Ashley Futris seems to always dream big. Her Bolt Boutique in downtown Waco encapsulates her engaging spirit.

But she said while she and a number of other downtown business owners are thrilled with the out-of-visitors who shop and check out what downtown Waco has to offer, they feel like they’re missing out on what could be their most enduring customers: the locals.

So on the Friday and Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, more than 40 downtown-area businesses are bringing what they offer under one roof, specifically The Phoenix Ballroom for the aptly named Co-Town Collab.

Futris says Co-Town is what she and numerous friends called Waco or “Wa-Co Town” while growing up.

The cotowncollab.com webpage explains the event as “for local business owners to showcase their products in a collaborative way. On the flip side of that, invite the community to rediscover Waco at an event that is geared toward our locals.”

“I think we have a nice mix of business that people have wanted to check out,” she said.

Futris, a former vice president of sports and special events for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, said she realized that some residents aren’t comfortable dealing with the influx of visitors or are worried about parking in those areas. Therefore, they don’t want to come downtown, she said.

Futris and Maggie Dietrick, owner of Margrit Co., which is inside Bolt, have worked together to coordinate the event. Six workshops led by business owners will be held on May 11.

Oh My Juice will have breakfast on Saturday. Dichotomy will serve drinks, as will Barnett’s Pub.

“This is a chance for new businesses to connect with locals,” Futris said. “It’s a sampling of what Waco has to offer.”


Co-Town Collab

When, where: 2 to 8 p.m. May 10 (Friday) and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 11 (Saturday) at The Phoenix Ballroom, 401 S. Third St.

About: More than 40 local vendors and businesses will display their wares, and services indoors. No admission; parking is free.

Online: cotowncollab.com. Also on Facebook.

Editor for Waco Today magazine and community editor at the Waco Tribune-Herald