by Blain Mikkonen
In 2013, Grant and I began building furniture in my apartment garage. We didn’t have a grand plan for a production shop, we didn’t have a go to market plan, we didn’t have dreams of paying ourselves a salary; hell, come to think of it… we didn’t even plan what to build or how late we were going to stay up building it. Within a couple of short weeks, Phil stopped over and we were just a few guys building furniture and decor as an excuse to hang out, use power tools, drink beer, and maybe make a few extra dollars.
Although there wasn’t a plan for the first few weeks, we quickly realized the opportunity and began to bootstrap our business. What we experienced was a great response from our first customers but an even greater response from the community. Through this experience we’ve had the opportunity to grow together as a team, develop friendships, and establish great business relationships. We realize and appreciate how fortunate we are to work with our good friends each day, love our work, and continue to build Grain Designs.
Early last year as we were discussing the integral role that the support of the Fargo community has played in our success. Businesses such as Eco Chic Boutique and Enclave Development trusted in our young company to work on various projects and help promote our product. Early press coverage from the Inforum and feature articles published by Design and Living Magazine alerted potential customers of our existence. We are able to trace many of our current clients and relationships back to those that started supporting us when we first began. The community of Fargo has blessed us with this unique opportunity and we wanted to find a way to give back.
In early 2016 we launched our Give Back initiative, From Our Table to Yours. This initiative is one way of saying Thank You to our past clients and local community for their support. The concept is based on the idea that you have put food on our table, so in return we want to put food on yours. With each “From Our Tables to Yours” giveaway we’ll gift a custom Grain Designs table to a deserving family or individual. Each giveaway also includes a full meal catered from our generous give back partner, At Your Service Clean & Cuisine. Whether the deserving recipients are facing hardship or being rewarded for stewardship, our hope is that a custom Grain Designs table and a catered meal will bring the family together and the table will be a beacon of hope and conversation for years to come. However, we need your help!
In the summer of 2016 Paul Morlock of Moorhead, MN was nominated by his neighbors and selected for his hard work, positive attitude, and dedication to his family and Bison football all while battling an ongoing bout with lung cancer. We had the opportunity to meet Paul and his family, share stories, laugh, and talk Bison football before they enjoyed a delicious catered meal some of Paul’s closest friends. Sadly, Paul passed away as a result of his battle with cancer last October but our hope is that the table continues to be a reminder of their time together and a beacon of hope for the future.
We found this experience incredibly rewarding but we need your help to do it again this year and for years to come! We want the community that has supported us to nominate the families or individuals that would be deserving of a new table.
We realize there are so many philanthropists, generous organizations, and amazing charities in the Fargo community that our efforts don’t even scratch the surface compared to that of many others. However, we’re humbled to be able to give back what we can to the Fargo/Moorhead community that has given us so much. Thanks for the continued support, and thank you in advance for helping us give back to our great community.