From the neon lighting bolt sign to the eclectic variety of gifts, Bolt Boutique and its owner, Ashley Futris, are all about offering things are a little edgier and more fun for Waco.
For Futris, entrepreneurship runs in her blood. Her mom, Marcey Futris, created SportHooks LLC, a successful medal display company, and she and her sister, Katie, started Kaktos Rose in 2016 to offer metalwork products for home décor and even wedding toppers.
Kaktos Rose metalwork that they continue to produce is displayed on a portion of a wall in Bolt Boutique, but the store at 300 S. Second St. is filled with much more: snappy T-shirts, trendy clothing, stationery and cards, and décor items.
“This is tapping into my love for gift-giving – finding the perfect gift for someone,” she said. “I always felt I had great ideas for merchandise in Waco. I kept notes on brands that I liked and wanted to bring them to Waco.”
Futris, who previously worked for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and brought the Food Truck Showdown to Waco, said opening her store just fell into place.
As she was thinking about creating the store, the Turner-Berrenger Group was in the process of developing a retail building at the corner of Mary Avenue and Second Street. Although they were only showing her their plans for that space at that time, Futris said she knew instantly that’s where she wanted to place her new business.
“We were super-interested,” she said. “We saw the space. The space was perfect. The timing was perfect.”
The store opened on Aug. 22.
Finding the Store
The only shortcoming she’s had is that some first-time customers have trouble finding her place.
Bolt’s address is 300 S. Second St., but the entrance faces Mary Avenue. Parking is on the Second Street side where Billy Bob’s Burgers and Rush Cycle sit. But customers are finding her and word is getting out, she said, with social media playing a role in that.
Online and on Instagram and Facebook, you’ll find it listed as Bolt254. There’s a two-fold reason for that, she said. First, another Bolt Boutique online clothing business already exists, and if Futris ever decided to franchise, extensions such as 214 or 512 for those area codes are possibilities.
Futris said the store trends to a younger crowd but there are items for everyone. Bolt original T-shirts are popular. They are a high-quality, super-soft tri blend that is very comfortable, she said. Most have catchy saying or have Waco themes, which have proven popular, she said.
Nora Fleming serving pieces are home décor items that have sold well.
And though her customers are generally younger, an older crowd has been drawn to the store because she recently added CBD oil products.
“CBD is fairly new to Texas,” she said, “and I haven’t done a lot of education yet for myself on these products, although I knew about the benefits they’ve had for people with arthritis, lupus, anxiety and other ailments.”
High on a wall is an anonymous quote that serves as inspiration for her business. It reads: “Always remember that you have lightning deep within your soul. An energy runs through your veins with the power to bring beauty and light to this world. Never dull your thunder, use your voice. Continue glowing, continue growing – never staying content for too long. Let the universe see what you’re made of. For you are influential, passionate, and strong – you can overcome anything that comes your way. Believe me when I say that you are made of lightning – impossible to forget and remembered by all.”
As a way of building community and interest at Bolt, Futris holds special events, such as yoga gatherings and a recent enneagram workshop with Baylor professor Dr. Jon Singletary. She always has something special for First Friday. In February it will be a Galentine event.
Galentine activities, which have been called “ladies celebrating ladies” events, have been growing in popularity.
“The response has been great,” she said of her store. “I think people know it’s a place where you can pop in and find a gift that’s unique.”
300 S. Second St., #100
Mon-Sat, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.