HIWASSE -- The new year brings with it a new business in the Hiwasse community. Colton Carlton and his wife Kayla opened Weld Source, their welding and metal fabrication business, on Monday, Dec. 16, at 13781 W. Highway 72.
The Weld Source shop is equipped to do all sorts of welding-related jobs, large and small, even on specialty metals such as aluminum and cast iron. It also offers CNC plasma cutting in which it designs and cuts metal replacement parts, customized signs, hand railing inserts and decor.
The Weld Source business is operated out of a historic old service station at the intersection of Highway 72 and Highway 279. It has also served as a restaurant and, most recently, a secondhand store. The Carltons have spent a lot of time refurbishing the building, removing mold and mildew and installing new insulation, drywall and ceiling tile. An attractive charcoal gray paint job provides the finishing touch. Kayla says the remodeling job was "a lot of work but worth it."
Carlton attributes his interest in welding to his grandfather, James Spears, as well as training in agriculture classes with William Tapp at Gravette High School. He found that he enjoyed his welding classes there and went on for further training at Tulsa Welding School. After receiving his certificate there in 2010, he worked for other contractors until the couple started Weld Source in June 2015 at a garage near his home.
The Carltons emphasize that they hope to become a vital part of the community. They set up their business in Hiwasse because they wanted to be closer to their roots.
"We love it here. Our family is here. We grew up here. This area is special to us," Kayla said.
Colton is the son of Aaron Carlton, Mary Jo (Spears) Duncan and Shawn Duncan. Kayla is the daughter of Jennifer (Dunfee) and Travis Arnold, David and Carolyn Edmondson. The two met when they rode the school bus together when he was in ninth grade and she was in eighth. The couple has two children, son Corben, age 5, and daughter Kenlyn, age 2.
Business hours for Weld Source are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday. Walk-in customers are welcome or appointments can be made by calling or texting the Carltons at 479-787-0336. After hours appointments can also be arranged.
Weld Source will operate for now at the present location, but the Carltons have bought some acreage in Hiwasse just a couple of miles away along W. Highway 72 and plan to build a shop there in the future.
"The Hiwasse community may also be excited to know that another locally owned and operated business, White Willow Boutique, will also be featured in the office of Weld Source as of February 2020," Kayla announced.Community on 01/08/2020
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