Not long after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Walter Bjorkstrand fought for economic freedom by founding his own company. Throughout the years, future generations of Bjorkstrands picked up the mantle, which currently resides in the knowledgeable hands of family members Mark and Jesse. Mark made his foray into the home improvement industry in 1968, soon becoming an exclusive dealer of Gutter Topper in the Twin Cities. Likewise, Jesse has been installing gutters, siding, and roofing for more than 20 years. As an authorized Gutter Topper installer, Jesse skillfully fits gutters with covers and guards that prevent leaves and debris from clogging them as water trickles freely through uninhibited downspouts. Mark and Jesse's techs each possess at least 11 years of experience, performing gutter work on all matter of houses and buildings throughout the years. When they aren't installing and cleaning gutters, the team armors homes with siding, fits walkways with heated snow mats, and guides unruly rain drops to the earth with decorative rain chains.
The founders of American Workshop describe their public workspace as a ?health club for woodworkers." Much like a gym, the shop is a place where members gain access to specialized equipment that would otherwise take over their entire garage or spouse?s side of the bedroom closet. American Workshop?s experts also assume similar roles as fitness coaches as they lead classes, workshops, and one-on-one training sessions that help participants achieve personal goals.
American Workshop?s array of classes strengthens students? grasp on woodworking essentials through hands-on practice drafting out ideas, measuring out board stock, and exploring the structural and aesthetic qualities of various projects. Students can also learn decorative techniques, such as applying an even finish with stains, dyes, and embarrassing stories that make wood blush. Safety-oriented courses, such as Woodworking 101 for beginners or Intro to Furniture and Cabinetry Design, are designed to boost confidence in using woodworking equipment, and private one-on-one sessions match students up with an expert to clarify lessons covered in classes.
Few people can say they started in their profession as a teenager. Jacob Servais of Pine Ridge Landscaping & Tree Services is one of those few: he interned at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Horticultural Research Center when he was just 14 years old, when most kids are just climbing trees or dismembering them for slingshot parts. The passion he discovered in that internship led him to give landscaping a shot as a career, and, in turn, to venture out on his own as an entrepreneur.
From the company's founding in 2006 onward, Jacob and wife Jennifer have run their landscaping outfit as a full-service company, complete with two crews of specialists in landscaping and tree handling. Homeowners can look to the landscapers for jobs that span their outdoor property and the seasons, from installation of trees for an envisioned landscape to removal of snow from driveways and sidewalks in the wintertime.
The technicians at Mahner Tree Service don?t just care for the trees they are working on; they work to keep trees looking fresh and lively to keep their customers happy. They do this by minimizing the use of heavy machinery on customer property and by providing the tools and expertise to get any size job done, from a small yard to several acres. This level of commitment and care is pervasive in all their services, during which the crew uses professional-grade Stihl equipment to safely prune dangling branches, shape bushes, and remove stumps in hopes of finally getting that stubborn tree gnome to leave. Technicians can also put their muscle to work expanding yards and delivering firewood and woodchips before the winter sets in. Should any other issues crop up, the team also gives free, no-pressure quotes.
Louis Genz and John Ryan first founded Genz-Ryan in 1950, with help from Louis's wife, Greta, and John's mother, Rose. As the business expanded, so did Louis's family: four sons—Dan, Mike, Bob, and Jon—were born, and in 1997, they took hold of the reins to continue the journey their father started.
To this day, they strive to retain their small-business values while pursuing industry innovations, such as geothermal technologies, tankless water heaters, and waterless water. Their 7,000-square-foot design center features an interactive showroom with a fully functioning kitchen, bathroom, and HVAC system. When they aren't providing supplies for upgrades, renovations, and new homes, technicians tweak appliances 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The professionals at Inspiration Design Center help clients revamp their homes with expert design tips and hardware. They carry an extensive selection of kitchen and bath tiles in styles such as granite, glass, and ceramic in a variety of colors and textures. They also stock hundreds of slabs for countertops in myriad materials such as granite, marble, travertine, and limestone culled from quarries across the world. Inspiration Design Center employs master craftsmen who use precision laser measuring on projects, as well as certified installers to ensure houses easily transform into cozy, eye-catching homes.