My first trip to Paris in 1988 put me into a state of sensory overload! That taxi ride from the airport into the core of the city left me in awe. The architecture was so exceedingly beautiful and foreign to anything I had ever seen, the trees towering over the expansive boulevards and flowers everywhere spilling over the balconies was almost too much to take in…and this was all before my first cafe au lait or croissant! I fell in love with iron…the Eiffel Tower, the decorative gates screening secret courtyards, the intricate iron staircase railings, and most especially the iron fences.
The unforgettable staircase in the Petit Palais.
Before we moved into our present home we did a massive renovation. I was determined to include iron details into the decor of both the interior and exterior. Cast iron railing separates the kitchen from a sunken dining room, iron handrails run along the staircases, and a small Juliet balcony opens out to the garden from patio doors. Although it took years to redo the landscaping in the front garden, I always knew I wanted an iron fence along the front.
I was thrilled with the iron fence the two young entrepreneurs from Forge North welded and installed for me. We talked about my vision, and they made it happen!
Forge North is an Edmonton business. Recently I interviewed the owners and I’d like to introduce you to Mike and Jesse:
What made you decide to start your own business?
We had discussed every possible business idea imaginable, dreaming of starting a business one day. It wasn’t until a former colleague said we were completely capable of running a business, but the first step was to go down to the registry and register a corporation. This was beautifully simple, and it really inspired us to take things one step at a time. Simply put, we couldn’t start a company and own a business until we did just that. We had all the time in the world to figure out what to do with it afterwards.
Describe your working relationship?
We have been best buddies since grade 3. We have a lot of shared experiences in life and know how one another operates. This has helped us maintain a healthy friendship throughout the trials of operating a business together. We compromise well and have a holistic vision of where we want the business to go and look like.
Can you describe your services?
We began the venture as Forge North Services. This brand was built to serve our clientele in whatever way they needed pertaining to steel fabrication. We started everything off with a very specific process…to help a company extend the life of a consumable they used thus improving their cost of doing business. Another customer wanted a fence built across their property, with a very specific aesthetic…something that needed to be fully customized. This created an interesting sense of accomplishment, and we wanted to offer this to the world at large. Since then we have grown and adapted the business to hold different brands each compartmentalized for the market place in which they serve.
We have completed work all over western Canada and even offered products throughout the United States.
What is your mission statement…if you have one?
We don’t have a mission statement per se, but I think the one thing we consistently strive for is to give our customers what they need and help to bring their vision to life. Because we operate 4 different brands, they each hold their own values, but overall the goal is to help complete our client’s vision.
Can you explain the 4 different brands?
Forge North Services – has a primary focus on steel fixtures and site furnishings, such as custom handrails, gates and commercial projects.
Forge 53 – is our lifestyle and custom furniture brand. We specialize in custom pieces and commissions. Along with the high-end custom pieces we create we will have a line of select pieces that will be available on our online store which is coming soon.
Steel Bollards Canada – is a brand we started to facilitate the need for safety products for loss prevention and safety. A bollard is a steel post that would be installed around key infrastructure or building to prevent vehicles from colliding with them.
Onset Studio YEG – is an art and culture incubator we started to promote and support Edmonton artists and brands. This gives us a unique space for artists and creatives to do what they need in order to express their craft.
Some of their projects…
Follow them on Instagram:
You can contact Jesse and/or Mike if you want to know more about the products they can offer or if you have any questions about their services.