This is a cool story of how this creative rural entrepreneur and his business partners moved their business rural and how that move eventually inspired the creation of another successful rural business.
Blain Mikkonen is a founder and co-owner of a few businesses, two of which were the primary topics of conversation in this episode of the Rural Entrepreneur’s Gold. Grain Designs is a custom furniture and decor business creating desks, tables, sliding barn doors and more primarily out of reclaimed wood. The business was founded in September 2013 and has steadily grown in production, staff, and excellence.
The Pines Wedding and Events Venue is a 9600 square foot stunning rural barn wedding venue near Fargo, ND. The venue shares the property with Grain Designs, who also happened to make all the beautiful tables for the venue.
Mikkonen thought he would be a farmer back in Frederick SD on his family’s organic family farm after he was done with school. That was his plan even after he earned a master’s degree in architecture from North Dakota State University. He shares the story of how that plan changed and these two cool businesses came into existence.
Grain Designs started with Blain and his college roommates building their own apartment furniture. OK, who are we kidding, they built a beer pong table to rave reviews of their commrads and classmates. It was however, enough to boost their ego to move on to bigger and better things and build more furniture. Mikkonen shares how college furniture building segwayed into a pretty successful & profitable business that started in his garage.
The Pines Wedding & Events Venue didn’t start because a bunch of guys had a love for weddings…. I’m sure that’s hard to believe. It actually started as a way to save the much-loved location of the Grain Designs headquarters in its rural picturesque location of Davenport, ND. Hear how the business trudged through struggles, disappointments, and took risks to make big things happen.
Mikkonen lives in Jorace with his wife Kelsey and their daughter Kollyns. You can find Grain Designs & The Pines Venue at:
Krysti Mikkonen is the owner of Rural Gold, a business located in rural South Dakota offering website development and coaching services for small to medium-sized rural businesses.
Or you can listen to the full episode by clicking play below.