Refinishing and revitalizing furniture is the name of the game for Jessie Heron, the owner of Airdrie Furniture Revival.
“My goal is to give people something that matches their personality for their home at a price that’s reasonable,” she said.
The business began eight years ago, according to Heron, and was inspired by her desire to have distinctive pieces to decorate her living space.
When she couldn’t find what she was looking for, Heron took it upon herself to refinish a few pieces on her own, learning how to properly do so as she went along the process. She said her first projects turned out well, and when friends and family would visit, they would fawn over the pieces and encourage her to pursue the work as a business venture.
“Honestly, it was a dream. I would love to do that, but I would laugh because I’m like, ‘It’s not realistic, I can’t do that,’” she said.
At the time, Heron was working for a corporate telecommunications company, with whom she’d been employed for nearly a decade. She said she couldn’t imagine leaving her job to do something ‘fun’ as an alternative.
To nurture her creative spirit, Heron would work on projects for clients out of her home, while still working at her day job. After that, she said, everything moved rather quickly, and without a solid plan.
“Within four months of [having] that conversation, I had started selling and I had sold so much that I had to quit my job because I was not able to work full-time and do this,” she said.
Heron said it was never the intention to have a storefront, but she eventually needed more space to work on her projects. She and her husband even considered selling their home and purchasing an acreage so that she could have more room.
At the beginning of this year, Heron leased a commercial space, and her business continued to grow. Not only was she displaying and selling the furniture she had reworked, she was also bringing in unique décor pieces and collaborating with local makers to bring their wares into her shop for exposure to a larger audience.
Spark and Bloom – the first business that collaborated with Heron at her storefront – were monumental in helping her get her start, she said.
“They have been a huge part of my success in the storefront to this point,” Heron said. “I do contribute a lot of my early success in the store to their efforts.”
She said she is also greatly appreciative of the people of Airdrie for supporting her in this venture. The business owner added that opening the storefront allowed her to build a community of people around her that she didn’t feel she had before.
“I firmly believe that my business would not be as successful as it is if I didn’t live in Airdrie from the start,” Heron said.
It seems as though the community has returned the favour, as Airdrie Furniture Revival was rewarded Bronze in the Airdrie City View’s 2021 Best of Airdrie Reader’s Choice Awards for furniture, home décor and appliances. Heron said she was completely surprised when she learned the news of her win.
“It was so rewarding because people took it upon themselves to vote for me, when I hadn’t even mentioned that this was an award I wanted to win, because I thought the timeframe was earlier in the year, and I thought I’d missed it,” she said.
As for what’s next, Heron said she never stops learning new techniques and adapting her business day-to-day.
“My number-one goal while I run this business is to continue to enjoy it, and that’s it,” Heron said.
“I’m so happy with what is, that I’m not too worried about what comes next.”