As we continue on our tour of Downtown Vandalia’s stores and business opportunities, we visit Liberty Trading Store, which deals in coins and guns, and talk to Sam Flowers, who is multi-talented and “can do about anything he sets his mind to do.” That quote was not from Sam, who is more modest and quiet-spoken, but from others who know and work with him.
Liberty Trading & Sam
The son of Tony and Teresa Flowers, Sam grew up in Vandalia and graduated from Vandalia Community High School.
“I went into the Army for four years and (then) went to school for a while, but didn’t really like that, so I went to work in Effingham,” he said.
Sam and his wife, Lisa, have been married for two years and have two sons Lane and Cale. Lisa is originally from Minnesota.
“My brother-in-law, Sean, and my dad started talking about the coin business, the gold and silver. Mom and dad left one weekend, and when they came back, Sean and I had the shop open,” he said.
Sam admitted that at the time, he knew very little about coins, but his dad had collected coins for 15-20 years, and said he has really learned a lot more about them in the last two years.
He explained the rather-phenomenon-like growth of various Liberty shops springing up.
“Dad got Sean into selling coins, and they discovered there was a lot of interest in them, they were making money at it, and it just turned into all of this.”
They learned that people were also interested in trading in their guns for coins.
“We had people bring guns in, wanting to trade them for gold and silver,” he said. “We could do that legally, we just couldn’t resell them, until we finally got our license to resell them. We have been selling guns for about three months now.”
Sam has always been interested in guns, “but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be selling them someday or have a shop.”
Sam said he has always been around guns as his family hunted.
“I’ve always had an outdoor family, and I’ve always been around them. He said that he used to go hunting with his uncle, “Butch” (Rev. Ernie) Flowers, when he was young.
Sam is also a skilled woodworker and makes beautiful works of art at Liberty Trading Custom Woodworking, located west of Liberty Trading and on the north side of Gallatin Street.
“I’ve always been interested in wood working and I worked with my Uncle Butch,” he said, noting that his uncle is well-known in the area for his woodworking expertise.
“I’ve always been around construction,” Sam said. “Dad has been a carpenter pretty much all of his life.”
Samples of his talents and skills, such as mirror and wood engravings of family portraits and pets, can be seen in Liberty Olde Town Cheese Shop, etc.
You may catch Sam working at either shop or en route up or down Gallatin Street to work at one of them.