We had the good fortune of connecting with Peri Bolts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Peri, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance has been very challenging for me as an entrepreneur. I have never been afraid of hard work and long hours, but I left the corporate world because of feeling unfulfilled by 60+ hour work weeks, working for large corporations. Becoming an entrepreneur has not lessened the number of hours that I work, but it has certainly changed my relationship to my work. I do what I love, I keep my greater mission and values at the heart of everything that I do and try to enjoy as much of the work as possible. I have learned a lot about work life balance in 2020: with the drastic dichotomies of work happening in our society: some having all and some having none. My business was shut down for about 9 weeks during the initial lockdowns early in the Spring, and even though my brick and mortar store was shut down, I was still working hard to keep my business afloat online and pivot to the climate at hand. The additional time at home really taught me aspects of balance that I had been missing– walking with my dogs daily, cooking hearty meals, gardening, plenty of time with my partner. I realized how much I really missed doing things like this over the past few years of working 6-7 days a week. There was a brief period of time after the lockdown ended that I strictly tracked my working hours weekly– capping myself at 50 hours and setting firm boundaries on anything over and above. I have since been able to cease that practice and learned to listen more to how my body and mind feels about my workload. I will definitely cherish the slow times that we had this year, as my business partner and I opened a second shop this November and theoretically now have double the workload. I believe maintaining balance and setting boundaries makes for happier humans and happier businesses!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Eclectic CO. is a brick and mortar concept that houses local, sustainable, and handmade goods from the Front Range of Colorado. All together, we are 2 stores that represent over 80 artists, makers, curators, and vendors featuring handmade and carefully curated goods. We are the perfect place to shop for unique and interesting gifts– for yourself or others! The most exciting thing about Eclectic CO. is the addition of our second shop, Eclectic OCC (Old Colorado City) that has allowed us to represent a slew of new makers! Being an entrepreneur is never easy. Finding a community of collaborative and like minded people to support and uplift you is absolutely key. The best part about what we do is that the community is built in: makers collaborate and share best practices and skills all. the. time. Finding a business that serves your passion and a need in the community is always the way to overcome any challenges that come with owning a small business. In the 2 years that we have been open, and in 2020 specifically I have learned how valuable resiliency, grit, and kindness truly are. What the world should know about small business, and Eclectic CO. specifically, is that when you shop locally from a real artist, 70 percent MORE of your dollars are recirculated in your community, as opposed to big box stores. You make an impact every time you shop in an Eclectic CO. store or on www.shopeclecticco.com .
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Colorado Springs and Denver have some fantastic spots to hang out and spend money. I would definitely take them to RiNo and spend time in galleries, at breweries, and shopping. Then onto Morrison for a nice hike. We would spend the bulk of our time in Colorado Springs, appreciating all of the great spots in town. For food: Monse’s Pupuseria, Odyssey Gastropub, La Baguette, Mirch Masala, and Carnelian Coffee are definitely on the list. Breweries: Cerberus, Local Relic, and Metric top the extensive list. Shopping: Heartshake Studios, Simple Body, CoraLun Vintage, Yobel Market are all must-sees. And lastly, natural sites like Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Canyon, and Green Mountain Falls to get some great nature in!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout is dedicated to the city of Colorado Springs for rallying behind small, creative businesses this year, and to the artists and makers in the Eclectic CO. community for always digging deep to find love, compassion, and collaboration, even when times are tough.