Jolt Lighting was started back in 2015. Aaron O’Dell had already been in the industry for 10 years and was looking to do something new. He believed that Christmas displays were too old fashioned and that the future held brighter, more modern displays that pulled the audience into the story. Aaron enlisted the help of his youngest brother, Skylar, and they created Jolt Lighting in the shop in Aaron’s backyard. They had been scheming for years to figure out a way to work together and it was finally happening. But after three months, the small shop would no longer contain them. They moved out of the backyard and over to a commercial space in Grandview, MO (a southern suburb of Kansas City, MO) where they designed and created some of the coolest, most modern Christmas displays around. When COVID hit, they were forced to shut down the manufacturing portion of the business. After COVID, and hard times for most all of their customers (amusement parks, retail shopping centers, hotels), Jolt Lighting pivoted their business into an event-production business where they put on drive-thru holiday lights displays.
Their family tree is decorated with entrepreneurs. On their mother’s side, there was a plumbing business and a hunting supply company. Their mother has a business decorating cakes and catering weddings. One of Aaron and Skylar’s earliest jobs was washing dishes and bussing tables for weddings and events. On their father’s side were a number of farms, a machine shop, auto repair, a trucking line, and an auto parts business – started by his grandpa. His father and uncle took it over and still run it today. Their brother Derek runs a construction business. Small business is a family affair.
“We know small business. We were born and bred small business. We are a product of the life that small business can offer. We’ve been fortunate to have so many mentors in our family. The lessons we learned from our parents and grandparents will stick with both of us throughout our lifetimes.” – Aaron O’Dell