HEAVENLY OUTHOUSE AND POOR DAVID’S
Sometimes life demands a mighty leap of faith. Karrie and her daughter, Natasha did exactly that, leaving behind the world of teaching for the realm of retail. It began 12 years ago with the purchase of Heavenly Outhouse, an eclectic shop in Historic Downtown Cochrane. When the opportunity arose to take over the space next door, they leapt again. The second store is called Poor David’s, in honor of Karrie’s “poor” husband, David who ended up putting in new floors, painting, building shelves and moving heavy boxes. To this day, he is called upon regularly to do the heavy lifting, but as he says, “happy wife, happy life!”
A perfect storm
Karrie says it certainly was a leap of faith, buying a business just before the recession hit in 2008, with online shopping no longer just a threat on the horizon and big box retailers moving into town. Historic downtowns across North America are fading from view and Cochrane’s was in jeopardy. It was a perfect storm.
But what’s a risk taker to do but double down and lead a rallying cry to revitalize the downtown core, with the firm belief that success depends on being for something, not against, and that there’s room for all retailers here, big, small or virtual. She worked tirelessly to find ways to bring the downtown business community together through cooperation and collaboration, rather than competition. Karrie continues to support other independent businesses by carrying their products in her shops.
Her own search for excellence and determination to remain relevant has helped her create a unique destination shopping experience.
Today, Cochrane’s Historic Downtown is alive and well and Karrie has even expanded, recently opening a Poor David’s in Calgary’s Inglewood district – another historic downtown.
One love, two shops
So why own two shops, side by each, is the burning question. You’ll soon discover that each has its own signature. Heavenly Outhouse is the perfect marriage of form and function – divine décor and delightful gifts – ever changing, as Karrie is always on the hunt for the unique and the unusual. Poor David’s is all about having fun, filled with cheeky gifts both naughty and nice. I have to say, they have the best cards in all of Rockyview County. But as others can attest, you go in for a card and you come out with the gift to go with it. Downright dangerous. Put both shops together and you have the perfect recipe for people who love to shop for people who are hard to buy for.
Guest Journalist – Jane Usher
Photographer – Ascent Media