Made in Michiana: Bolt Laserworks
CASSOPOLIS, Mich. -- Made in Michiana is headed to Cassopolis, where a local couple is working to help support and bring the community together through hand crafted, laser etched goods.
They are a great reminder that sometimes you don't have to look too far to find your own kind of expert.
“A lot of people assume that the experts are somewhere else. says long time Bolt customer and Morning Star Communications Group CEO, Bernie Williamson. “In the big cities, the big towns, somewhere on the internet they must be professionals because they are on the internet. And sometimes, they are in your own backyard. And that’s the truth there.”
Just off the main strip, in Cassopolis, you can find the Nelsons working away.
“Well Bolt used to be based in Indiana. And Jeff and Cathy Nelson the owners lived here in Michigan," says Williamson.
After long hours of commuting between Elkhart and Cassopolis, the Nelsons wanted a change.
“And for the longest time felt compelled to come into this community and put their money where their mouth was and come home," says Williamson.
“We moved here to Cassopolis two years ago," says CEO for Bolt Laserworks, Jeff Nelson.
Right away Cathy focused on her time on their already thriving document management company--but Jeff decided he was ready for a creative change.
“Less than a year," says Nelson, "We purchased our laser last December and so we are just getting it off the ground.”
With a new laser and beloved staff who have stuck with the couple through each business venture over the last 30 years, Bolt Laserworks was born.
“We laser cut and laser etch products," says Nelson.
A unique and lasting process.
“We’re actually altering the surface of the material. So it’s permanent," says Nelson. "It’s not like a stencil or a decal that can come off, it’s permanent.”
That permanence than matched with personality.
“The real value add we have is we’re able to do personalization. So gifts, awards, signs, any of that we can do the custom graphic and personalization," says Nelson.
If you are looking for a specialized tumbler for a gift, or a special way to commemorate a big day, the creative options you have are endless and so are the materials you can pick from.
“We can do wood, we can do granite, marble, slate, glass, we can do metal as in insulated tumblers and so on, acrylics, leather," says Nelson.
Gifts, corporate trinkets, memorials, company signage, literally anything you can imagine all done with you in mind.
“The idea of being special. Not just jumping on Amazon and ordering something, but rather rendering something personalized and special we can help people make those gifts," says Nelson.
“I think the bonus that you get from the quality being in your backyard, but you also have decent people. Who are committed to the quality, who you see in the cafes, on the streets, in the neighborhood," says Williamson.
Spreading magic almost like Santa Claus, line by line, among a beloved community.
“Well, it’s fun. The customers are engaged, they have a big input in the creative process and then we take it from there," says Nelson.
While many might only see the good in items for things like weddings--Nelson see's it even in the darker times.
“We do a lot of pet memorials. And that’s touching in it’s own way," says Nelson. "It’s obviously not a fun event, but we share that with the pet owners, being pet owners ourselves. So it’s the connections with the clients.”
Connections with clients like Bernie and Darren Williamson, who have used Bolt to curate special additions for homeowners their renovation business, North Star Landscaping, helps.
“He was helping us etch some natural stone because we do pavers, walkways, and seat walls," says Williamson.
Nelson also finds joy in giving back.
For instance, Nelson donated all the labor and time put in to personally monogram 65 tumblers for graduating seniors at Cassopolis high to make the students in his community feel loved during an atypical year.
A year that may have changed how nelson reached his customers, but never one that would stop him from helping the community he and his wife call home.
Even opening their doors amidst a pandemic hasn't put a damper on starting Bolt's latest venture.
“No, certainly no harder than it’s been on anyone else," says Nelson. "We understand why it’s important to social distance and curtail travel. We’re all in this together and so we need to all get over it together. We’ll get through.”
If you are interested in contacting the Laserworks team for more information or discussing your own personalized item you can reach Jeff best by phone call or stopping by the store.
Store address: 127 S. Rowland Street, Cassopolis
Facebook: Bolt Laserworks