The runner-up in this year’s Win Your Space business contest has opened her new store in Yellowknife’s YK Centre mall.

Kerri Nolting owns and operates The Farmhouse, a home decor store across from Gourmet Cup, which had its grand opening on Monday.

Her second-place finish in the City of Yellowknife’s contest earned her a $5,000 credit toward leased space among other benefits.

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Moving swiftly, Nolting has spent the month since Win Your Space’s finale transforming the cosy mall space into a store packed with signs, glassware, vintage items, clocks, lamps, and more.

“It took a month to get the space set up, but a lot longer to get all the product made. It’s been in the works, I would say, easily six months,” Nolting told Cabin Radio just before serving her store’s first customer.

“A lot of products I make myself or my husband makes, along with items we’ve brought in,” she continued.

“I’ve always really loved a rustic design feel, but I’ve never been able to find it. I was going to order online but I decided to give making a sign a try, and it worked. Then I made them for friends, and friends of friends, and then I built a business.”

‘Best decision ever’

Nolting’s business was known as Kerri’s Kreations until Win Your Space, during which she created her Farmhouse brand.

She joins Sarah Kalnay-Watson, whose Let Me Knot store opened soon after finishing second in 2017’s Win Your Space, as a runner-up proving quick off the mark. Mary Kelly, who won the 2018 contest, is busy working on her downtown Music Exchange space.

With Yellowknife’s challenging economic prospects being the subject of much talk during this municipal election season, Nolting admitted she had given thought to how her store will fare.

“Of course. All week long, that’s what I’ve thought,” she said.

“But you know what? I wake up every day really happy doing what I do.

“I would have regretted not opening the doors to this store. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”