WOW, what a year 2020 turned out to be! This has been a year of many trials, struggles, excitement and hope in this small business of ours. We cannot thank you enough for every order, review, share, and interaction you have done on our platforms. Every order we received we did a little happy dance, and said a prayer of thanks for you and your order. Truly, building this community with each one of you and seeing this boutique grow, has been such a joy!
It is hard to explain and share what happens behind the scenes here at Bolt; however, here is a fun timeline of what happened in 2020 along with some milestones we accomplished!
A little background on Bolt for you, I (Abby) started Bolt Boutique the March of my senior year of college in 2018. I knew it would be slow at the start, so I ran Bolt from my parent's home in St. Louis while I was still in school an hour and half away! My dad would accept deliveries from UPS and check to make sure the inventory was sent correctly, and my mom would pack any orders that came in while I was away. But I would still find time to make it home to work every few days. After graduation, I gave myself three months to work on Bolt full time with no distractions, but ultimately needed to get a part time job to save money for my future! From August of 2018 until February of 2020, I worked a part time job and split my efforts with Bolt. Obviously, after a year and half of part time work, there wasn't a ton of growth seen with the company. So February 18, 2020 I officially started working Bolt full-time. (Who knew a global pandemic was about to shake the world) MAN I was scared! I knew it would be awhile until I was able to start paying myself, and I knew if we didn't see growth relatively quickly then I would have to give up on this dream and get a corporate job instead. But WOW I am so glad I took the leap, and am so thankful for my supportive and encouraging husband and family.
It is kind of crazy the results you see when you dedicate all of your time to something you are passionate about. I know that sounds super obvious, but it was a lesson I needed to learn! The fact that we saw growth during those first five months of being in a pandemic was really encouraging. Due to that, Caleb decided it was time for him to quit his job doing data analysis consulting and join the Bolt team! Having Caleb jump on board took Bolt to the next level. Instead of this business feeling like a hobby ran out of a dinky apartment, it started to feel like a professional company. Not only had our sales skyrocketed with Caleb's marketing and analytics knowledge, but also just the daily processes of work and how the business should be ran had improved. He had sat in on conference calls and company team meetings and had been apart of a large company culture. My experience from working part time retail and Caleb’s corporate experiences have aided Bolt’s growth!
Quickly we realized that we had a lot to learn and to grow we decided it would be wise to start looking for a pair of helping hands! Enter Harper - Bolt's first ever intern! Her presence alone required us to stay on task and be held accountable for the work. Harper had ideas that we trusted, and a different way of seeing things that was a great asset to our team. Whether it was creating designs for the website, styling a photoshoot, writing thank you notes and packing orders, or coming up with blog posts and tik toks, Harper had her hand in everything. I have to say, learning how to delegate and trust others with this company was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but so thankful for Harper's patience and work ethic!
Our hearts at Bolt are anchored in Jesus, because of this we have a huge desire to use Bolt to give back to others! This year alone, we have donated around $5,000! We gave monthly to Stand UP To Cancer, supported two Campus Outreach missionaries, partnered with three sororities and their philanthropies; gave to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and No Kid Hungry program. We have been Blessed and YOUR support for Bolt has made this possible.
Throughout 2020, we started to figure out who Bolt is as a brand; what we want our aesthetic to be; who our target market is and what they want; working with influencers; growing out our email newsletter and to getting our social media content in line. Hopefully you all have been able to see and experience this!! :)
We have big goals for Bolt looking forward! We always want to glorify God in our work by having integrity, being honest and diligent. We have hopes to use Bolt as a form of ministry; whether that is giving more, starting a charity or hiring victims of trafficking! Whatever it is, our hands are open to what God has planned and we are just excited to see what that will be.
Thank you to everyone that has made this small business really feel like something big, and supporting us every step of the way. We love all you Bolt Babez! Wishing you all a very merry 2021!
Congratulations Abby, I’m so happy for you & Caleb! Your energy & excitement could be felt in every word I read. The way you’re giving back speaks volumes of your character. I, for one; have been very pleased with my orders. Your website is easy to navigate, your responses and shipping are fast and your packaging??The BEST! The personalized touches are so appreciated. Wishing you much continued success in 2021 and beyond!!
Beautifully written Abigail! I’m so proud of you! And Caleb too! Dad