Volume 2

Trailblazer: Unveiling Entrepreneurial Paths

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The Backstory and Future of Taylor’s ACE Hardware in Boerne, Texas

This week I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Chris Taylor at the future location of Taylor’s ACE Hardware in Boerne, Texas. Chris was born and raised here in Boerne, and is now looking to start the next chapter of his life in the community he has called home for so long. While interviewing Chris, I was able to ask him about the process of opening a local ACE Hardware, the skills that he has needed throughout his career, and any advice he would give to aspiring entrepreneurs. His answers and our discussion will be detailed in the following sections.

I began the interview by asking Chris what the process has been like for opening his own ACE Hardware store, and I asked him to touch on any challenges he has faced along the way. Chris explained that the process began by interviewing 50 other ACE owners from around the country. Chris learned a lot from them, but even with all of this knowledge and advice, starting up a Boerne ACE has still been like “drinking from multiple firehoses.” Chris said that many of the challenges come from little things that you don’t even think about—garbage dumpsters, security systems, music for the store, and so much more that piles up on the to-do list. Chris has overcome many of these challenges with the help of his family. He claims he “could not do it without his wife Holly,” who is the co-owner of Taylor’s ACE, and “their three daughters.” However, even with all of these challenges, Taylor’s ACE is about 6 weeks ahead of schedule—aiming to open its doors by September of 2024.

Digging deeper into the process of opening a brand new hardware store, I asked Chris about the preparations he is making to ensure the store is ready to open this coming Fall. We touched on the renovations to the building, the search for employees, and gathering inventory. Chris said the renovations are “mainly cosmetic” and are serving to “lighten the place up.” When asked about the search for employees, Chris said the hunt has just begun; at the same time, he wanted to make it clear that the employees working at Taylor’s ACE will be working at one of the best atmospheres in Boerne. Chris also says that, upon opening the store, all of their inventory will be on the floor—customers will be able to find what they are looking for if it is in stock. Lastly, Chris has been preparing by working with the community: Das Greenhaus, the City of Boerne, the Boerne Kendall County Economic Development Corporation, and the local Fire and Police Departments.

I then asked Chris what sets him apart from local competition in the area. His answer was almost immediately “community.” Chris is aiming to create a hometown feel and experience in his hardware store, something that the competitors in Boerne don’t necessarily offer. Chris and his wife grew up in Boerne, so they know the value of offering a friendly environment and a smile when you walk through the door. This was almost immediately apparent when I first met Chris; upon walking in the door he offered to show me around with a smile, and I even got to sign the wall, leaving my mark on the store as many others already have. This wall will eventually be covered, but the signatures will always remain.

Shifting gears, I asked Chris what skills from his past contributed to his entrepreneurial spirit. Chris explained that it started when he was with the “Cub Scouts selling door to door.” This practice of cold knocking on doors and attempting to sell a product showed Chris the value of getting out there and not being afraid to get things done. He further explained that when he was 7 years old, he sold lightbulbs for the youth league. From this, he “made a $30 profit,” something which he never expected to see. By hiding this money from his brothers, he says he learned the value of savings; by buying baseball cards and selling them to neighbors and local community members, he claims he learned the value of investing. Chris has been an entrepreneur from the start, and this helps explain why he is so set on making Taylor’s ACE a success.

Finally, I asked Chris about any advice he would give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to impact their community as he has done. He believes the best advice he can offer is to “ask for help.” Chris explained that when trying to build something for the community, it is important to get the community involved. He “couldn’t have done it alone,” he says, and through the help of Das Greenhaus, the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Corporation, and even his neighbors, Chris has been able to pull off an amazing feat of entrepreneurship. One of the biggest pieces of information Chris has gathered from this experience is that “there are people out there willing to bend over backward to help you get started.”

Looking back, the chance to interview Chris Taylor and learn more about the future of Taylor’s ACE Hardware was an amazing experience. The sense of community is very strong from the moment you step foot in the store, and the friendliness of everyone there is something that is hard to forget. I am excited to see what the future of this location looks like, and I look forward to visiting the hardware store when it opens in the fall!

Dershie Kurtz and the History Behind the Das Greenhaus Building

A popular question for the people at Das Greenhaus is, “What was here before y’all opened?” Thankfully, I have the answer. Last week, I was able to speak with Dershie Kurtz, who owns and previously occupied the Das Greenhaus building. Dershie and her husband Stephen, purchased the building where Das Greenhaus is located in 2016, which then became the office space for her pediatric home healthcare company, Texas Kids Home Therapy. Stephen spent about 9 months remodeling the building into what it is today. Dershie wanted it to feel like home since staff and nurses would be spending many hours here. Texas Kids Home Therapy called 7 Upper Balcones Road home for three years before Dershie decided to sell the business

Dershie Kurtz and her husband Stephen Kurtz with their two kids, son Kade and daughter Karson, have been Boerne residents for 22 years. Before moving to Boerne, they lived in the Weatherford area. She went to college at Texas A&M University and received her degree in Biomedical Science. With her love for working out, a history of medical issues in her family, and her passion for helping others, she decided to become a physical therapist. She has worked in both adult and pediatric healthcare fields and has loved every difference and similarity. This passion for the healthcare industry and helping others is what led her to start her own pediatric home healthcare company right here in Boerne, Texas.

Dershie started Texas Kids Home Health back in 2011—they specialized in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Texas Kids had their first patient in January of 2012. This was just the beginning for this at-home healthcare company. Eventually, Dershie hired nurses from Private Duty Nursing services to provide special care for patients with GT tubes, ventilators, and other needs that required 24/7 care. The staff of Texas Kids would go to a patient’s home and provide services that needed to be performed by skilled nurses and therapists. In December 2019, Dershie decided to sell Texas Kids to Pediatric Home Healthcare and take a break from working.

After two years of not working, Dershie decided she needed a new passion, so she reached out to a friend she knew who worked for Caring Transitions. Unlike Texas Kids, Caring Transitions is a senior assistance company that is nationwide. Dershie handles the Fair Oaks, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Hondo, and Boerne areas helping senior citizens relocate, downsize, and liquidate with in-person or online estate sales. They assist with the packing of a client’s home, moving the belongings to the new location, and unpacking where they will put sheets on the bed, organize the kitchen and closets, and offer space planning to help clients pick what is moving with them and what isn’t. The estate sale auctions that are offered online are open for 7-10 days and the winners can be shipped their items nationwide, these auctions help fund the transition services provided by Caring Transitions. They have 320 locations nationwide and around 750,000 bidders at any time online.

Das Greenhaus is grateful for the beautiful space that Dershie has provided to us. I mean, it’s only right for our organization that helps entrepreneurs, to move into a start-up’s old space.

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In early 2024, Katie and Melissa came together to co-found Prickly Pair Consulting; their goal being simple; to offer honest assistance with property taxation, with a focus on education and helping clients navigate what they feel is often an intentionally confusing and misleading system.
Recently, Das Greenhaus hosted a Summer Speaker Series open to the Boerne and Kendall County community. Over a three-week period, the featured speakers—Catie Campbell, Rod Collins, and Samuel Riehn—provided the community with education and inspiration over their lunch. From inspiration on how to stand out in a crowded industry, to information on doing business with the Department of Defense, this speaker series saw a wide variety of both topics and listeners.

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Published on: Boerne Lifestyle
Published on: Boerne Business Monthly