Board & Brush

Garrett and Kendra Welch hold a sign representing their Board & Brush franchise during a training session at the business’s flagship store in Hartland, Wisconsin.

Garrett and Kendra Welch, both health care professionals, are opening a Board & Brush franchise in Westrock Centre on Hewitt Drive, one of four new leases signed at the center.

Board & Brush Creative Studio was founded in Wisconsin and has 248 locations, including nearly 40 in Texas, the closest in Belton. Guests, including those hosting parties, reserve time slots and gather to create personalized signs with materials provided by the establishment. Instructors are on hand to offer advice on distressing, sanding, staining and painting wood.

The Welches, both Texas Tech University graduates who moved to Waco six years ago, considered sites downtown, on Valley Mills Drive and in Central Texas Marketplace before choosing a 1,400-square-foot vacancy in Westrock. A contractor and the Welches, who are applying as much of their own elbow grease as possible to stay within budget, should have the place ready for opening next month, Garrett Welch said.

Garrett Welch said his wife became sold on Board & Brush upon visiting a Dallas-area location with a gift certificate. Her determination to open her own place, with Garrett’s support, was cemented by trips to the Belton studio.

The couple researched the brand, including financial demands franchisees must meet, and traveled to Wisconsin for training, Garrett Welch said.

“We believe the Board & Brush concept is just right for Waco, which has a heightened sense of do-it-yourself due to Magnolia,” he said, referencing the brand of Chip and Joanna Gaines, whose hit HGTV show, “Fixer Upper,” thrust the couple into the national spotlight.

Located across Hewitt Drive from a Coca-Cola plant, Westrock has plenty of parking and is in one of the fastest growing local areas, he said. Garrett Welch is 32 and owns his own occupational therapy practice specializing in hand-related issues. Kendra, 33, is a registered nurse on track to become a family nurse practitioner in December.

The Welches will employ six to eight people in their new venture, mostly part-timers, and themselves will provide hands-on assistance, Garrett Welch said.

The location’s website states Board & Brush recruits the expertise of graphic designers nationwide to prepare “farmhouse, vintage designs that will adorn your walls for years to come.” Stencils allow users to personalize their pieces with surnames, monograms and the dates of special events.

Board & Brush charges a $25,000 franchising fee, and estimates typical start-up costs range from $62,289 to $89,406, according to its website.

Dominated by retailers and restaurants, Westrock Centre opened 13 years ago and recently was bought by a local investor, Lisa Le. Le has announced her intention to make lighting, landscaping and signage upgrades, said Gregg Glime, one of the Coldwell Banker Commercial agents who markets the property.

Since Westrock was built, a second Walmart has opened in the Hewitt area, at Interstate 35 and Sun Valley Boulevard, and H-E-B opened a 109,000-square-foot Plus! store to sell groceries and general merchandise. Meanwhile, national builder D.R. Horton continues work on a 1,500-home subdivision called Park Meadows near Hewitt and Woodway in far West Waco.

The 70,000-square-foot center was priced at $10.5 million when it sold in the spring. Neither the buyer nor seller has stated the final sales price.

Glime said the recent rash of lease signings, including Board & Brush, involve smaller spaces totaling a combined 5,000 square feet. Among the other new lessees is a business that will offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

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