From home-based to storefront

Story by Patricia Merrick


Photos by Sergei Belski

Spring 2024

Two Airdrie business owners have found success after making the leap from home-based to storefront.

Danielle Doetzel, owner of Boulevard Home, opened a shop on 1st Avenue in the fall of 2023 and offers home décor and interior design services.

“I always loved curating spaces and really wanted to open up a storefront where I could have the option for somebody to come in and it be like a one-stop shop for their home,” says Doetzel. “And that’s kind of where the dream of the boutique started from.”

She started running the business from home in 2018, offering design consulting services before opening an online décor store after participating in the economic development SMARTstart program in 2019.

“We have our ups and downs, but I definitely think that Airdrie is still kind of learning about us,” says Doetzel. “I love this little city and I think that it has so many great shops and so much personality and I just wanted to be a part of that.”

Dione Irwin, owner of Plush Home Staging, opened a shop on East Lake Boulevard in the spring of 2023 that provides enough space for storing furniture used for staging, as well as a showroom to showcase staging designs.

“It takes eight seconds for somebody to decide if they like a home or not and so we have to make it look good,” says Irwin. “It’s so rewarding for me to see the transformation.”

She says she always had an eye for decorating and design so, when she became a realtor, she took an interest in staging houses for sale. She started running her business out of her garage in 2010 and rented storage units to store furniture she used for staging.

“I think the true art of staging is working with the challenging homes that don’t have a great layout,” says Irwin. “When you stage it, it just shows people how it will be when they live there.”

Jessica Williamson, economic development officer with the City of Airdrie, credits both business owners for their success in Airdrie.

“We are home to a vibrant home-based business community that is supported by a growing consumer base and our entrepreneur support ecosystem,” says Williamson. “Plush Home Staging and Boulevard Homes are both examples of ambitious female entrepreneurs who have capitalized on our growth and business supports to propel their businesses from home-based to a storefront location.”