Danielle and Jason are the proud owners of The Metal Peddler which is a veteran-owned small family business, creating stunning metalwork. They started their business back in 2004 with just $500 and a little 3-in-1 machine, which Jason had previously bought with the sole purpose of crafting, and they have built it into the empire it is today. This article explores how they met, their hobbies and how The Metal Peddler was conceived.
We love a good love story and Danielle and Jason's story is a little extraordinary. It all started on an online forum. Danielle lived in the UK and Jason in the US. Their conversations soon developed into discussions on email and long-distance phone calls. Danielle then decided to take the leap of faith by going to the US to meet Jason in person and the rest, as they say, is history.
Throughout their marriage, animals have played a major role in their lives. Danielle and Jason are passionate about rescuing pets from shelters. They currently have Libby, who is a mix of an Australian Shepherd and a Border Collie. She is 9 years old. Libby regularly goes to work with Danielle and Jason. She entertains the 5-strong team daily and has mastered the art of pestering everyone for treats, not that they take much pestering as all the team adore her! In December 2022, they rescued two cats, Penny & Chloe, who settled in very nicely and made themselves at home.
Jason's background is an inspiring story of commitment and courage. Aged just 17, he joined the US Army in the DEP (Delayed Entry Program), became a paratrooper and served in Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989/90. However, in 1991 Jason had a bad parachute accident in a night-time training exercise, resulting in him moving to another role in the army but it wasn’t for him. After leaving the army Jason got a job in the U.S. Marshalls Service before pursuing a course in a civilian career.
Danielle and Jason live a contented life. Whether spending time with their now grown-up family, curling up with a good book, or exploring Pennsylvania's stunning state parks, there is never a dull moment for this couple! Jason loves trying new creative hobbies. So far, he has explored painting, making soap and creating Lichtenberg wood, and steel tables. Over the years, these different hobbies have helped Jason manage his PTSD. In addition, the couple have been able to sell some of these products to raise funds for mission trips to Honduras. Danielle and Jason are both keen to "give back" to the community and in their spare time you can often find them volunteering their time and service.
The business first began when Jason began an apprenticeship as a machinist. As a side gig, he made copper lanterns from his small desk in his apartment in the Projects. He would then sell these at craft shows to support his young family. After becoming a single dad, Jason didn't have the time to work on his side gig, and he focussed on completing his Journeyman Machinist apprenticeship.
In 2003, after he had met Danielle and the couple needed to make some money quickly, Jason began crafting again. Danielle told him to "make something to sell or sell the copper". Jason made a pot rack, and they sold it on eBay. Little did they know they had just completed their first sale of what would become a successful business. By the end of 2004, Jason was making enough on eBay to be able to work full-time in the industry with Danielle by his side.
“He would make beautiful pieces, and I would list, sell and pack them. In 2005, I built our first website. Over the next few months and years, our product range increased as we learned more and more skills. We began to sell pot hanging hooks, copper fence caps, mailboxes and range hoods. Jason gained a national reputation for his beautiful work.” Danielle
Their plan was to design and make accessories for the range hoods, but this changed when Danielle lost her keys one day. To help stay organized, Jason decided to make her a key hanger. Although this has helped Danielle a lot, there is still the occasional time that she loses her keys! Jason's key holder and leash hangers are extremely popular with customers in the US and further afield.
The couple values their close-knit team who has been with them for many years, with each member bringing unique ideas and creativity to the table.
Visit the website and see for yourself the vast array of fun and functional products on The Metal Peddler's website: www.themetalpeddler.com