Flea Market Vendor Spotlight: Victory Custom Metals
There's just something about handmade items that make us so excited. The amazing metal art from Shipshewana Flea Market vendor Victory Custom Metals is sure to get pumped too. Check out our interview with owner, Joel, below!
Tell me about yourself.
My name is Joel Gowdy, and I own Victory Custom Metals, based in Cassopolis, Michigan. I do CNC plasma cutting, engraving, and welding. I sell my metal signs and art at the Shipshewana Flea Market during the seasonal market.
How did you get started?
I have been a welder since the year 2000. I had a normal welding job, but I eventually got burnt out. However, I loved the artistic side of welding, so I decided to start making metal art from CNC.
I started out at the Shipshewana Flea Market in 2014. When I first set up, I was in the auction building, but now I have a small buildling out in the market. Next flea market season, I'm expanding into the next lot to display even more products.
Tell me about your products.
People purchase my metal art for their house or garden. I do all my own cutting, welding and powder coating. I get inspiration from different things. There's a lot of effort and design time that goes into these. I try to bring the best quality of product to my customers.
The Michigan garden stake and the "grow dammit" garden stake are really popular. It's always interesting to see what people buy.
I can also do custom designs...like any names, dates, established...anything that you want. The only rule is that the smaller it is, the less detailed it can be. But, if we work within those parameters, we can come up with some quality products!
What is your favorite part about being a vendor?
I like the feeling of being a part of a community. Selling here is my social life.
Do you have any advice for new vendors?
Don't get discouraged too soon, and stick with it! It's also good to try different things, and get out of your comfort zone. Personally, I've learned that just because you like something, doesn't mean that it's going to sell well here. So try lots of things and see if it works!
You can learn more about Joel and Victory Custom Metals by visiting his booth at the Shipshewana Flea Market May through September.