Getting the Real Deals on Home Decor

Kristen and Tom Simek operating unique home decor and women's fashion business in Cranbrook.

Tom and Kristen Simek operate Real Deals on Home Decor at 300 1st Ave in Cranbrook.

From picture frames to women’s fashions to furniture made from reclaimed materials, there is something that will catch the eye at Real Deals on Home Decor in Cranbrook.

Operated by Kristen and Tom Simek, the business—located right across from the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort at 300 1st Ave. South—business has been steadily growing since opening up in November 2012.

With a bit of an art gallery vibe, the floor space is renovated weekly to accommodate for the high turnover of stock and products.

Real Deals on Home Decor is an American-based franchise that has expanded into Canada, with Kristen’s sister-in-law operating a location in Lethbridge.

After a visit a few years ago, Kristen got the urge to tap into her entrepreneurial spirit.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I do have a degree in psychology. I used that for a while but always on the side done entrepreneurial things,” she said.

“…So we went to visit them and saw their store and I had a hard time sleeping because I knew I wanted to open a store in Cranbrook,” she said. “Got right on it, few months later, we had our own.”

Being part of a franchise, the company has a team that purchases items for all 14 stores in Canada, however, Kristen has a little bit of leeway to bring in local products. One example is Kootenay Crate Company, based out of Creston, which has a line of twenty standard products in ten colours. Kootenay Crate Company is now carried throughout all Real Deals on Home Decor stores in Canada.

“We have a really good buying team with our franchise,” Kristen said. “I still source a few things out and we’ve gone to market before, but being that we’re part of a franchise, they’re very good at sourcing out really good vendors and companies for us to order from.”

A year ago, the business branched into women’s fashion and expanded that section even further six months later.

“We’ve really branched out in the clothes over the last six months, and it’s doing really, really well. We carry leather boots—genuine leather Bed Stu boots, so those have been really popular,” Kristen said.

In three years of business, Kristen met the challenges of working in retail, which can be and ebb and flow of customer traffic and sales.

Real Deals on Home Decor is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those hours allow Kristen and Tom to do the weekly changes to floor layout and displays while cutting down on staffing costs.

However, with the Christmas season fast approaching, there will a few changes to the schedule, starting with Black Friday on Nov. 27, as the store will be open 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The store will have a Ladies Night Out on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Late night shopping will be on Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, with hours extended to 8 p.m. while the store will be open for last minute Christmas shopping Dec. 21-23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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