GRAND Lifestyle magazine - Issue 3, 2019

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ART & Step Into CULTURE // The Magic

HOME & Realize Your DESIGN // Dream Space

EAT & Master DRINK // The Fire


Training Who?

Inside A ChampionshipLevel Dog Club

ISSUE 3 2019 Printed in USA



Planning for Precision At Altru Advanced Orthopedics, we offer partial and total knee and total hip replacement with the Mako™ Robotic Arm. This advanced technology assists our expert surgeons to offer a more accurate replacement, resulting in less pain and a more natural-feeling joint. Pre-surgical planning Each patient is different when it comes to the anatomy of their joints. It can be difficult to maneuver these differences in traditional replacements. The Mako creates a 3-D model of the patient’s knee or hip anatomy, allowing the experts to develop a pre-surgical plan. This plan customizes implant size, positioning and alignment unique to each patient’s needs. It better prepares the surgeon, setting them up for a shorter yet more accurate procedure.

Surgical assistance During the procedure, the Mako provides real-time data, 3-D visualization and audible, // ISSUEthat GRANDfeedback. LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 3 2019the surgeon 4 tactical This ensures

can operate according to the pre-surgical plan. In turn, the replacements are more accurately placed, with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue and bone. “It’s certainly improved the accuracy of how we place knee replacements,” Dr. Jeremy Gardner says. “We feel it’s going to have a significant benefit for our patients in the long-run.”

Key benefits of using the Mako™ » Extremely high accuracy of anatomical placement » Less pain » Quick recovery » Minimal blood loss during the procedure If you are interested in learning more about the Mako™ Robotic Arm and Altru’s Joint Replacement Center, please visit or call 701.732.7700.

ISSUE 3:19 //











Celebrating 100 years this November, the Empire Arts Center has found new ways to keep the magic of the stage alive and well while remaining a staple arts venue in the region.

Behind the scenes of a Grand Forks training club responsible for champion dogs, Westminster-level winners and tail wags of all sizes.



REALIZE YOUR DREAM SPACE Paula Anderson and her team of expert designers work in a setting that would inspire any homeowner. We sat down to find out the key to their success and what it's like to be a designer.



MASTER THE FIRE From the wood pellet rage to the life of a Hibachi grill chef, learn what cooking on an open flame is truly about.




ENHANCING YOUR BEAUTY This team of facial enhancement experts explains the newest treatments and techniques popular in the region.




STANDARDS FOR STYLE Rachael Eider is not what you think. The founder of an old school, high-quality styling and clothing service is inspiring, refreshing and knows how to make people comfortable in their clothes.




Trends To Follow When we brought up the concept of trends with fashion experts, home designers, grill masters, theatre company directors, facial enhancement specialists and even Westminster-level dog trainers, we got the same basic response. They are useful to watch, tough to follow and because of the unique characteristics of the region—from its weather to its people—most don't even bother with them.

Rachael Eider, owner of RH Standard and noted fashion expert of the region, almost laughed at the

idea of trying to follow trends with her styling and high-end quality clothing service. She cares more about the lifestyles people of the region live because of weather or activity levels.

Paula Anderson, owner of Sterling Carpet One Floor & Home, doesn’t say her team shies away from

trends, but she does explain that her design empire wasn’t built by following what others thought was right.

The master grillers, dog trainers and movie star level facial

experts from this issue also shared the same sentiments. Reviewing all of the stories revealed a nice, even prideful, element about

the people of the region. Sure, we all want to see what others are doing (trends), but at the end the day, the GRAND region is about

leading, trailblazing and acting on reasons justified by realities of the place and one’s own idea of it all.

Kudos to every individual, team, or entity in this issue. We

didn’t know it before we started putting together the stories, but

you are all inspiring, and are people that have done great things

by following your own vision. I believe they call that trendsetting. 6

Follow Us


Luke Geiver

EDITOR, GRAND Lifestyle magazine




A&L Siding


Alerus Financial


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President Tom Bryan

Amish Gallery


Editor Luke Geiver

Attainable Wealth


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Family Realty Jodi Danzl


Blue Moose Bar & Grill


Bully Brew


Choice Health & Fitness


Downtown Development Association


Elle Interiors


First International Bank & Trust


Gerrell's Sports Center/ Hockey World


Grand Forks Country Club


Hons' creative eye for detail helped us capture the spirit of a Hibachi chef. If you haven't checked out his social media feeds, spend some time doing so. You'll see he truly is more than a sports photograher.

Grand Forks Subaru Kia



Healthy Happy Whole


Home of Economy




King's Walk


MAK Construction


Nodak Insurance Kris Moen Agency


Right Choice Electric


Sertoma of Greater Grand Forks


Sky's Fine Dining


Sterling Carpet One


Sunrooms Plus


The Bakken Conference & Expo


The UAS Summit & Expo


Wall's Medicine Center



Writer / Photographer Patrick C. Miller Art Director Jaci Satterlund Marketing & Sales Director John Nelson Circulation Manager Copy Editor Jessica Tiller Marketing & Advertising Manager Marla DeFoe Account Manager Dayna Bastian

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions to GRAND Lifestyle magazine are free of charge to everyone, with the exception of a yearly shipping and handling charge. To subscribe, visit or you can send your mailing address and payment (checks made out to BBI International) to: GRAND Lifestyle magazine/Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203

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COPYRIGHT Š 2019 by BBI International

Look at any photo ever taken by the Manstrom team and try not to be amazed with the richness and vibrancy of the photos. The colors almost pop off the page. //



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ART & CULTURE // Photos by Manstrom Photography

into the




The Empire Arts Center in downtown Grand Forks turns 100 years old this November. First launched

as a movie theater, the space has undergone structural, strategic and artistic change in the past century. Today, the facility hosts more than 30,000 visitors per year and showcases Broadway stars, regional actors and budding young musicians in front of a vintage-inspired theater-setting capable of seating 400 people. Emily Montgomery, executive director, and Mackenzie Teepen, director of operations, share the same perspective on the longevity and successful run of the historic center. The one constant throughout the years, they say, is magic.




In 2012, the Empire Arts Center team formed a theatre production company to fill a hole they saw in the arts. In the first year, the team put on a handful of shows and drew roughly 300 people to the Center. Since then, much has changed. Today, the theatre group puts on up to six shows per year. Some of the shows are produced here before Broadway even gets a chance, according to Montgomery. “We do everything from rights and royalties to setting the stage,” Teepen says. Everyone is paid, a facet of the company that everyone is proud about. “We try to program shows to fit the talent of the region,” Teepen adds, noting that most of the productions are cast with local talent but some nationally recognized actors, musicians or costume designers do work with the company. There is no shop to build set pieces for any production (something the team is working on finding). Sometimes they are able to rent amazing costumes from other theatre companies. For the 2018 version of “Beauty and the Beast” which drew more than 3,000 paid attendees, they rented some of the costumes. The rehearsal process for a production takes roughly two months, Teepen says. On the opening nights, Teepen and Montgomery try to catch snippets of the productions from the balcony section but are otherwise running around the facility.



'THIS IS A PLACE WHERE ARTS AND CULTURE MEET. ' Mackenzie Teepen, director of operations

“This is a place where arts and culture meet,” Teepen says. “We provide people with the opportunity to be creative.” In 1959, the center officially chose to use the phrase, “Empire,” including the iconic circle light bulb sign that is still present today. Montgomery and her team are showing old photos of the site on social media this year to commemorate the 100-year milestone. The old photos reveal a different time, when flashing marquee signs and fabric overhangs were placed above every store on Demers Avenue between the Empire Theatre and the bridge. The Empire, at least in the photos from 1959, didn’t appear to stand out from its surroundings like it does today. Later this year, the team will host a gathering with the community to celebrate the Empire’s ability to stand out in the modern era. 14 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 3 2019


In 2016, the Empire team brought its first contemporary cabaret performance to the stage. The sessions, designed to seat patrons on stage in an intimate setting with a Broadway talent or recording artist while the musicians or actors perform, are part of the 1919 Lounge experience. “It’s always amazing getting up close to incredible talent and talking with them in between songs,” Teepen says.



For the majority of its life, the center acted as a movie theater but in 1998, the leadership group of volunteers and others running the facility chose to take a new direction. The center is now a home for the arts that offers a setting for Broadway style productions, musical events, intimate gatherings and to some lucky brides, a rentable space for picturesque weddings. As the only non-university location offering art from the University of North Dakota’s art collection, the Empire displays an impressive and inspiring assemblage of paintings, sculptures and other artistic works in the main lobby and waiting area of the facility. It is hard not to turn in circles standing in line for a play or production with so much beauty on the walls. This year, Montgomery and her team are allocating funds to update the front area and art display potential in the lobby. Teepen, a non-Grand Forks native that previously worked with non-profits in the arts space prior to taking her role with the Empire, says she was surprised at the support the community gives to the arts and the Empire. Roughly



BACKSTAGE EVENTS As part of the ongoing utilization efforts of the facility, the Empire team has created Blackbox Theatre events that place small performances, speaking engagements and intimate events or gatherings in a small section within the center. The uniquely decorated Blackbox events feature candlelit seating, vintage dĂŠcor and an experience most would pay high-dollar for.



300 nights per year the Empire is hosting some kind of event, either through its production company or with a renting partner. There is an impressive volunteer board that helps guide the success of the facility and navigate into a new era of show production and financial well-being. Montgomery, Teepen and all of the volunteers are constantly looking for new ways to get more from the Empire while they constantly work through the general maintenance issues associated with owning the building. The Empire Arts Center owns the building. “We really strive for excellence,” Teepen says. After 100 years in operation, the duo knows they have a big job in maintaining the Empire’s place as an arts, culture and historical downtown Grand Forks mecca. Neither pauses in answering how they’ll achieve excellence or keep the flashing lights of the Empire a fixture for the next century. Teepen laughs even, and without saying it, seems to indicate with her slight smile and shoulder shrug that another 100 years is almost a foregone conclusion because they know, like the other 30,000-plus people that visit the Empire every year know, everything in the facility—the burgundy seats, the 75-feet of stage, the tall black curtains and even the hidden tunnels that supposedly run under the theater—is magic. G 18


HOME & DESIGN // Photos by Manstrom Photography


Design trends used to be classified by the decade. In 2019, they are referred to by the year. Next year it might even be by the month. Stephanie Schuler, store manager and interior design expert from Sterling Carpet One Floor & Home (who received her degree from the International Academy of Design and Technology out of Chicago), makes it clear that following design trends isn’t as feasible as it used to be. What might

be popular now, will at some point be out of favor. Social media design staples like Pinterest and Instagram give people access to new ideas, arrangements, color styles and materials in seconds, not days. Popular home shows like those featuring the Magnolia crew display a reality—possible or not—where new ideas and new trends come to life in days, not months. “People always have



LEADING VISION Paula Anderson oversees the operations at Sterling Carpet One Home & Floor, which includes seven departments and multiple stores.

different expectations than what reality will really allow for,” Schuler says. “Our job is to help them see the pros and cons of different realities.” Led by a gifted business visionary with the ability to oversee a massive operation and the talent that makes it all work in Paula Anderson, Schuler and the entire team of designers at the Grand Forks operation have built a reputation and track record of design success that has transcended the fleeting lifespans of ever-changing trends. At times, Anderson and her team have to fight against the notion that their services, skill and offerings are too high-end for some. “We can help anyone on any budget,” Anderson says. “We enjoy every project.”


Anderson has overseen the expansion of the Sterling name across the region. In every location, she’s assembled talented designers that have proven what it takes to give people dream rooms, kitchens, bedrooms or entire spaces in a place that deals with extreme seasons, active people, pet owners and high-end design lovers alike. Most people don’t know Sterling’s design services are free. With the expansive assortment of materials in the store, the designers know how to mix products together. The store is basically a designer’s dream office. We sat down—then walked, talked about and captured images of the impressive aisles and spaces of material

DESIGNS FOR SELLING AND STAYING For selling a new house, designers work to make a home sellable to all but feature little unique areas. Paint color, fireplace mantles, cabinet hardware or large lighting fixtures can all be used to make a space unique. For selling an older home, work with designers to update two areas: the kitchen and the bathrooms. Also, paint all colors in the neutral ranges. For staying in a home, most look to add walk-in showers that are tiled or new back splashes in the kitchen.

displays—with the Sterling team to find out what it’s like to be a successful designer in the age of social media, how the region’s unique characteristics guide their work and, what they believe makes for a memorable space circa 2019.

Life As A Designer

Tricia Johnson, commercial department manager who specializes in lighting, flooring and sales at Sterling, says her job is more akin to life coaching. At the start of every design process, Johnson works with clients to understand what they will be using a newly designed space for. In most cases, the client answers reveal that a lifestyle option is more desired than a material or color. “We really work hard to help people see what is actually possible in their spaces,” Johnson says. “It is very rewarding.”

FOLLOWING THEIR OWN TRENDS Stephanie Schuler (upper) and Tricia Johnson help commercial and residential clients understand what is truly possible in a Red River Valley space.



DESIGN QUICKTAKES Tricia Johnson: Everything used to be in smaller portions, now everything is larger in scale. Lighting is a great example. Most of it is now over-sized. Stephanie Schuler: People today want functionality. Rooms are now used for multiple activities. Many clients add floor heat and design a space to be used any time of the year. Paula Anderson: A lot of our clients travel. They bring back great ideas. We always listen and work with the clients. That is the fun part. Stephanie Schuler: We look at materials in this order— good, better, best. Wallpaper is coming back. Oak is coming back. Tricia Johnson: No style is wrong. Paula Anderson: With 7 departments, we can do anything.


Johnson and Schuler both agree that being a modern-day designer means managing schedules and staying on top of the latest material choices for flooring, tile or other things. Working in a multi climate region, the team always looks to provide options that will standup to freeze-thaw cycles, mud tracks, moisture, heat and extreme cold. They are also used to managing projects from start to finish and working with contractors or homeowners to make sure everything stays on track. Johnson says that is one skill most clients learn to love after a project is complete. Anderson says builders always appreciate working with her team because they understand the project management aspect of a dream kitchen and what it takes on the design end to make it happen on time and on budget. While they also look at social media for inspiration, the team has a huge array of design literature and magazines on site; and when they aren’t looking there, product vendors are always in store to give them updates on new products and design styles popular in other places. “Commercial spaces or homes can be overwhelming to design,” Anderson says. “This store is the place for answers.” G

SHOWROOMS FEEL REAL Sterling's team is able to utilize in-store showrooms to help clients visualize their style in real-life. Below from left: Lisa Breidenbach, Greg Martin, Valerie Nordin, Ashley Thomas

DEPARTMENT APPEAL With seven departments, the Grand Forks location has an answer for everything in the home. Design services are free. Middle: Randy Moss, siding manager


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EAT & DRINK // Photos by Russ Hons Photography

From national trends to firesticks, learn how people are enjoying open-flame cooking




On a quiet, overcast Thursday afternoon, we are standing around a wood pellet grill lifting the lid up and down, touching the digital control buttons and discussing the elaborate meats or meals such a grill could make. The grill isn’t on. In fact, none of them are, and there are dozens of them, lined up in rows in the middle of Home of Economy’s main floor. They are the first main item you see when you walk in during the warmer months. The line-up is visually impressive. The number of accessories and cooking aids next to the grills is exhaustive. We are there to fig-

ure out why. For the past few years, the line-up of wood pellet grills taking up floor space at the Grand Forks store has continually expanded. The grills are in high-demand, now more than ever. Some of the grills surrounding us are sold. Others will most likely be sold soon. People want the new models and they want the old models. Wade Pearson, president of Home of Economy, says that grill sales have increased year-over-year for several years now. “Of all the things we do and sell, we love the Traeger’s the most,” he says with a smile, talking of the massively popular wood pellet grills that make up the main pellet offering at the Grand Forks store. Pearson became a wood-fired grilling aficionado when they started carrying them. Today, he is someone who talks about temperature variances in meat by the single degree. He’s created his own secret recipes. He cares about the places wood is grown before it is turned into wood pellets. He’d cook on anything given the chance, but he currently prefers

the versatility and temperature control abilities that come standard with a pellet fired grill that works like an oven. Pearson admits he is part of a growing trend that involves people searching for the best, most efficient or even enjoyable ways to master the timeless art of cooking over an open flame. Wood-fired pellet grills have acted as a vehicle to reviving the art, in Grand Forks and other communities across the country. The rise in Traeger sales and other grill options is linked to a greater phenomenon, Pearson says. “People are more interested now in doing things for themselves or making something for themselves. It is all very rewarding,” he explains. “It isn’t really about the food. It is all about doing it yourself.” The majority of the team at the Grand Forks store have learned just how rewarding the act of grilling can be. Most at the store have a Traeger or have cooked


on one. Every Thursday the team puts on grilling demonstrations. At certain points throughout the year they put on bigger cooking events. Pearson is proud of the alligator they’ve smoked. Of course, Pearson says, the demonstrations are to showcase what the grills can do and get people interested. But, ever since people started learning on their own through internet videos, firsthand experiences at the lake or in backyards from friends with grills, the grills have simply sold themselves. “Many times, people just need to catch a smell of the grill and the pellet smoke,” Pearson laughs. Apart from the sales aspect, Pearson and his team simply have fun grilling, and maybe more so, talking with others in the broader grilling and open-fire cooking community. “People take a lot of pride in this stuff. They like to tell us what they’ve tried or done,” he says. “Creative expression is what it is all about.”

PELLET GRILL BASICS Most pellet grills use an auger to move pellets from a hopper into a tube. In the tube, a hot rod ignites the pellets and starts a fire. A fan works to stoke the flames. A temperature gauge controls the number of pellets and the fan to keep the temperature consistent like an oven. It is nearly a set-it-and-forget-it scenario.

TECHNOLOGY MEETS GRILL New versions of many popular grills come standard with WIFI connectivity and mobile apps. Once connected, the apps allow meat probes to tell a phone what temperature a pork shoulder or ribeye steak is at. Some hardcore meat smokers put a brisket on in the middle of the night, set their phone by their bed and check the temp throughout the night without ever touching the grill.

SECRETS OF REVERSE SEARING Pearson has mastered the technique of reverse searing highquality cuts of meat like prime rib. The technique gives the entire cut a uniform doneness. After cooking a cut low and slow (roughly 180 degrees), the griller than sears the meat right

PELLET PREFERENCES During most grilling demos, the team tests different varieties of pel-

before serving. The practice provides a tantalizing crust and brings out the meat sizzling hot and perfectly done throughout. Pearson smiles when he talks about the process.

let woods to find out which is most preferred. Pecan has been the most popular every time. Hickory is a close second, followed by mesquite (very strong flavor) and then alder (very mild).



BECOMING A HIBACHI GRILL CHEF Hibachi grill chef, Jack Sparrow (it's like a performance name), has made a career of mastering the intricacies of controlling a fire and the people that gather around it to watch him cook. To become a Hibachi chef, he had to train for several months to understand how the flat-top heating surface works best. Hibachi chefs are also performers and comedians. Learning how to juggle fire sticks took multiple months, he says. Jack works in the back of the restaurant when he isn’t grilling. All of the chefs prepare their own food. When he enters the grilling area, his food cart looks like a griller's dream with meats and ingredients stacked neatly. Everything he needs is on the cart, nothing else. As they cook, they laugh and joke and tell stories. The food slides across the grill, flaming at times, simmering at others. Most people barely watch the

ADVICE ON GRILLING “Have fun while you cook. Like at the Hibachi, try some different tricks while you cook, although maybe not the knife tricks. Try preparing dishes to look super nice.”

food. Jack is too busy performing. Like all Hibachi chefs, he works to make the entire sit-down an experience that isn’t possible at other places. Grilling, he says, is only part of being a Hibachi chef. His greatest skill, apart from knowing how long to slice and dice a mix of rice, salmon chunks, steak medallions and chicken strips all at the same time, is clearly in his ability to bring people’s guards down. As he cooks, people are smiling and laughing and oohing and ahhing as he shoots grill flames three feet in the air and then checks his eyebrows jokingly to ensure they are still there. “I would say the thing that brings people coming back for Hibachi would be the fun and joy they receive as I tell my stories and do my various tricks. The experience they get definitely makes the food taste even better,” he says. G 32 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 3 2019

CHALLENGES OF BEING A HIBACHI CHEF “I think as for making the food and preparing it, it's not as hard as people think. However, being able to entertain my guests and regular customers is the biggest challenge. I always look to find more tricks for my show.”


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OUTDOORS // Photos by Manstrom Photography




CONNECTION The Grand Forks Dog Training Club produces champions for national competition, in the home and for the community



While watching dogs and their handlers practicing on the agility course at the Grand Forks Dog Training Club, one can’t help but marvel at the connection between canines and humans. They run through the


obstacles as one, with the dogs following commands on the fly to soar over jumps, zig-zag around poles, traverse teeter totters, scurry through tunnels and dash up and down ramps. As dog and handler teams await their turns on the course, the dogs exude a “What’s next? Let’s go!” attitude, as if they can’t wait to prove how good they are. This gem of the Greater Grand Forks area is similar to a training center for Olympic athletes because it produces dogs and handlers that compete on a national level in American Kennel Club (AKC) events. For example, a Clumber Spaniel named Melody owned by club member Susan Strinden Hall of Thompson, was a runnerup for the breed during the Westminster Dog

AN APTITUDE FOR TRAINING Kaidy Grunhovd grew up on a farm with dogs, but other than the occasional hunt, not much was expected of them. Fifteen years ago, she acquired a small boxer that changed her perception of dog behavior. “He had so much energy, he needed an outlet,” she recalls. “He was different from any dog I’d ever had. My interest in training started with him.”

Show in February. In March, club member Kaidy Grunhovd from Euclid, Minnesota, had two of her dogs compete in the AKC National Agility Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A Boston Terrier named Rogue owned by member Lisa Wiersma from Erskine, Minnesota, recently received a silver level award from AKC. But it’s not just the top-caliber competition dogs trained at the club that give it a special place in the community. Anyone who wants a more obedient dog, a better-behaved dog or just to have more fun with their dog can enroll in classes at the training club. The organization— run entirely by volunteers—is committed not only to helping dogs and owners create a lasting bond, but also to showing how dogs are an asset to the community. “Our purpose is to promote responsible dog ownership in the Greater Grand Forks area,” says Jen Koller, club vice president. “There’s a lot of us who teach a variety of subjects. We all have full-time jobs, although we’d rather be training dogs full time.”

Grunhovd watched AKC agility competitions on television and thought they offered the outlet her dog needed. “I fell in love with the whole idea of teamwork,” she says. “It just looked like an incredible sport to get into.” Besides competing in AKC agility competitions with three of her five dogs— two labs, two border collies and a rescue mutt—Grunhovd finds time to teach classes at the Grand Forks Dog Training Club. She never tires of figuring out what dogs are capable of learning. “Once they get learning and want to start learning, you have to stay one step ahead of them,” she explains. “When people ask why their dog is digging in the backyard or won’t stop barking, it’s because they’re bored, and they want something to do. They want a job.” When she’s not thinking of new tricks to teach her dogs, Grunhovd is coming up with ways to train animals on the farm, including cattle, chickens and cats. “I’m constantly coming up with new training plans and my husband gets very tired of it,” she says with a laugh. “Do you think I could do this? I’ll bet I could! And then I’ll write it out on a white board.” The best advice Grunhovd gives those who want their dogs to compete at the highest level is to be consistent with training and keep their dogs in shape. “There’s a lot of things that happen off the equipment and out of the training ring to keep your dog in good shape,” she says. “They’ve got to be running to build their endurance and strength. You’ve got to feed them the right things and make sure they’re not eating poorly—just like a typical athlete.”



WHO’S TRAINING WHO? Puppy Kindergarten Socialization, obedience and confidence building. Puppy Plus Handling, additional obedience, bonding skills and agility. Puppy Advanced Advances dog and handler skills, as well as providing solutions to common problems. Basic Manners Foundation skills required for dogs to function in classes with other dogs. Confirmation Requirements for showing dogs in breed competitions to earn championship points.

Early Dog Days The roots of the club go back to the Grand Forks Kennel Club founded in 1956. The club disbanded in the early 80s when interest waned. It was rejuvenated in 2005 with classes being taught in an East Grand Forks potato barn. Later, the club rented space in a building on Gateway Drive in Grand Forks. Two years ago, the club moved into its current location at 6801 Demers Ave., about a mile west of the Amtrak station. While the club holds AKC events to help its members reach higher levels of competition, it also provides multi-week classes ranging from puppy kindergarten to obedience to scent work to tricks to therapy dog training. It can also provide individual and specialized training. Fees from $50 to $75 make the classes affordable and enable the club to cover its expenses. Club President, Lisa Smilonich, who’s a technician at the Peterson Veterinary Clinic in East Grand Forks, says local residents initially didn’t show much interest in dog training classes, but that’s changed dramatically. Now there are waiting lists to get in. “It seems like people are hearing about the classes, how fun and enjoyable they are and how much they appreciate their dogs afterwards,” she says. “We have a Facebook presence and a website with information about the classes we offer. I


Rally Coursework Enables handlers to practice rally courses with their dogs to fine-tune handling skills and improve teamwork. Competitive Obedience Preparation for dogs and handlers competing in the obedience ring. Trick Dog Novice Dogs learn tricks to compete for an AKC Trick Dog Novice title. Focus and Engagement Exercises to enhance bonding and relationships, good behavior and improved performance in dog sports. Beginner Obedience Obedience skills teaching dogs to be wellbehaved family members, also preparing them for advanced obedience classes. Agility Classes Demonstrates a dog’s willingness to work with its handler in a variety of situations while negotiating an obstacle course.

DOGS AS THERAPISTS Dog owners know the power of their pet’s unconditional love. It can be a wagging tail to greet them at the door after a long, hard day, a snuggly companion in bed when they’re ill or a sloppy kiss to the face when they’re feeling down. Dogs seem to have a sixth sense about what humans need. Not everyone can have a dog. Fortunately, Lee Anderson and the Grand Forks Dog Training Club—through an affiliation with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs—can bring dogs to where they’re needed. Whether it’s helping University of North Dakota students with destress during finals week, interacting with children learning to read at the library, visiting patients at Altru Hospital or mingling with senior citizens at a nursing home, there’s an increasing demand for therapy dogs throughout the Grand Forks area.

Young dogs, old dogs and dogs of any breed can make good therapy dogs, according to Anderson. When she tests dogs, she looks for certain desirable and undesirable traits. “It has to be a dog that enjoys people, doesn’t react to other dogs and likes to be pet,” she says. “I like to see a dog that’s walking loosely with its handler, doesn’t lunge or pull and isn’t barking.” Dogs that show aggression, such as snarling, lunging or snapping, are rejected. Young, hyperactive dogs sometimes outgrow the behavior to become good therapy dogs, Anderson says. “I’ll usually tell people with a puppy they’d like to raise as a therapy dog to take it to puppy kindergarten, then puppy advanced training and maybe a basic obedience class,” she says. “By that point, the dog will be a year old and ready to test.”

“Therapy dogs have been proven to reduce blood pressure, When asked how the community has responded to therapy anxiety and stress in people,” Anderson says. “People who have dogs, Anderson responds, “Oh, everybody likes us! Anytime been unresponsive for days or weeks will respond to a dog. The anybody calls me up and says, ‘I want to test my dog to be a main therapeutic benefit is to provide a calming effect.” therapy dog,’ I say, ‘Oh yeah! We need more; we really do.’”


honestly think there were a lot of people who wanted training for their dogs, but didn’t know how to get it. Now there’s community knowledge that this is available.” Strinden Hall and her husband, Lyle, built the facility for the Grand Forks Dog Training Club on the western edge of Grand Forks because they saw the need for a facility solely dedicated to dog training. After two years, she says the facility is doing well. The club is important to the Halls because they’re also actively involved in breeding, preserving and showing Clumber Spaniels, an English hunting dog which nearly became extinct after World War II. Strinden Hall estimates there are around 230 Clumber Spaniels registered in the U.S. and about 3,000 worldwide. She cites her greatest accomplishment as breeding Benson, a Clumber Spaniel owned by Helen Marshall, Strinden Hall’s friend and mentor from Wisconsin. Benson was best in show at the 2014 National Specialty Show and has gained many other honors in the dog show world. The contributions of the training club go beyond the convenience it provides to Stinden Hall and other dog owners in the area. “Our goal is to make the community a better place to live,” she says. “I think we’ve improved the quality of life in the community. For instance, if I would go to a community, one of the first things I’d look for is a dog training club. There are people who look for that when they’re coming to a community. We’re filling a need.” In short, Grand Forks isn’t going to the dogs. The dogs are making Grand Forks a better place to live. G 42 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 3 2019

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HEALTH & FITNESS // Photos by Manstrom Photography


CING It takes time to fight time. That is the basic mantra for Lori

Mercil and her team of master estheticians and regenerative health and wellness experts. But, with the treatment help of certified and skilled providers, in combination with modern medicine used to refresh, rejuvenate or reimagine skin and facial features, the fight against time can always be won. Mercil has seen firsthand how much a person’s skin or facial attributes can change over time. The founder of Premier Aesthetics, she formed her unique service three years ago. Since then, she’s been trying to keep up with an exhaustive client services schedule that barely allowed her enough time to talk with us about her unique beauty and aesthetics service to the region. Although she is the founder, Mercil only has time to focus on providing

services, a manager runs the rest of the operation. “We grew rapidly. I hardly have any time for myself,” she says. Premier Aesthetics is one of only a few services that offer injectable facial treatments like Botox. In addition to injections, Mercil’s team provides laser hair removal, skin fillers, skin lifts, chemical peels and even platelet rich plasma injections for health and wellness rejuvenation. A registered nurse, Mercil is currently juggling her day duties with classes to become a family nurse practitioner, a title that will allow her to perform even more services for the region. A native Northwest Minnesotan,



Mercil spent 20 years witnessing the power of facial beauty and health products on a daily basis through her previous career. When she moved back to be closer to family and pursue her interest in facial wellness, she had a unique experience from which to learn from. Prior to starting her aesthetics business and growing the awareness of her services—or others like it— across the entire region on television shows or beauty events and seminars, Mercil was a private jet stewardess to the stars. She worked for United Airlines as a flight attendant and traveled the world from Chicago to Germany. Then she started flying for movie studios on their private jets, specifically Paramount Pictures. “I started my career working on airplanes that flew movie stars and

Hollywood executives. They always looked so good,” she says. Knowing the treatments and facial routines the stars utilized to achieve a consistent and glowing look inspired Mercil to bring the same offerings to the region. Her love of old Hollywood can be seen on the walls of her clinic space. A large part of her job continues to be education. Most in the region are unfamiliar with all of the services Mercil and her team have to offer— even though most pursue the services after learning about them. The team can provide most of the major treatments, new or old, that are shown on popular facial television shows including the segments on Dr. Oz. Premier’s team has developed a natural look that is based on safe treatment methods and customer satisfaction,



Used to temporarily improve the look of both moderate to severe crow’s feet lines and frown lines between the eyebrows, Botox is derived from a highly purified protein. The injected substance is priced by units, usually $12/unit, and provides results in 1 to 3 days with full results coming in 10 to 14 days. Unlike Botox injections that take time to impact the muscles around the injected area, fillers or Dysport, act instantly. They are commonly used to treat wrinkles and frown lines. Some fillers, like Sculptra, diminish lines by pushing up the dermis space beneath wrinkles and creases. Results can last up to several months.



In addition to Mercil, Premier’s team includes several other specialized experts: Forrest Lanchbury, MD Anti-aging and regenerative medicine Jody Lopez, Master Esthetician Lash specialist and makeup artist Atlanta Hondl, Spa Manager Advanced aesthetics injector (pursuing degree) Carly Beckel, Master Esthetician Lash specialist, esthetician Paige Solheim, Licensed Esthetician Lash artist, esthetician For training, Mercil attends advanced training seminars, conventions, and classes on average of every other month. The staff attends training to advance their skillset as well. Atlanta Hondl, spa manager, and Jody Lopez, Lead Master Esthetician recently attended the International Esthetics Cosmetics and Spa Conference (IECSC) in Chicago highlighting categories like Wellness, Health & Fitness, Cosmetics. The IECSC is the largest spa conference and exposition in the U.S.


HEALTH & FITNESS // Mercil says. Most in the region want enhancements and shy away from major facial statements that reveal a high volume of “work,” has been done. “These products don’t not work,” she says with a smile, explaining that part of the client satisfaction piece comes from the results of the products. Inside her office, before and after photos show the true impact of the skin products used on both men and women. The photos look like something from a different place with different people. They are not, Mercil says with a look of pride, they are people from the region who’ve benefited at

the hands of Mercil and her team. Testimonials on their social media pages almost seem too good to be true, but the names on the notes prove otherwise. And, in case you are curious about Mercil’s skilled team working with you on some kind of treatment (and they have an impressive number of offerings), remember that mantra and that Mercil says there is no one size fits all approach to achieving desired results. More and more clients are figuring that out every week, she says. The demand for her services and her time prove it. G

MOST POPULAR TREATMENTS n Eyelash volume enhancements are the most popular. Make sure to plan ahead. n Botox, or the use of natural injectables, continues to be the most facial used enhancement option. Book two weeks out of any major events. n Skin care packages that refresh, moisturize and clear-up blotchy skin. n Premier offers timed treatment plans and packages that include multiple products that last up to several months.



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SHOP & STYLE // Photos by Manstrom Photography

Standards FOR

Rachael Eider may have picked the perfect place to start a high-quality, luxury clothing showroom and styling service.

She is a New York-trained stylist with the skill to make it anywhere. She is also a native of the Red River Valley who understands the region’s ever-changing sensibility and willingness for bold clothing statements made on the person, or on the pocketbook. From her shop in downtown Grand Forks, she is at the heart of a community that needs a showroom like RH Standard, and maybe more importantly, a person like Eider. Her store offers everything you’d expect from a high-quality men’s and women’s attire set-up. Mannequins in tall-glass windows at the front of the store display pearls, formal dresses or perfectly creased collared shirts. Depending on the day, it could be tailored suits or little black dresses.





Throughout the space, green velvet couches offer clients a comfortable, yet elegant sitting space to ponder Eider’s advice on clothing options. Painted portraits of well-dressed individuals hang on the walls and draw your eye to the skill of the work. A pool table is set and ready for a game of eight ball near the dressing rooms, the wooden cues on the wall-stand shine, and somehow seem to call out to anyone that looks at them that a quick game of pool should be played, Eider’s thoughts on clothing should be taken seriously and an investment in a piece from the store is worth it. Time with Eider in her showroom is more of an experience than a quick stop. Eider wants it that way. The showroom offers a glimpse into the best of the best in quality clothing for life’s important events (or for just looking good). And, with Eider at the helm, style goers of all skill or commitment levels have a resource that has two elements: the knowledge and style philosophy suitable for any market and any clientele; and the no-nonsense personality that is both unexpected and inspiring. She is not pretentious, she’s honest. She’s not pushy, she’s helpful. Talking to her is like talking to someone you’ve known for a long time. By the end of a talk with her, you’ve forgotten what your early misgivings or hangups were about a dress or a suit and you are already thinking about the future. As you walk away from Eider and the back of the store—past the pool table,

the green velvet couches, the portraits on the wall and the mannequins in the windows—you clutch your bag and smile, thinking about how good you’ll look and feel wearing the contents inside the bag. “It’s a proud moment for me when I see people walking around wearing my clothes,” Eider says. “Feeling good about what you look like resonates in everything you do.” Eider has run her showroom for two years, operating in other places in Grand Forks before settling on the downtown space. Her client base has grown and become so solid she doesn’t have to worry about expanding. She is proud of that. Her success stems from her ability to work with clients—sometimes for hours—to help them find their best look. It is also linked to her bold, risk-taking attitude on business. As part of a major business mentorship group tasked with helping new business owners, Eider is the only one without a direct link to a business degree or background. Her learnings and insight was gained by doing. She’s proud of that too. “The future of retail doesn’t have anything to do with the clothes,” she says, “it is all about the service.” Eider has a network of dress alteration experts and tailors that ensure items from her store fit as well as possible. She is also confident in her ability to ensure people leave happy. “Having a panic attack about what you have to wear should never happen,” she says, adding that she can always tell when people are uncomfortable in their own clothes. Watch them fidget or pull on a collar or shirt-end, she says, noting that there are always better options that alleviate those instances. The store has an old-school feel. There is a sign that displays the word “antique” on the back wall,

an ode to a previous store in Grand Forks. Eider is drawn to the classic style overtures—the black dress or tailored suit or tan sport coat—that have stood the test of time in an industry headlined by changing trends. She knows some of the price tags throughout her showroom are above big-box outlets, but she also knows the difference in quality. “Buying pieces from me is an investment,” she says, “but there is no buyer’s remorse here.”

Eider Mostly Ignores Fashion Trends

The idea that every trend or fashion movement gets to the region last is simply not true, she says. The internet, fashion blogs and Instagram or Pinterest reveal what’s on the leading trend edge. and other outlets can take care of the rest, she says with a laugh. What makes the region’s style needs and wants different than the coasts is linked to the way wholesalers time their clothing releases and also, the seasons. Most people don’t understand how crucial seasonal themes are to style offerings, she explains. For shops like Eider’s, the issue isn’t if she can get items, it is more about when she will get them and if people will actually want them. As Eider explains the facts of the Red River Valley, there isn’t a long spring



season or a light winter timeframe. Because of that, she often pushes back on vendors to give her more options that are appropriate for her clientele and not connected to what a vendor believes should be out based on a hypothetical season.

The Influence of Family

As a kid, Eider remembers her father always having a sport coat in his car. It’s an item every guy should have, he told her later in life, because it can be used in nearly any occasion. It’s not a trendy piece, but it never goes out of style. That is what Eider believes in today, the pieces that people can use and

love forever. Eider knows she’s been fortunate to travel and study fashion in New York City for the Kenneth Cole brand because of her family. In the early days of her solo-style career, investments by her Grandma and her future husband helped launch her dreams. According to her, her husband invested because he believed in her ability to talk, shop and live style and clothing. (Their spare bedroom has been turned into extra closet space for Eider). Her Grandma, the matriarch responsible for running a centennial farm (that’s a century of owning and operating a farm) invested in her grand daughter simply because it was her grand daughter

and she’d seen her own traits in Rachael. Eider smiles and sheds a quick tear talking about her grandma. A strong woman, she calls her, noting that when it was time for capital or financing necessary at the farm, her grandma would interview the bankers, not the other way around. Eider’s mom wears her clothes any chance she can. Her Grandmother too, often sitting in the back of the store, spending time with someone she respects for going for what she wants with a healthy fear of risk and a confidence that only comes from skill and passion. “In many ways,” Eider says, “this shop is about my family.” G




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