Born and raised in Minneapolis, Preston Anderson – the founder of PrestonMade – spent his childhood exploring the lakes and woods of Northern Minnesota. His mom was quick to point out the intricacies and beauty that surrounded them on their hikes and adventures, while his dad was always ready with an explanation of how or why something worked the way it did. This love of the land and the people that inhabit it led to a degree in Biology from Bethel University. While Medical School was the plan, it became clear that his true passion was creating. Having taught himself woodwork in the family garage at a young age, Preston has been experimenting and honing his craft ever since.
At nine years old, he took his bike, a hatchet, and a length of rope and into the woods behind the family cabin in Northern Minnesota. After felling a young pine tree and trimming a few branches, he lashed it to the back of his bike and dragged it back to the cabin. Over the next day he completed his first woodworking project: a baseball bat.
While the tools have all been upgraded, the basic principals remain: work hard, apply what you have, utilize locally harvested lumber, and create beautifully functional pieces.
Learn the PrestonMade story in the exclusive Modern Midwest Q&A.
Modern Midwest: Tell us about your company.
Preston Anderson: PrestonMade is a woodworking and design company based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Founded in 2015 by myself and my wife, Angela. I am the head designer, builder, and creator. Angela takes part in finalizing design as well as managing relationships and overseeing shipping and distribution.
Based on the marriage of quality craftsmanship and good design, PrestonMade has an aesthetic equally at home in a downtown loft or a suburban home as it would be in a lakeside cabin. A cohesive look and feel distinguishes their products, striking a balance of downtown and north woods, modern and rustic, feminine and masculine.
MM: When/why was it born?
PA: We have been woodworking, creating, and experimenting for years. So, while a career in medicine was perhaps the prudent choice for our future, it was clear where our passion lay. There is much joy in making something that will outlast you, in making something that brings people together, or perhaps jump starts a conversation. At the end of the day, it is the people that use our products that matter, not simply the things.
MM: What’s your creative process like?
PA: I generally have a final product in mind months before it becomes a reality. After weeks of rolling an idea around in my mind, a final product finally becomes illuminated. I then make a prototype to run past my wife. After she adds her tweaks and criticisms, a final product is born.
MM: What makes the Midwest, specifically Minnesota, special?
PA: This is our home. We don’t have mountains, oceans, or an overabundance of sky-scrapers. What we do have is lakes, rivers, forests, and parks to spare. We cherish our seasons; capitalizing on the many activities each presents. We are in it together, seeking to draw the most out of life collectively. Our community, specifically the creative community, is unmatched, and largely untapped by the nation as a whole. The collaborative spirit and values we share only serve to strengthen our identity. I think you will continue to see our creatives prosper on the national scene as more and more people realize the gem they’re flying over.
MM: What’s one thing a non-Minnesota native should know about the city?
PA: Minneapolis is a special place. We cherish our communities, and support local makers. I think our foodie culture is an often-overlooked aspect of this culture. The number of high quality, neighborhood restaurants is unmatched. Minnesotan’s love good food, it’s what fuels us through long, cold, winters and days out on the lake in the summertime.
MM: Where do you get your inspiration?
PA: I find inspiration everywhere. The world is a beautiful and wonderfully created place. While I prefer the woods and waters of the north woods, there is a splendor to be found in the city. Beauty and observation go hand in hand. To say something is beautiful is to notice it. Open your eyes, if you don’t see something to inspire you, look harder.
MM: What’s something new – or challenging – that you’re working on?
PA: Just this past fall we launched our handmade fishing net. It’s taken quite some time to master the technique of steam-bending. Taking a straight piece of wood, and coaxing it around a mold into its final teardrop shape, takes patience, and planning. But, it is more than worth it, once you realize you breaking the cellular structures that have been in place for decades within the wood, and reestablishing bonds in new positions, which will last for decades to come.
MM: Any fun facts about the brand or making process that you’d like to share?
PA: All of our products are made from start to finish in Minneapolis. Many American companies were born in garages, and PrestonMade is no different. While we are on the cusp of out growing our original shop, I will never forget how we started out: in my sister-in-law’s garage.
Shop a variety of PrestonMade’s unique and functional woodwork at Modern Midwest’s first-ever “Modern Market” in Minneapolis’ North Loop. In addition to PrestonMade, a carefully curated selection of local makers will showcase their goods at Modern Market – all of which embody the Midwest’s distinct take on modern living. Enjoy local food and drink, live music and art while supporting the Minneapolis maker community!
Thursday, December 3, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fast Horse, 240 9th Ave N, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
GET IN ON THE ACTION!
$10 in advance / $20 day of