Grain Designs is the product of two North Dakota State University Architecture graduates Blain Mikkonen and Grant Koenig. The two paired their passion for design and drive for irregularity to form Grain Designs. The passion and irregularity quickly demanded a third guy to fit the part. Philip Bruckbauer, a Concordia College graduate, started with the company in their first month and quickly grew as the company’s, left-handed, right hand man and also the third partner of the company.
Patrick Bresnahan is the most recent Grain Designs member who started with the company in early 2015 and brought his golf skills and sports talk radio with him. Much like Phil, he’s become a jack-of-all trades, vital to the team’s success. Collectively the four juggle the responsibilities of business administration, marketing, production, and customer relations. They believe in a responsible late afternoon beverage, a quick mid-week golf outing, or a business meeting over a game of darts.
Where I’m from: I grew up on a farm near Frederick, South Dakota.
What I do: Primarily manage business operations and client relations but I dive into design fairly regularly and still look for the opportunity to get my hands dirty in the shop when I can.
Why I love what I do: We’re incredibly fortunate to wake up every morning excited to work. It’s hard to imagine that our “job” is an outlet to creative thinking and innovative design while curating relationships and a craft. Our day to day operations are what we love to do (most of the time), and I think the Grain Designs team is a pretty great group to share this experience with.
When I’m not working: We’re always looking for an excuse to golf, sometimes it’s while we’re supposed to be working. I’m the married man of the group so I look to spend some time with my beautiful wife in the evenings. We do married people things like go for walks with the dog, work in the garage, and visit Home Depot on the weekends. We enjoy visiting our families whenever possible and we’re always looking for an excuse to go out to eat or grab a drink.
Where I’m from: Fargo, ND
What I do: I primarily handle client relations, design work, and the social media/marketing side of the business. When I get into the shop I spend most of my time welding.
Why I love what I do: Grain Designs started as a shared vision where instead of working to build someone else’s dream, we wanted to build our own. We set out to not only solve a problem but to provide a product that was unlike anything else available. I feel extremely fortunate that through the growth of Grain Designs I am able to spend my time working with my best friends while providing a product that I believe in and care about…That’s why I love what I do.
When I’m not working: I can be found at the lake, golf course or planning my next travel. Photography is another creative outlet that I love developing (no pun intended) and I am always looking for a reason to get out and experience new places. If by chance I can throw some friends, beers and good music into all of these passions, I’m in paradise.
Where I’m from: Born and raised in Fargo, ND
What I do: I work down in the shop building the custom furniture that we create. Most often that includes cutting, glueing, sanding, and staining the wood products.
Why I love what I do: I really love being able to learn new skills and gather knowledge in many aspects of life, so starting this company with no experience of woodworking has allowed me to really develop those traits and challenge me every day to be better. Also, being your own boss and having the freedom to get to the lake or golf course when I want really has its perks.
When I’m not working: Most often I enjoy doing something active or in the outdoors like playing soccer, hunting, fishing, golfing etc. I like to play guitar in my free time and I also really enjoy traveling and experiencing new places, bars, and restaurants.
Where I’m from: I am from Valley City, ND and have lived in Fargo for the past 10 years.
What I do: My primary responsibility at Grain Designs is to build furniture and home decor. Essentially I take what is drawn up on paper and turn it into a reality. I also occasionally will give input on designs and handle customer interactions.
Why I love what I do: I love working at Grain Designs because it demands creativity, hard work, and an attention to detail that creates a product I can truly be proud to have built. I also get to work with some of my very best friends, and taking the journey of growing of business with them is all that anybody could ask for.
When I’m not working: When I am not working, I can usually be found playing some sort of sport. I love competition and spend much of my time in the summers playing softball and golf. In the fall and winter I enjoy hunting, playing basketball and following the Bison football team. Usually, I can be spotted bright and early tailgating at most home games.
These guys do amazing work, you won't be disappointed.A'Livia Dorale
Love them. The guys are so nice and incredibly talented. They made a custom table for us and it is STUNNING.Steph Garza
Highly recommend. They are polite and fun to work with!Alicia Mae Spickler
Giving Back to a Giving Community
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…Read More
A Modern Approach to Sliding ‘Barn Doors’
by Phil Bruckbauer I’m often asked what my favorite project is that we have built and it’s tough for me to answer. The challenge and change of pace when trying to execute an entirely new design is enticing and exciting,…Read More
War Veteran’s Accomplishments Encapsulated in Furniture
by Grant Koenig Since the inception of Grain Designs the goal has always been to create custom pieces with meaning, primarily through the story that the reclaimed wood tells. As the company has grown we have been given the opportunity to work…Read More