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 the 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.
In early 2015, Patrick Bresnahan started with the company 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. Patrick was later added to the ownership team. 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.
Collectively, our Grain Designs mission is to provide an exceptional and memorable personal experience that inspires creative ideas and values within our team and our clients. Each piece we create is Handmade and Wellmade; custom designed for your home or business.

Blain Mikkonen

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.

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 enjoy spending my weekends with my beautiful wife, visiting our families, hosting friends, tackling projects around the house, and looking for an excuse to go out to eat or grab a drink.

Grant Koenig

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.

Phil Bruckbauer

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.

Pat Bresnahan

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.

Zach Nelson

Where I’m from: Fergus Falls, MN

What I do: I get my hands dirty with nearly all types of projects that come through the door. My primary role is wood production but every day is different.

Why I love what I do: I get to wake up everyday and head out to the shop and do something I’ve always been passionate about. I feel very fortunate to have found a group of guys who feel more like a family than just co-workers. I take great pride in working for a company where I can take something most people may discard or disregard as junk and turn it into a piece of furniture that family and friends can enjoy.

When I’m not working:  I enjoy, maybe a little too much, my favorite chair in my living room; most often it’s my go-to place for napping or watching the latest Minnesota Wild game. My wife and I enjoy walking and bike rides when we can as well as taking care of our two dogs Fiona & Blue. When the weather allows I enjoy hiking and fishing; being able to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life is a good reset.

Cody Freestone

Where I’m from: Holland, MI

What I do: Shop craftsman. I build whatever crazy design is sent my way. Lots of wood craft but I also handle a large chunk of the metal fabrication/welding.

Why I love what I do: I enjoy building unique pieces and being challenged to build whatever crazy designs the design team comes up with. I really enjoy the problem solving, building jigs to streamline the operation, exploring new techniques, developing new ideas, and teaching new skills or techniques. I see each project from design concept and then have hand in each step of the build process but the most enjoyable part is deliveries or installs. I really enjoy seeing a project from beginning to end, and seeing the clients reaction upon delivery.

When I’m not working: I often ‘work’ some more by building my own furniture at home or in the GD shop. I spend my free time cooking and playing with my daughter.

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
July 11, 2020 in Resources

Design Guide – Custom Wall Decor & Business Sign

Are you considering a piece of custom wall decor for your home? Or maybe you’re looking for the perfect custom business signage for your office. We will work with you to design your and build your custom sign and bring…
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April 16, 2020 in Resources, Stories

Sourcing Reclaimed Wood

When we started Grain Designs in the fall of 2013, our original business plan outlined the use of reclaimed wood as our primary building material. This was a choice for a few reasons...we were architecture students with an appreciation for…
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March 18, 2020 in Stories

Miles to Magnolia – Our Austin, TX Trip

Miles to Magnolia Last month we were able to take a long weekend break from the cold and head south to the warm destination of Austin, Texas. While taking an annual break is important for our company to push the…
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