Joyful Spaces and Timeless Design: Meet Sarah Kirkpatrick

After nearly a decade of running her own marketing agency, Sarah Kirkpatrick found herself at a crossroads. Inspired by the loss of her mother and the emotional power of our living spaces, she had an “aha” moment: she was destined for a career in interior design.

“I want to help clients fall in love with their space again.” – Sarah Kirkpatrick

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sarah seized the opportunity to pivot her career path. She founded Unshelf Design, a one-stop shop for interior design, cosmetic renovation, home styling, and occupied staging. Her business is committed to sustainability and community, sourcing unique, secondhand items that add character without breaking the bank.

Strategic Beginnings: Establishing a Business Plan with Business Link

Sarah knew that building a solid foundation for her new business was crucial, having experienced the complexities of entrepreneurship firsthand through her marketing agency. Committed to establishing a solid business plan for Unshelf Design, she reached out to Business Link. Working with a small business specialist, Sarah dove deep into market research, determined to understand better where she could position Unshelf Design in both the staging and interior designer markets.

Eager to give Unshelf Design a unique edge, Sarah wanted to host interactive interior design workshops. With Business Link’s guidance, she applied for the Canada Digital Adoption Program’s Grow Your Business Online Grant. This government-backed initiative offers small businesses up to $2,400 in funding to boost their e-commerce capabilities, enhance their digital presence, and increase their online visibility. With her newfound skills, she created a user-friendly website integrated with Eventbrite, making it easier for her clients to discover and enroll in her in-person workshops in Calgary. This digital shift allowed Sarah to bridge her design expertise with the online world, making her business even more accessible to her clients.

“My experience with Business Link gave me the right foundation as a new business owner.” – Sarah Kirkpatrick

What’s Next for Unshelf Design?

Armed with insights gained from Business Link and the Canada Digital Adoption Program, Sarah is currently working on a series of initiatives to cater to the needs of her clients. In addition to her in-person workshops, she is creating online courses to help more people create homes that hug them – beyond Calgary. Her passion for interior design and love for sustainable living are the driving forces behind Unshelf Design, and she is committed to curating beautiful spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.