Business Profile: Airdrie Furniture Revival
Airdrie Furniture Revival thrives in new commercial space
Jessie Heron has taken her business, Airdrie Furniture Revival, to new heights since moving it out of her home and into a commercial space.
In the last year, custom orders for furniture projects have quadrupled, and she started thinking about moving to an acreage or renting a commercial space. On December 26, 2020, she saw a bay in Kings Heights and signed the lease in days. By March 20, she opened Airdrie Furniture Revival in a 1,500 sq. ft. space with a storefront and workshop in the back.
“Taking this step to move into a big space is scary, but there are ways to make it work,” said Heron, noting the extra cost was a challenge.
She arranged a renter to offset some costs. Once she evaluated she needed the production space more than the cushion of rent revenue, she gave that renter notice in May to regain some room needed for her burgeoning business. Other creators have since approached her to use the space for making their wares.
“I've become like this little cooperative of allowing local makers to come in, sublease a small space to do their making to take it out of their home, and then they sell their stuff in the store,” said Heron, noting this was unplanned.
The artist has been creative with her business model. She has some local makers selling out of her store on consignment and a couple creating in the back. She carries handmade items in the store and regularly reaches out to small makers she wants to sell for, whether wholesale or on a consignment basis. Some local vendors help her manage the shop in exchange for a reduced commission rate.
Heron built up a large customer base and social media following to support her since opening her home-based business in 2014. All along, she’s consistently created quality, rejuvenated furniture projects, and her new store boasts more products to turn houses into homes.
“There's no way I would have done this if I didn't have such a following,” said Heron, who admits her fearlessness has allowed her to succeed by taking calculated risks. “I'm able to do these things, because I don't have that fear.”
Her biggest advice for other makers is to charge what they’re worth.
“Anyone who owns a small business needs to know that it's okay to have a backbone,” said Heron.
Story and photography by Britton Ledingham