Creative Wood Designs: A Successful Dakota Business Lending 504 Borrower

May 21, 2018

Do you ever wish you could upgrade your home with unique, custom cabinetry designs like those seen in Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, and other home renovation shows? Designs like these may seem out of reach without the guidance from Chip and JoAnna Gaines. Large wooden beams, weathered décor, industrial architecture, and sleek, bright, modern spaces are seen all over magazines and TV shows like DIY Network and HGTV. But you don’t have to be on TV to have these same beautiful spaces in your home. Whether your style is rustic, chic, modern, industrial, or traditional, Creative Wood Designs in North Dakota can help create your dream room a reality.

Creative Wood Designs manufactures and designs custom cabinetry in-house at their Bismarck, North Dakota location. They have been hand-crafting custom cabinetry for the Bismarck-Mandan area for over fifteen years. They build cabinets to suit both new constructions and remodels in either residential or commercial properties. The company is owned by Darin Sebastian and Mike Ness, a dynamic pair with years of carpentry experience and the expertise it takes to develop custom designs to fit any space.

Darin attended Bismarck State College and received a certificate for carpentry in 1988. He later worked for various carpentry firms until he started Creative Wood Designs in 1995. Mike joined Creative Wood Designs in 2004 and attended Bismarck State College while working at the company, receiving his certificate for carpentry in 2005. In 2006, he become part owner of the company. Darin and Mike manage the company well together. Darin focuses on the production and installation, while Mike handles the bidding, accounting, and financial parts of the business.

For the first few years, the company leased a space in Bismarck and earned an excellent reputation in the community after just a few months of business. 

“What sets our business apart from its competitors is the level of customer service we offer and the many different finishing options we have”, says Mike. 

While renting, the company was forced to work out of multiple locations to complete all of their operations. Their high reputation lead to a rise in demand for their products and services. To be competitive in the growth market influenced by the boom in the oil industry, Creative Wood Designs found that they needed to be under one roof. The business also needed more space in order to match their production with the rise in demand. The business partners decided their own building was essential to be able to design and manufacture in one place. 

“We didn’t have a professional office space or a showroom that functioned like how it should. We were always having to transport materials outside from one shop to another”, Mike explains.

So they turned to Dakota Certified Development Corporation (now Dakota Business Lending) for help in funding their relocation and building project. Dakota CDC (now Dakota Business Lending) and Cornerstone Bank worked together to develop a loan program that fit Darin and Mike’s specific needs. They chose to use the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan program. This gave them the necessary capital they needed to create more space for their business, with favorable long-term interest rates. 

The company constructed a new building with the funds, allowing for more efficient business processes and increased capabilities to meet the volume of demand, all in one central location.

Creative Wood Designs has continued to thrive in North Dakota since its expansion project was completed. 

“It helped elevate the professionalism of our business and gave the office and sales end the ability to function like how it should as well as the shop”, says Mike. 

Still today, their custom cabinets, superior trim and passage door finishing services, and unique designs keep customers choosing Creative Wood Designs. One satisfied customer said:

“When we started the planning for our remodel we weren't sure which way to turn. Mike came into our home, took the time to visit with us, made several suggestions we didn't even consider and then went to work with the drawings. What he came back with far exceeded anything we could have ever dreamt up. Mike laid out a detailed plan on how our project was going to go. Every deadline and detail of that plan were met and executed to perfection. “

Creative Wood Designs’ cabinets are unique, fitting the needs of their customers and their specific spaces. They also offer special qualities on their cabinetry, such as Blum soft-closing hinges, drawer slides, and wood dovetail drawers. Because of their expansion project, Mike explains, “we have been able to expand the equipment in our shop, reduce waste from transporting parts from one building to another, and increase sales due to the appearance of the building and the office/showroom.” They have a wide variety of finishes to choose from and display their options for their customers in their showroom. In addition, the offer many custom accent finishes, such as distressing and glazing. 

“It’s always challenging”, assures Mike, “but we’re always looking for ways to improve.”

To learn more about Creative Wood Designs and see some of their work, be sure to check out their website: http://creative-wood.com/