22 years old, a women, and a small business owner? How did I get here? Where did the courage to start Bolt Boutique come from?
Growing up, my dad would consistently tell me and my two sisters to “be your own boss”, that it’s better to control your own work, your own company, and not have to worry about pleasing a boss that could potentially fire you someday. Being raised in a household where the female to male ratio is 4 to 1, the theme in our house was that women are just as capable, smart, and independent as men, and that no woman is ever inferior or less than.
I have recently graduated from University, where I majored in business administration, with an emphasis in management, and minors in fashion merchandise and entrepreneurship. I was in a unique position where I was able to tailor my schooling to exactly what I wanted to do post college. I knew I wanted to start my own online business, I knew I wanted work in the fashion industry, and I knew I wanted to understand how businesses work and succeed.
Starting Bolt, I do not pull a salary for myself, I reinvest everything I make back into the business and use it to help the company grow. Which means, I do not make any money, yet. So on the side I hustle and pick up shifts at a super cool company waiting tables and hosting events. Most of these events are for different companies and businesses wanting to treat their employees to a really fun day outside the office. It is obvious that women are SO under-represented in the workplace. In an event of 60 people, maybe 10 are women. Sometimes, there are no women at all. And majority of the time women are the supporting roles. Men are the bosses, the presidents, the ones in charge of the credit cards. It excites me that the generations to come will have women that have graduated college, gained degrees, and have goals to grow in the workforce. Women are now no longer afraid to take on leadership positions, mentally and physically demanding jobs, and starting their own business ventures. Society today has placed a huge spotlight on the gaps between men and women and have worked to change them.
How amazing is that! How cool is it that we are now growing up in a society where our parents, teachers, mentors, neighbors, and coaches encourage us to take on tough roles and positions and to be independent and courageous women. I feel like before women were never told to start their own businesses, and here I am today constantly supported by my parents, peers, and professors. I feel so grateful and excited that I have this opportunity. Even if Bolt fails and ends up going no where, at least I had the chance to go for it. And will have the choice to go for it again and again if I wanted. We obviously still have a long way to go in our society when it comes to inclusion of all genders and races, but we are starting to demand companies and people to stand up and make a change. And slowly, but surely, it is coming.
Bolt Boutique to me is more than just an online clothing store. It is my first real step into the adult world. It is what God will use to map out my future decisions and attitudes. If it succeeds then that is what God has planned for my life. If it does not work out, then God will use this as a learning tool and will bring along something better and even more amazing than I could have ever imagined for my future. The way I see it, I can’t lose with Bolt. It is a gain either way, and I am so excited to see where it goes!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future.” – Jeremiah 29:11