Article published in the fourth quarter edition of the Greater Waco Business magazine.
Small businesses are the engine of our economy in the Greater Waco community – more than 70 percent of our membership is considered “small business.” We love introducing small businesses and their owners in our “Small Business Spotlight.” This allows us to showcase some of our local small business owners and hear from them what it’s like owning a small business in Waco and how the Chamber has helped their business.
Why Bolt? A question Ashley Futris, owner of Bolt Boutique, often gets asked. When coming up with a name for her vision, she came across a quote that, summed up, says, ‘you are made of lightning, never let anyone steal your thunder.’ Bolt Boutique has given Ashley an outlet to put her innate gift-giving ability on display, showcase her cheeky fun original shirt designs and really let her personality shine through each product in the store. Ashley is proud to bring a unique boutique to downtown Waco.
Q: Why did you decide to start your business – why now, why Waco?
A: I don’t know if you’re ever fully ready to start, but when the pieces started falling into place it just felt like this was the time. I’ve lived in Waco for 20 years now and have watched it grow and even been a part of some of that growth – it’s an exciting time to be in Waco!
Q: You have lots of fun, unique items in your store. How did you decide what kind of business you wanted to open?
A: While promoting our metal art businesses SportHooks and Kaktos Rose, my sister and I noticed that people often commented on what we were wearing. Our friends and family often comment on our ability to always find the perfect gift for anyone and when traveling we would see other great things that other cities were doing so we decided to put a little bit of all of that into Bolt.
Q: As a longtime Wacoan, what do you think about the growth and changes that have happened in Waco over the last several years?
A: We’re originally from Chicago, but in the last 20 years it has been remarkable to see the change that has happened, not only in downtown Waco but also in the surrounding suburbs. It’s an exciting time, we’ve always said that Waco has always had this unique draw.
Q: Why did you decide to join the Greater Waco Chamber?
A: Having been a previous employee at the Chamber, I am very aware of all the great things the Chamber is implementing into the community and collaborating on.
Q: How has your Chamber membership benefited your business so far?
A: It has helped get the word out about Bolt and helps me stay connected to my community.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about owning a business in Waco?
A: The locals! I know most people think that businesses are popping up downtown because of the tourists, and while that is great, my locals continue to be my strongest customer base! They really come out to support me and are genuinely excited about the new businesses opening in Waco.
Q: What’s your top piece of advice for other small business owners in Waco?
A: Be ready to 100 percent commit and live and breathe it 24/7. And know that every hard, long day is completely worth it in the end. Only a select few are built for it and there’s a reason you’re doing it!
Q: On the weekends or in your free time, what are some of your favorite things to do in Waco?
A: Wait, what free time? Just kidding! I am loving my workouts at Rush Cycle, if you haven’t tried it I highly recommend it! Aside from that I enjoy checking out the new fun menu items Milo All Day is bringing to Waco and all the new businesses popping up daily!