December 13, 2017
A conversation with Niki Greenough ... cont’d
Holiday Appetizer Catering
you, andHow’lots of my signs sBUSINESS are made by four women in Alberta. There are only a couple of things in the How’scome BUSINESS store that from the United States. If I love it, I’ll buy it.
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RR: Has there been anything that’s come as a surprise or been a challenge during your first year of business?
RR: What did you do before this? NG: Admin. My husband owns Fountain Tire so I did paperwork there, which I still do. RR: Was it hard to find this space? (Behind the Barn is located beside the Kopper King on the Alaska Highway.)
RR: It smells really good in here.
At Behind the Barn’s workshops, participants paint wooden signs like the ones shown here
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Rhiannon Russell is a freelance journalist in Whitehorse.
NG: No. I knew I didn’t want to be on Main Street. Having furniture, I wanted it to be easy for people — you don’t have to circle the block 50 times to find a parking spot. I had a look at this place and it looked way different than it does now. It was all black, black ceiling, black walls. And yet I could totally see how it would work. Three five-gallon cans of white paint and about six loads of garbage to the dump later, this is what it looks like.
Niki Greenough is the owner of Behind the Barn, a rusticdécor store on the Alaska Highway in Whitehorse
NG: I think I’ve been most surprised by how busy the craft classes are — how much people really want something to do that’s different, besides going to a show or going out for dinner or to the bar. People want to be creative, but they don’t necessarily want to have to have all the stuff it takes to do a craft. They can come here, pay the one price, and then take their piece home with them. I’ve had so many people come and say, “There’s no way I can make that.” I guarantee you, when you leave here, it will look just like that, if not better. Sometime it’s a little tricky to convince people that they just need to come try it. That’s what I tell them: so long as you can follow instructions, you’ll be good.
NG: I go to gift shows, but I do try to get everything from Canadian vendors. Most of it comes from Ontario, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary. Most of my big furniture, like the big hutch behind
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NG: That’s another thing — the whole feel. I wanted the outside to be welcoming, but the minute you walk in, I wanted you to be hit with the twinkling lights, the smell, the cozy feeling. I want you to come and stay, not even just shop. I want you to come in and feel relaxed. So we have coffee and lattés. Occasionally, I have cakes baked by my son. We sell those by the slice. RR: Do you source products mostly from Canada?
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