I have a love for all things pretty, so I fell hard when I discovered Branch Market & Studio. Imagine a shop filled with handcrafted goods, upcycled furniture, and knick knacks of all colors and styles that you’ll immediately want to take home. Branch Market is a curated collection of all things lovely, charming and whimsical from paintings of kitties and bunnies to pre-loved rocking chairs to funny coffee mugs and comfy pillows.
Branch Market is the brainchild of owner and artist Rebecca Desaulniers. She opened the shop in 2015 with a friend, but has been solo steering Branch on her own since last year. “I’ve been creative since I was a little girl. One of my favourite things to do was to decorate my room and make things look pretty,” explains Rebecca. “This grew stronger as I moved into my own homes and I explored furnishing it with used pieces that I would paint or repurpose. I love the hunt of finding cool used furniture and home decor.” Her knack for turning old furniture into repurposed gems led to her own home studio called Made Pretty doing mixed media, sewing and furniture upcycling.
Eventually Rebecca wanted to expand from her work-at-home business. “I dreamed of having a permanent space where I could create pretty vignettes and displays that would delight people,” she says. “The ideas flooded in, one being to reach out to other making businesses in the area to see if they would be interested in being a vendor and sell their products wholesale. [Artists] loved the idea.”
The end result found her setting up shop in the small town of Black Diamond, out in the rolling foothills of southern Alberta and just off the main street drag. “[It’s] a quaint, artistic bustling town full of character. I’m thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant community and grateful for all the local support,” says Rebecca.
Branch offers tons of small town charm in the small cottage turned storefront. The “market” features tons of handmade goods and gifts, many from local artists from around Calgary and Alberta. It was great to see some of my favourite designs like the pressed flowers of Gypsy Skulls, the refinished desk from Made Pretty Studio, and Needle and Pine’s mountain woodworks all over the store. I also discovered new artist work like Marymake Handmade’s animal paper sculptures and the delicious-smelling handiwork of Lambs Soapworks.
If you get inspired enough, Branch also offers do-it-yourself tools such as the popular Milk Paint brand and supplies, beautiful fixtures for wall hooks and drawers, and a wide variety of fabrics and textiles. If you need a little help, the store also offers studio space so you can make one of their DIY kits or take part in one of their seasonal workshops to make anything from pillows, holiday centerpieces, and more.
Running a small business hasn’t been easy, but Rebecca has taken to the challenge with lots of positivity and growth. “The store is doing well and has become many people’s fave spot to visit and browse all the pretty things. Our team is growing and learning every day,” she explains. “My advice to someone just starting their own small business is to create a vision and mission for your business, make a financial plan, believe you can do it, stay positive and open and remember to always ask for and accept support.”
There’s a little bit of everything for house and home, gifts for him and her, plus all the cute baby goodies! Take a cruise down to Black Diamond and see all that Branch Market & Studio has to offer. You’ll love it just as much as I do.
Branch Market & Studio
128 Government Rd
Black Diamond, Alberta