been creating small, pottery angels for the nonprofit home for special needs adults, among countless other tasks around the ranch.
When Zack Hamm was at Itawamba Community College, he took a course in pottery as an extra-curricular class. It looked like fun, he said.
“I just wanted to play in mud sometimes, and it looked like I would enjoy it,” he said.
Not knowing at the time that pottery would become his passion and career, Hamm spent more and more time in the studio. After transferring to the University of Mississippi, he changed his major to ceramics. He eventually moved home and found work at Crossroads Ranch making angels, bowls, and an assortment of seasonal pieces.
Madison Hamm, on the other hand, had no experience in pottery when she began working at Crossroads Ranch. After leaving her job in retail, Crossroads Ranch founder Renae Bennett hired her to help glaze the pottery Zack Hamm was creating.
“I had no idea what I was doing,” she said, “Ms. Renae just needed the extra help, and I was happy to do it.”
The two found themselves in close quarters often, and they soon began spending time together outside of work.
Eventually, the couple went on their first date.
“The weekend before Celebration Village, Ms. Renae came into the studio and told me that she had found someone for me to date,” Madison Hamm said. “She told me that he worked here and that we would look good together. It was Zack, and I laughed as I explained to her that we had just been on our first date.”
The couple received nothing but support from their coworkers at the ranch. Their romance blossomed, and the couple married last November.
Zack and Madison Hamm still spend every day together doing whatever is needed during the day, filling the orders on the order board, and running about 90 different directions to prepare for Crossroads Ranch’s official opening this coming November. Zack Hamm spends most of his days “throwing bowls,” while Madison spends her days working on angels, plates, seasonal items, and personal orders.
“I really wouldn’t have it any other way right now,” he said when talking about spending every day with his wife.
The couple finds time away from each other by working other jobs to make extra income, but the Hamms are excited for the official opening in November where they can pick up full-time positions at Crossroads Ranch.
For now, however, everyone can agree that this couple of Hamms make a great team.