58 Metalwork LLC / 58 Flower stop

Husband and wife, Jordan and Samuel Gilliam, started two separate side-hustle businesses with the goal of preserving the past and making a little extra money on the side. And like other young entrepreneurs, the Gilliams have found these side-hustles have the opportunity to turn into full-time occupations.

Samuel, Wesley, and Jordan Gilliam

Samuel is the creator behind 58 Metalworks LLC and Jordan is the grower behind 58 Flower Stop. It’s no coincidence that the businesses bear the name 58. The Gilliams live in Hiltons, just off Highway 58, a road that runs 508 miles from Harrogate, Tennessee to Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

“I picked the name 58 to remain true to the heritage of this area, and to identify me as being local,” Samuel explains. He has been making and selling metalworks for five years now, while Jordan is relatively new to the business world of growing cut flowers to sell. Both have full-time jobs – Samuel at Eastman Chemical on the Scales Crew and Jordan as a nurse in the Cath Lab at Holston Valley Medical Center.

These full-time jobs are often demanding and require long hours. Those long hours make coming home and spending time on their “hobby” jobs much more enjoyable. Samuel started out welding on the side for customers. He quickly decided though there were too many people who weld on the side. That’s when he turned more to the artistic world of metalwork, starting out creating horseshoe art. He no longer does much of that because he found his true passion was forging, creating both beautiful and useful items with fire and metal.

Jordan came to Samuel about two years ago, stating she wanted to grow flowers. “I was like okay, thinking flowers in a pot. Then, she said, ‘No, like having a garden of cut flowers.’”

Gardening was nothing new to Samuel. “When I grew up, everybody had a farm. I still help my Dad farm, but flower farming was a new idea then I remembered my grandmother always having cut flowers.” The Gilliams see the blacksmithing and flower gardening not just as a way to earn extra income, but as a way to preserve the past. 

“Nobody around here really does blacksmithing, and growing cut flowers around here is also relatively new,” Samuel says.

Samuel started selling his knives and metalworks locally at Southern Collective in downtown Gate City. Owner Leslie Crawford convinced him to sell at the town’s first Harvest Moon Celebration in 2019. And that first show was a phenomenal success for 58 Metalworks LLC. 

“That was my most successful show ever. One that I have never topped. I kind of blame Leslie for getting me into this because after that first show, I was like yeah, this is great.”

He maintains a booth at Southern Collective, plus has an ETSY shop. He additionally attends around 10 craft shows a year. Most recently, he attended the Hungry Mother State Park Craft Festival where he won “Best in the Show” for his work. His favorite shows are where he does demonstrations. He is currently scheduled for a show in West Virginia, where an entire day is dedicated to teaching his craft to schools.

He has an impressive inventory, including every knife imaginable to hatches, to candlesticks, to decorative roses, crosses, nails, spoons, jewelry, branding irons … if it’s made from metal, Samuel makes it. So far, no one has “bitten the bullet” for a decorative wrought iron fence. 

And he has big plans for the future. His goal is by spring of 2024 to have his blacksmithing shop equipped for teaching and hosting get togethers like bachelor parties. He wants patrons to get the full experience of creating their own product. 

“We will do something simple … something that can be completed in a few hours. I want them to be able to do more than hammer a few times. They will get a real hands-on feel for creating their own knife.”

As someone who never gardened, it took Jordan a couple of years to get the flower business up and running. Growing up, she played sports and helped her father, Butch Lovelace, in his roadside pumpkin stand. As to actual growing of plants, her experience was almost non-existent. She started out with wildflowers, but that took her down a “rabbit hole.” 

Now with more research and experimentation, Jordan’s business has also taken off this year. Initially, she piggybacked off of Samuel selling flowers at his shows. Then she started displaying and selling through Facebook and business has taken off. She also did flea markets, but found that most people sought her out at the markets because they had seen her Facebook posts. Now, she is selling mainly through Facebook and at the craft shows Samuel attends.

Like Samuel, Jordan has big plans for her business. Samuel has built her a flower stand, which he plans to complete soon. Along with selling through Facebook, Jordan will give customers the option of buying flowers at the stand, located at her home. She hopes to be open for the fall season, selling her Dad’s pumpkins and her floral bouquets. Bouquets will be sold on the honor system. 

She currently charges $12 for a small bouquet, $16 for a medium and a large bouquet is $24.

Jordan started out small, cultivating her seeds during the winter in a spare room equipped with grow lights. They both laugh about having to explain to neighbors that “Yes, we are legally growing cut flowers” because the grow lights light up the entire back of the house. 

Just in her second year of business, Jordan already has a contract with a wholesaler for her flowers. Right now, the majority of her flowers are annuals, but she plans to expand in the next growing season with perennials like peonies, roses and hydrangeas. She also plans to contact local businesses to provide “flower bars” for parties for events. Next summer, look for a “you pick” option at Jordan’s 58 Flower Stop.

Eventually, Jordan wants to operate a year-round cut floral business. Samuel believes she can turn her “hobby” into a full-time occupation long before he can become a full-time blacksmith. Mainly, because it’s harder to walk away from his full-time job at Eastman. Still he doesn’t see this as a “retirement” gig. He hopes to be blacksmithing full-time long before retirement.

Both Samuel and Jordan are Scott County natives; she attended Gate High School where she played softball and Samuel went to Rye Cove. At only 28, they are fully invested in this community and staying here for the long-term. 

Be Loyal. Buy Local. Support Samuel and Jordan. For more information and to follow their progress in these ventures, follow them on Facebook. Jordan is 58 Flower Stop and Samuel is 58 Metalworks LLC.


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