March 7, 2022


OUR STORY: We want to share our journey with you.

I'm Paula

A former Kindergarten teacher/part-time home flipper turned CEO – having traded my love for the classroom for my love of beautiful spaces!  

Now a surface specialist, design lover, and the founder of Iron River Surfaces – my combined passions for beautiful finishes and education merge together in our little blog as the team and I share helpful tips, design trends, inspirational ideas, and a little bit about ourselves along the way!  

Thank you for joining us, we’re so glad you’re here! 
Learn more about our story.

hey there

As we say goodbye to the bleakness of winter and welcome the newness of spring, I can’t help but reflect on the changing seasons in our lives and the beginnings of this little company. As you know (or will come to know), business is personal for us, and chances are it is for you too.

We don’t take it lightly that our clients and customers invite us into their vision boarding, design musings, and their homes and stories. No project feels like just another job to us. And since we get to play such an honored role in shaping your story of making your house a home, we wanted to share our journey with you.

The Beginning

My partner  Sheldon (in business and in life!) had a VERY entrepreneurial drive from a young age which created opportunities for him to operate numerous small businesses.   From lawn care and landscaping to constructing and selling cat furniture – with  many other startups in between, he had created multiple successful companies before he was 19 years old!   Always a pioneer, his ambitious nature led him to open a flooring company along with partners.  Soon, they had become busy with an in-demand, award-winning business on their hands.

While he continued building his rapidly growing business along with his partners, I was busy in the classroom – living my best life and shaping young minds as an elementary school teacher—a 19-year long career I started shortly after graduating from The University of Alberta.   I LOVED being a teacher, and I still treasure every moment I get to spend in my youngest daughter’s classroom as a volunteer.  BUT it was no secret that I loved flipping and renovating properties as well.  So between spending my days in the classroom and chasing after our 4 very active children at home, I cultivated my side hustle and passion: design, renovation, real estate, and home flipping.   

This hustle and passion became my second full time job, and unsurprisingly, busyness became the overarching theme of our life. 

And then everything stopped.  And we reevaluated EVERYTHING.

In 2018 we were grief-stricken by the loss of Sheldon’s mentor, best friend, and biggest cheerleader—his amazing father. After a short battle with a devastating and aggressive illness, we watched as his dear dad passed away in his prime.  It was at this point that Sheldon and I realized how short life truly is.  It became undeniably clear to us that living an inspired life—one filled with curiosity and a deeper sense of purpose and filled with family – was what we wanted. 

He wanted to build a more hands-on business that reflected his strong work ethic and family values, and I craved more flexibility outside of the classroom walls.  And most importantly we both deeply desired more FAMILY TIME.

What was undoubtedly one of the most challenging seasons in our lives gave birth to one of the most meaningful decisions we could have made. And we set out on this incredible adventure together with a new perspective and gratitude for the gift we’ve been given. TIME.

Taking The Leap

Along with my own flips and renovation projects, friends often asked me for help and advice on their homes. As I happily shared my thoughts and worked on my own projects, I recognized the lack of a design-focused interior surfaces and flooring retail experience in our area.   And the reality was an us-shaped hole where our passions intersected, and the most perfect opportunity for us to build something that allowed us to work together while pursuing our dream. 

So after MUCH thought and reflection, I resigned from my teaching position—trading my love for the classroom for my love for beautiful spaces and the process involved with creating them!

My Type-A, people-focused personality (we do exist!) pairs well with Sheldon’s action-oriented, visionary nature.  And so we combined our love of renovation, building, and helping people create beautiful and functional spaces.   And right here in Edmonton, Alberta, where we grew up,  Iron River Surfaces was born!

With trademark offerings of product selections (tile, hardwood, LVP, laminate, countertops, large format slabs, carpet, custom area rugs, murals, and wall and ceiling features) we pride ourselves on being the place where design-driven interior surfaces and impeccable, full-service installation meet. A place where selecting finishes for your home can be a fun and enjoyable experience.

And we believe that every home can be beautiful, no matter the budget.

Iron River Surfaces Today

We’re perfectionists but in the best possible way.  

What began as a company of two has grown into an A-list team of true artists and craftspeople. Our combined expertise and tenacity for overseeing projects from concept to completion seamlessly as a unit ensures every customer has the best experience. 

What gets us up in the morning (besides strong coffee!) is building a business that celebrates family, fosters community, and helps you design a space that creates a life you love and enjoy. It’s work we’re honored to do.

Thank you for joining us on this continued adventure! 

Come in. Get Cozy. Be Inspired.

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  1. Beth H says:

    An inspiring story, Paula! Congratulations on all you have accomplished!

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