Crow and Cactus brings Southwest flair By MEGAN BENNETT The Belton Journal Nestled on Pearl Street and recently opened, The Crow and The Cactus has quickly acquired a following. Shop owner, Amy Morter, converted the charming Belton townhome to an eclectic gift shop inspired by Native American and Southwest artists. Growing up all over the country in a military family, as well as being married to a former Apache Pilot, Amy Morter and her husband decided to place roots in Belton after he retired from the U.S. Army last year. The idea for the business however, came to Morter in college. During her senior year, her capstone project was to write a business plan. Inspired by her travels and a love for the desert, the idea has now become a reality. As a lover of art and history, Morter has filled the store with traditional and contemporary arts and crafts ranging from a diverse collection of jewelry to homemade furniture and local art. The Crow and the Cactus wasn’t the original name, however. Morter originally proposed “The Kokopelli” after being inspired by the Native American figure who represents growth, prosperity, and good luck. After mulling over the idea, she came to terms with it being not the right fit and sat down with her daughter to brainstorm new ideas. Thus, the Crow and the Cactus was born. Morter explained that she wanted the name to encompass the things that she loves, one of them being birds. She described that the “crow is a very intelligent and unique animal, and sometimes misunderstood” and that the cactus is a “well-known symbol of the desert.” It seemed only fitting that combining the two felt like a good representation of her fondness and appreciation of the Southwest. Morter also explained that the store is a product of her upbringing, specifically, growing up in Europe. She loved the idea of how community members shop in European countries, commenting on how often it’s a “place to gather, visit, and enjoy a sense of community.” She designed the layout of The Crow and the Cactus to mimic just that same philosophy of shopping; refurbished hardwood floors, patio furniture for shoppers to lounge in, ceiling to floor windows for natural light, and welcoming displays to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. She agreed that Belton, similarly, has the same sense of what it means to gather. Morter reflected on how the “small business community has been so phenomenal and welcoming” and that she “couldn’t ask for a better experience” while on the journey of starting her business, also mentioning how she is “extremely blessed and thankful for the town’s support.” In the future, Morter hopes to expand her business by opening a small patio in the summer months–joining with adjacent businesses–to host live music, food tastings, and other small events to bring Belton community members together. She also endeavors to carry and introduce bourbon tastings, as well as host miniature fall festivals in the coming months, with the ultimate goal that The Crow and The Cactus is a place of gathering. Customers are sure to find the perfect gift or artwork–a piece of the desert and western culture to bring home with them, and a reminder of the welcoming nature of The Crow and The Cactus. To learn more about the store and products available, visit BELTON JOURNAL/MEGAN BENNETT Photos in folder