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The // Earning Spotlight


// Boutique Backstory

HOME & Farmstead DESIGN // Reimagined


Committed To TRADITION The Ring Family Farm’s New Cut-YourOwn Christmas Tree Operation ISSUE 6 2019 Printed in USA



5 WAYS TO BE GENEROUS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON As we embark on a season of giving, we hope you find meaningful ways to be generous with those around you. Here are a few ways your generosity in action can make a difference.

4. Get in shape and support a cause. Winter makes it easy for us to go into “hibernation” mode. Break out of your rut by signing up for a bike race, marathon, triathlon or 5k walk that benefits a cause you’re passionate about. Training for a race to support something you care about will give you extra motivation, while raising money to do good.

1. Donate to your favorite organization. Every gift, of any size, really does make a difference for organizations and the causes they serve. For even more direct impact in your community, you may wish to donate to a local organization where your gift touches the lives of family, friends and neighbors. Your gifts to Altru Health Foundation stay local to provide world-class care close to home.

5. Instead of buying gifts, donate. What do you buy for those that have everything? Why not make a donation in their honor? Many nonprofits will send a letter to your loved ones notifying them of your gift. If this is not a service the nonprofit offers, consider making a gift and explaining it to your loved ones in a thoughtfully written card. Spreading some holiday cheer in their name should put a smile on their face.

2. Ask a local nonprofit how you can help. Many organizations are in need of an extra set of hands, and this is a great way to bring a group of people together to see and feel generosity in action. Volunteer your time to help at Altru Hospital or Sunshine Hospitality Home. Organize a donation drive with your closest friends. There are hundreds of ways you can help—just ask! 3. Use your talents to benefit others. Do you have a knack for knitting or quilting? Donate some of your work to a local homeless shelter or Altru Cancer Center. Using your talents to keep others warm this winter will no doubt be appreciated. If knitting isn’t for you, consider coaching a kids’ sports team or assembling a gift basket for a silent auction. Be creative with your unique talents. 4


Align your passion to make a difference with one of the many ways to be generous this holiday season. Together, we can spread holiday cheer to be felt all year through!

Thank you to the generous donors who have supported patients through Altru Health Foundation. Learn about the ways you can give back »




ISSUE 6:19 //











The go-to light and sound provider for the region’s biggest acts, Jamie and Tricia Lunski have created a growing technology empire— complete with a cool downtown warehouse headquarters—by dreaming big and focusing on the details.



Phil and Brittany Ring have created a Christmas oasis outside of Grand Forks that will probably be a part of holiday tradition routines for years to come. Think Christmas tree cutting, hayrides, winter bonϐires and fun farm animals with funnier names (even reindeer).

Ann Love is a women’s clothing boutique that brings classic styles to the modern era and realities of this region.


The Grand Forks Lego Users Group spends countless hours stressing over their next brick display. For three years, the GFKLUG has created a memorable display free to the public. Inspired by regionally recognizable buildings and people, their work is magical and fun. Go behind the scenes to see why they build, and why people keep coming to see their work.




Steve and Darla Adams couldn’t ϐight the pull of Steve’s fourth generation farmstead. The farming couple famous in the region for agriculture could have built a dream home anywhere. They chose to stay on the family land—after an extensive renovation.

48 Gra


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Reading For the Details Jamie Lunski is standing next to a Lego brick replica of a polkadotted house when he asks me for the make-up brush. From where he’s standing in the middle of a massive, room-size Lego display spread across multiple table tops, the brush is just out of his reach. From where I’m at in Lunski’s downtown warehouse, a Lego BNSF locomotive and a handful of rail cars are at rest on a train track that swerves on top of the tables. The brush is right in front of me. How he knows the brush is there is beyond me, given the amount of Legos everywhere (not to mention the crates of stage gear, lighting and other assets Lunksi owns and stores there). I set my notebook down softly on the train track because in a few days, the train will actually be running on the track. When I hand the brush to him, he barely looks up, keeping his focus on the polka-dot house. He ϐinally smiles at the house after he ϐinishes dusting it off with the foundation brush. “I knew this would come in handy,” he says. For the next half-hour, Lunksi and his team take turns bringing Lego sets and custom build-outs to photographer, Jamie Manstrom. For the story on the Lego display and the work that goes into creating the magic of what has now become a unique holiday tradition for many in the GRAND region, Manstrom set-up a white light-box to capture individual Lego displays as if they were sparkling diamond rings or necklaces. Once you get to know Lunski and his team, it won’t surprise you that he had a make-up brush on his Lego table, just in case he needed to dust a tiny piece off. He thinks of everything. He is the type of person that is always prepared and wants his work, no matter what it is, to be just right. The founder of HB Sound & Light, a technology company that among many things, provides lighting, staging and sound for acts, events or clients of all types, has made a living managing the ϐine-yet-important details for people in a way that puts them at ease and brings a smile to their face. Like Lunski, Phil and Brittany Ring have found a way to make their “clients” happy by taking care of all the details at their Christmas tree operation. Cassie Bylin, founder of downtown boutique Ann Love, and also Steve and Darla Adams (farmers that turned a fourth-generation farmstead into a jewel of a property) are no different than the others in this issue. They have all found success and fulϐillment in their ventures by analyzing, dissecting, focusing

Luke Geiver

EDITOR, GRAND Lifestyle magazine

and stressing over every detail. For this issue we tried to replicate that approach with our stories. We hope you enjoy the details. 8

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Jamie and Tricia Lunski were probably at the last big concert, wedding, conference, festival or event that you attended within the region. Chances are, you never saw them in person, but the robust stage, lighting features, drapery or setting was the work of the Lunskis and their crew. For the last several years, the husbandand-wife duo have been expanding their sound, light and technology company by taking on more major jobs, adding highend or innovative services or organizing and putting on events of their own. They go undetected by most at the events they create or serve—and they prefer it that way. Based out of a massive, unassuming yet inspiring workplace warehouse in downtown Grand Forks, HB Sound & Light’s team has become the go-to production and tech ϐirm for visiting U.S. Presidents, major rock bands, big-time conferences and any other organization or group in need of beautiful lighting, memorable stages or sharp sound. We went backstage, and behind the scenes of HB’s hidden and vastly undertalked-about operation to see how they’ve built an impressive client portfolio, how they remain calm when the lights go bright, and why, as we think you’ll agree, HB is as capable of taking the stage as they are at setting it.

Enter The Sound And Light Empire Above the main reception desk of HB’s Grand Forks headquarters is a fullsize mini-Grand piano painted aqua blue. The piano is one of several signiϐicant art or decorative features located in their space. Formerly a stadium seating manu-



Prior to meeting Jamie (at Ralph Englested Arena), Tricia owned a photography business and had expertise in events. After joining forces, HB has added several successful events or festivals to its HB portfolio of assets. Tricia now helps with creative vision and strategy, marketing and overall operations.

facturing facility, and at a different time, a tobacco and candy shop, the current iteration of the warehouse is a pure reϐlection of HB’s creativity, broad range of abilities and attention to the details that reveal what the HB brand is all about. “It’s really hard to compare us to any entity,” Tricia says, “we do so many things.” The warehouse has loading docks for semis, speakers stacked on speakers, monitors above those, containers full of rigging, rows of scaffolding, and lights (all sizes and types) that seem to be more than any event would ever need. There are guitars, drums, sound mixers, keyboards and drumsets if traveling musicians need them. 14 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 6 2019

Jamie started in stage set-up and lighting while he was in sixth grade. Later on (still before high school), he helped his teachers set up a computer grading system. In high school, he ran sound and lights for the Chester Fritz Auditorium. In the '90s, Jamie worked at WeFest. While there, a Nashville producer saw him on the job and offered him a place on his team. During his time in Nashville, Jamie traveled and worked on major concerts. He did a CD release party for Barbara Mandrell. He set up lighting for a major Christian music singer. For famous country singer, Travis Tritt, he recorded a music video in an Elvis Presley studio. “After my time there, I decided I wanted to get out of it all because it was taking up all my nights and weekends,” he says with a laugh. In 1997, after working in the North Dakota region again installing telephone systems, Jamie got back into the sound and light business through his purchase of Delta Sound (which basically meant he owned an equipment vehicle and a few other assets). From the beginning, Jamie knew he had to be flexible because of the size of the market he was in. That has always meant being efficient and offering both sound and lighting services, an atypical practice anywhere else in the country. Today, Jamie and his team have grown to more than three dozen employees with extensive square footage spaces in Grand Forks and Fargo.

All of it, especially the events, brings adrenaline along with the necessary start-to-finish job arc that typically climaxes with a great sense of accomplishment and pride.


Part of what HB is trying to do with their homebase is to create an atmosphere the team feels is worth returning to. Despite the massive assemblage of sound and lighting equipment, there is an organizational aura to the place and more than that, the type of ambiance that is ϐlat-out cool to be in. Most weeks, the HB team is putting on ϐive to ten events. In one week this summer, Jamie went from running the Rib Fest to a Methodist church convention to a Bakken oil show, all of which took him across the state. There is not a normal pattern for any of them, just a never ending schedule of stage set-up, sound work, shipping and logistics, or for the other part of the team that installs electronics for commercial and residential spaces, daily jobs of all sizes. All of it, especially the events, brings adrenaline along with the necessary startto-ϐinish job arc that typically climaxes with a great sense of accomplishment and pride. “There is just nothing like it,” Jamie says. “It’s why we do all of this. We go to an event preparing for so much, deal with a lot while there and then get a few moments of satisfaction knowing we pulled off something memorable,” he explains. “Then, we pack it all up and get ready for the next job.” When they acquired the warehouse space, the Lunskis knew they wanted to make it their own. Tricia painted the upper third of the tall ceilings a different color than the walls below for effect. Staged display walls mimic settings one might see at a television camera museum or as Tricia’s ofϐice includes, an ode to Mac computer monitors and magazines. One entire wall of her ofϐice was built as an art installation/magazine storage area. She has always collected magazines. Jamie’s ofϐice features multiple guitars, including his father’s. All of it is fun, refreshing and certainly unexpected for the traditional ofϐice decor of the region. There is no doubt that the Lunskis, despite the chaotic industry they operate in, exist with a vision and commitment to lasting for the long haul. Walking around HB and talking with






FOLLOW THE SPEAKER Brian Lofthus, events manager for HB, works to help event techs and potential clients understand what is possible (for a price) at any type of event. In addition to his many duties, Lofthus and his team have always been interested in the travel and life of the speakers they use. According to Lofthus and other members of his team, a normal speaker that HB uses will see many different regions. For example, after starting at a presidential campaign rally, a speaker could then be shipped to a Def Leppard concert and then again to a church convention. After all of that, they always end up in the Caribbean. Because of the humidity there, speakers just never last, so new speakers never make sense on the beach.

them gives you the sense that you are witnessing the start of some bigger story, the kind that explains the humble roots of an industry giant that everyone else is trying to emulate. In the breakroom, there are massive event signs that seem to come from a movie set (built in-house by the HB team) that provide a pop of wonder and a reminder of a past job that went well. In the conference room, violins and other instruments have been hung and lit on the walls. Every room in the facility has some type of art piece or uniqueness to it—a spool of wire tangled across a wall, polaroid photos displayed in a grid, lego sets encased in glass, old cameras mounted to a wall. Everything there seems to have a purpose, as



if the Lunskis are trying to make a day at HB like another high-end event: memorable because of the setting and the details that were never overlooked. Seeing Jamie operate at one of his events is enough to help anyone understand why the warehouse is as cool as it is. He isn’t the type to stop at anything other than near perfection. Talking with Tricia about her latest idea or willingness to try new things in the community also makes it all add up. Jamie is a perfectionist. He is also capable of operating in chaos. Directing multiple team members to erect a stage or ϐix a speaker set-up, all while answering a phone and pointing other crew members to ϐix an unexpected issue, is nothing for him. Both he and Tricia thrive at multi-tasking their way toward an outcome that always draws a standing ovation, even if the journey to get there is hectic. “We are driven by ϐiguring things out,” Tricia says. “We are always inspired by having the opportunity just to do things.”

The HB Way Both Jamie and Tricia experienced parental losses at a young age. The experience, both agree, has pushed them to maintain a philosophy in life that involves chance-taking, trying new things and operating to reach an outcome and not just to avoid a failure.

'We are driven by figuring things out. We are always inspired by having the opportunity just to do things.' tricia lunski

They are certainly not control addicts, but they aren’t afraid of doing things in a way that puts a great deal of time, money and pressure on their abilities. Often times, the team makes their own stages, signs or set-ups. There is a wide variety of tools for wood or metal in their warehouse that allows them to release their DIY skills when needed. The whole crew is ϐlexible to any situation, creative at heart and fully aware that reaching the end of that start-to-ϐinish job arc will probably never happen the same way twice. The entire HB team is excited to be on the job, but shy about talking about the job they do. Jamie is the most difϐicult. He admits that he is used to being behind the stage, not showcased on it. As they continue on the rapid pace and successful escalation they are on as a regional sound, light and technology powerhouse, its clear that the Lunskis, the rest of the crew, the warehouse and the HB way are all worthy of turning the spotlight away from their clients and on to themselves. G

HB TAKING OVER Jamie and Tricia always dreamed of owning and operating their own music and entertainment festival. The idea was different than most, however. Both Jamie and Tricia have a passion for the community, the local art scene, and of course, live entertainment. In 2017, the Lunskis went forward with a plan to create a festival that would utilize Greenway space along the North Dakota side of the Red River as festival grounds. As it has played out for the past three years, several art groups ranging in focus from music to art have “taken over” portions of the festival grounds to showcase their talents. As lead sponsors and organizers, the HB team does their best to bring in major acts for three straight days. The festival creates an atmosphere appealing to both families and the more traditional concert attendees. Thousands of attendees have witnessed HB’s unique vision to combine live entertainment with other attractions like hot air balloon rides, local children’s choirs singing alongside national acts, storytime between concerts, life-size chess boards and several other out-of-the-festival box ideas that HB’s team has never shied away from trying. “I don’t think we are very conventional with any of it,” Tricia says. In addition to the Greenway Takeover Festival, HB has also added the summer concert known as the "Rockin’ Up North" series which last year brought in renowned country act Blackhawk, while also showcasing local talent Paint The Town.


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Growing New

TRADITIONS The Ring Family Farm isn’t hard to ϐind—especially during the winter holiday season. For the last two years, Phil and Brittany Ring have transformed their acreage eight miles west of Thompson, North Dakota, into a seasonally themed getaway open to the public and around a staple of December: Christmas trees. The husbandand-wife duo purchased their property in 2016 with a speciϐic vision. Today, along with their children, friends, family and unique assemblage of farm animal companions, the Rings have realized more than they ever could have imagined. What started as a wish and a whim to live in the country and build a place that others might want to visit has become much more. Starting in late November and extending every weekend through December, the Ring Family Farm offers hayrides, ornament making for kids, bonϐires, games, cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, and most important, the chance to pick up a fresh-cut Christmas tree, until the day comes when visitors can cut their own tree grown right there on the farm. It’s the type of set up and holiday atmosphere that feels as real and right as any seasonal recipe, decoration or activity we might break out in December. The Rings have created something that is hard to explain and even harder to duplicate. They did it by following their instincts, gut feelings and desires to give others something of value. “Running a fresh-cut Christmas tree operation on a farm was always our vision,” Brittany says. “We’ve always enjoyed the traditional aspect of Christmas and getting the tree.”



From the beginning, Phil and Brittany knew their operation wouldn’t make them millions (the entry fee is nearly nothing), but they were certain their love of tradition-based memory making was a worthy and sought-after cause. Prior to acquiring their current set up, they experienced the frustration and heartache of ϐinding, offering on and failing to buy a country property (three times). Spend time around Phil, and its easy to understand why he was never deterred. His nice-guy smile and positive energy for the life he’s created—and has now opened up to anyone willing to drive to his farm—is impossible to ignore. Sometimes, one might wonder if his exuberance for his surroundings and willingness to make new experiences there has put more on his schedule then he can handle. Three weeks before the Rings were set to open for the season, a newly constructed lodge building meant to house a series of tables, refreshment stands, a ϐireplace and a decoration making area, was only in the idea stage. Dirt on the ground was still the ϐloor at that time. A generator, a random spattering of tools and a big empty space inside the enclosed “lodge” were the only real signs of progress. But even then, only weeks away from opening for the season, with a cold chill in the air and a sun setting lower and lower every day, Phil and Brittany displayed the type of energy that can only be called contagious. They had a radiant conϐidence—as bright and shiny as a star at the top of a tree—that when they opened up their


THE RING WAY From their acceptance and expansion of animals, to their unique Christmas tree operation, the Rings credit a combination of their no-fear attitudes with a willingness to seek out help. To start your own operation or follow your own dream lifestyle path as the Rings have, Phil and Brittany have this to say: 1. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. 2. Always look for and ask for help. 3. Take action now and be willing to figure some things out along the way.

THE NEXT YOUTUBE STARS To help others experience their farm and understand their long-term vision, Brittany and Phil have begun recording their day-to-day lives as they prep and work to make the Ring Family Farm set-up a continuous and successful operation. The family has created a recognizable logo (you’ll see it on the main sign as you pull into the property) and is also producing videos for YouTube. Their subscriber list is growing fast.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE EXPERIENCE Brittany and Phil share the same feelings on the power of a great, memorable experience. They’ve built their entire operation around the idea that people will come if they provide a great experience. To do that, they’ve tried to take off limits. Kids can go on as many hayrides as they want. Patrons can eat all the cookies, drink all the hot cocoa or walk through the tree decoration area as much as they can stand. Creating a great experience includes providing the big things while focusing on the small details, they say. For them, they can tell it is all working. “One of the most rewarding things I see and experience every day at the farm when we are busy is that both kids and parents are present. None of them are on their phones,” Brittany says.

From the farm animals running around, to the mini-ponies, to the reindeer attractions, to the all-you-can eat cookies .... to the general ambiance of being on a farm, in the country, during Christmas, with your friends and family, the whole thing feels like something you just need to do every year for the rest of time.


STARTING A CUT-YOUR-OWN CHRISTMAS TREE FARM Shortly after acquiring the property, Phil and Brittany got to work tilling up some of their plantable acres. During that time, the Rings also traveled around the region to speak with, and learn from, tree growers and Christmas tree operations. Although there aren’t many, the operations that exist have been very helpful, Brittany says. Both Phil and Brittany are now fluent in tree health descriptions and talk about their assortment of tree types using terms like, "needle moisture retention" and "pruning ability". To establish the first round of trees, they bought a variety of Balsam fir, Fraser fir, Canon fir, Blue spruce and other evergreen varieties. To plant the 750 tree-saplings they started with took the Rings and helpers more than two weeks. Most of the early trees were dug and placed by hand. Then, they got smart and rented a skid steer and post hole digger, Phil says. Not every tree survives, and during subsequent plantings, the Rings have added in 250 more trees and then another 50.

farm, that when they opened up their farm, lodge included, everything would seem magical. Today, the lodge is up and running, decked out in memorable fashion. While they wait for their Christmas tree rows to fully mature, the Rings ship in unique and high-quality trees. Instead of cutting the perfect tree, patrons can walk rows and rows of decorated and on-display trees to ϐind the right pre-cut tree. A bundling station wraps up the trees for transport. If Phil helps you with a tree or the bundling or anything else, you can bet he is smiling. The whole set-up feels nearly too good to be 28 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 6 2019

A TIP FOR CHRISTMAS TREE GROWING The Rings grow a variety of trees (and supply fresh cut trees) that range in height from six feet to twelve feet. One of the main things they have learned is that young trees benefit from a cocoon-like setting. Instead of cutting and pruning back the grass and weeds that wanted to surround their young saplings standing only one foot high, Phil says his expert friends told him to let the grass grow. Doing so, he says, helps the tree stay protected. The grass and other debris that might appear to be covering the tree and limiting growth is actually helping to retain moisture during the early time-period of crucial growth.

true, but Brittany has worked hard to make it feel that way. From the farm animals running around, to the miniponies, to the reindeer attractions, to the all-you-can-eat cookies (Phil didn’t want to limit the amount of cookies people could eat) to the general ambiance of being on a farm, in the country, during Christmas, with your friends and family, the whole thing feels like something you just need to do every year for the rest of time. It might be hard to understand why, but it feels right, and good and in need of repeating, exactly like all of our favorite traditions. G


LIFE WITH ANIMALS Growing up, neither Phil nor Brittany had farm animals. “Now we love the animals. The kids learn and relax with all of the animals around us,” and, Brittany says, “the chorus of sounds is somehow enjoyable.” After starting with smaller stock like chickens, cats, ducks, dogs and then goats, the Rings branched into miniature horses at the request of their daughter. After their daughter took up riding, they added more horses with the support of their local veterinarian who encouraged them to add to their farm. Now, both Phil and Brittany agree, they wouldn’t want their lives any other way, regardless of the chores and responsibilities. “The animals just add to our experience,” Phil says.

Horses (4)

ANIMALS of the Ring Family Farm

 Rocky is a Pony of America  Red and Stella are both quarter horses.

Stella was bought as a baby and she was a wild child.  Litli is an Icelandic horse that literally came from Iceland. His name means “little” and alludes to long, blonde hair.

Miniature horses (1)  Cupcake is a Shetland pony

Donkeys (2)  Vera and Norman

Chickens (25-30)

Goats (2)  Avis and Alice. Either will eat an entire cardboard box

very quick if left to it.

Dogs (3)  Miller, Daisy and Gertie

Fish (2)  Both are Nemos

Ducks (7) Cats (2) Rudy The Hampster (1)



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Subaru is a registered trademark. *2018–2019 model-year vehicle’s projected cost to own for the initial five-year ownership period is based on the average Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own data, which considers depreciation and costs such as fuel and insurance. For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. Actual mileage may vary. Actual mileage may vary. **MSRP excludes destination and delivery charges, tax, title, and registration fees. Retailer sets actual price. Certain equipment may be required in specific states, which can modify your MSRP. See your retailer for details. Vehicle shown with available accessories.

Holidays. Birthdays. Just Because.

Downtown on Demers | 701.746.8970

SHOP & STYLE // Photos by PJ Cole Photography

Boutique Backstory FA R M I N G , FA S H I O N A N D A N N T H E D O G The origins of Ann Love, a downtown Grand Forks boutique inspired and infused by classic stylings and design tastes, are not what you might expect— unless you get to know founder, Callie Bylin. Set up to showcase sleek, era-proof attire for the business woman that is just starting, or is already established, the boutique mixes open ϐloor space, clothes displays, clean and orderly lines and a less-is-more approach to create a powerful boutique experience. Don’t confuse less-is-more with a lack of options. The Ann Love store, at nearly 3,000 square feet, has a massive array of options ranging from pants to blouses to dresses to boots. There are sections for formal nights, and other racks for running errands while looking great. The space feels complete and established, as if it could be in any major metro. The store’s simplicity and leanings to classic outϐits with a modern tweak, scream conϐidence. The people running the store certainly know what they are doing, and it feels (even though it isn’t the case) as if the team behind Ann Love grew up in the fashion industry and have master’s degrees in business and style and all things boutique.




Lessons Learned Running A Pa s s i o n P r o j e c t Bylin says she’s learned a lot running her business. Her main takeaway is to not question her decisions. “I’ve learned if I have a gut feeling to just go with it.”

Being A Must -Stop Boutique To compete in the women’s clothing boutique space, Bylin knows she has to stay on top of trends, make her own and continually update her offerings. The store relies on classic pieces (think black blazers or go-to pants). Bylin recently added more size offerings with sizes ranging from extra small (XS) to 3X. She provides group styling events and has outfitted entire organizations or sororities that have special attire requirements for upcoming events. And then there is the pet approach. Bylin always has pet-themed or animal-linked offerings. “The dog stuff always sells right away,” she says.


'Taking the risk and doing the one thing I love the way I want to do it is the thing I’m most proud of.' CALLIE BYLIN The truth is, Callie Bylin’s Ann Love store is a reϐlection of a person who embraces what she loves and a person who isn’t afraid to take a risk to chase a passion. There was no previous fashion degree or time spent globetrotting the world’s greatest fashion events. Bylin is certainly a fashion and business expert, but she is also a real-life farmgirl. When she isn’t meeting with clothing wholesalers, she might be driving a combine or tending to the chores on her acreage west of town. Since she was little, she’s always loved clothes and dressing people. She loves design and classic furniture as well (check out her classic Victorian couch in the store). Bylin also loves animals, including Ann, her dog, the very dog that you guessed it, is the genesis of her store’s name. With her ϐirst child coming soon, she isn't afraid of adding more to her already busy schedule, she says. Her husband and co-founder is great at everything. A few years ago, Bylin started buying and selling her favorite styles through a boutique she created online. Running the online boutique from her country home, she soon realized she was good at ϐinding clothes people wanted to buy, and, that her country home was too small to store her inventory. “I’d always dreamed of running my own boutique,” she says. When she said that, the words came out very matter-offact. It is who Bylin appears to be. She knows what she wants, and she goes after it all until she gets it. Everything she says of her store and what people should expect is clear and concise. She has little doubt in what she offers. She only hesitates in

trying to explain all that she hopes to accomplish. There was a hint of farmgirl shyness and humbleness to her statement about her early dream to own a boutique, but it also came with a presence of a to-the-point attitude that clearly helps her just get things done. Much of her early success since opening her business roughly one year ago, stems from her roots in the region, she says. “Farming certainly taught me how to have a strong work ethic,” Bylin says. It has also taught her how to deal with outside factors that impact foot trafϐic at the boutique that have always been out of her control, she says. “I’ve always been good at helping people,” Bylin says. Set to be a new mom, Bylin would still be helping on her



family farm if she hadn’t been persuaded to take a break before the baby. Along her journey, she’s also had help. Her husband, Roman, a co-founder in the business, has helped with the business operations. Her mother, now a full-time employee, helps at the store. Ann, the dog, even shows up at the store once in a while. The entire team travels to Las Vegas for wholesaler shows. Nearly every day Bylin talks with her friends and family about style or clothing options for the store. When she is at the farm, she’s thinking about display hangers or a brand of footwear she might add. In the future, she wants to add Ann Love originals. The theme will be linked to farming and supporting local farmers or growers. It is hard to get Bylin to talk about her favorite pieces in the store. There are too many, she says with a grin, and there are always more on the way. The boutique and the clothing or offerings in it are all her passion she says, and the thing she is most proud of. “Taking the risk and doing the one thing I love the way I want to do it is the thing I’m most proud of.” G





3251 32nd Ave S, Suite B, Grand Forks 701.757.0453

New Construction Commercial Design Color Consultation


Re-upholstery Architectural Detail Specification

Kitchen & Bath Design Furniture Staging Fixture Selection Blinds & Window Treatment Design Lighting Design Custom Bedding & Pillows Turn Key Remodel

For an appointment call our showroom at 218-791-3235 or contact us online at 2150 32nd Ave. S, Suite E., Grand Forks, ND 58201

Š2019 i4design







Our team is made up of experienced designers who strive to develop creative solutions for client homes, offices and stores. We provide full-design services from the drawing board to tucking in the last pillow.





The personal collections, artwork, and furnishings of our clients reflect the personality of their home. When you work with our design team we can make a cost effective plan including re-purposing spaces for new needs and goals, new room arrangements, re-hanging artwork, and color selections.


Space Planning

N E W Y E A R'S R E S O L U T I O N :


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„ Residential & Commercial „ Granite & Quartz Countertops „ Tile Sales & Installations „ Over 350 Slabs of Quartz & Granite In Stock „ Huge Selection Of Kitchen & Bathroom Sinks In Stock

2202 Gateway Drive Grand Forks, ND 58203 701-772-7730


SHOP & STYLE // Photos by Manstrom Photography

Look At The


Lego Magic



To construct their magical annual display, the GFKLug (Grand Forks Lego Users Group) turns to the GRAND region’s most iconic or well-known establishments for inspiration. This year it’s the polka dot house, the North Dakota Mill and the New Flavors Food Truck (among several others). Like the last two years, the Lego aϐicionados are bringing back the Red Pepper, Darcy’s Café and several other well-known places. The group spends weeks meticulously piecing together replications of buildings or scenes with their go-to favorite staple—the Lego block. Their attention to detail is undeniably noticeable, if not shockingly impressive. Miniature signs for buildings are created with faded effects to mimic the real-life versions. Face expressions on ϐigurines match the setting in which they are placed. Trains run. Lights work. Loaves of bread, pizza slices and anything else that might seem to small for a Lego-sized setting are all placed into the display in a way that is easy to notice and hard to look away from.

...about the time it takes to snap one Lego brick onto another, you realize and remember that the make-believe joy you see in the Legos also exists in the non-Lego world. James Whitney, once called the Mayor of Lego City in Grand Forks, is a member of the users group. Whitney spends hours and days leading up to the event stressing over Legos and building, always building. Started three years ago by Jamie and Tricia Lunksi, the annual display draws thousands of visitors each year to HB Sound & Light in Grand Forks. This year, a 21+ night paired a viewing opportunity with adult beverages and entertainment. As in years past, the event is otherwise open and free to the public for multiple weekends leading up to Christmas. There is always a loose plan for what the group of less than 30 will build, but each member has the freedom to create. It is hard to say how many pieces are used every year, Whitney says with a grin, an imaginary thought bubble appearing above his head showing that he has never really thought of the answer to the numbers question, nor does he really care. 42 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 6 2019









5 most valuable

Lego Sets

2. Taj Mahal First Edition: $3,800 3. King’s Castle (1984): $2,600 4. Ultimate Collectors Series Imperial Star Destroyer: $2,300 5. Airport Shuttle (1987): $2,400

1. Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon: $15,000

Of course, y you might ask why? Why would they do this, put in the time, stay up late searching for a single Lego brick, trade othe members or make drawings to work off of for bricks with other n many days and nights? Why would grown adults spend their valubuildi able time building—or playing—with Legos? If you are lu lucky enough to take time from your valuable day, displ go see the displays in person. You will walk up to a tiny replica of Rhombus Guy Guys pizza and look in the second-ϐloor window and see something u unexpected. Feet away from that display you see a dog running. Next to that there is a Santa Claus reigning in a team of horses u underneath the smiling water tower. While you are ϐin looking, your ϐingers start to move, and you ϐind yourself unconϐightin off the urge to reach out and touch every Lego sciously ϐighting block within reach. You won’t though, you refrain, but you keep Yo will lean down, visually digesting a world you staring. You recogniz all the while smiling without any recognition of recognize, when you started smiling. When you stand up, you will not notice Lego displays all around you, there are other p people too, also leaning down, all of them smiling or pointing. You will try to ϐind someone you LIFESTYLE T E MAGAZINE // ISSUE 6 2019 44 GRAND LIFESTYL

know that isn’t looking at the Legos so you can look them in the eye and motion to them to walk over to you. You want to point at what you saw and let them share in the unexpected joy you felt from the Lego work created by the user group. “Look at this,” you will want to say to anyone who will listen, as you point to a piece of plastic that weighs only 1.15 grams. Most likely, no one will come over to you because they themselves will be too busy looking at the Legos. So, you will turn back to the Legos in front of you, bend down at the waist and point again at the displays. That is when you’ll understand it all, and you will have the answer to the question of why the User Group creates the Lego display. Standing in front of the display, your lips will silently mouth the phrase, “Look at this,” to no one but yourself and for a brief second, about the time it takes to snap one Lego brick onto another, you realize and remember that the make-believe joy you see in the Legos also exists in the non-Lego world. G

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Keep your equipment running at peak efficiency Prevent costly breakdowns Extend the life of your equipment Contact Us (701) 775-4675

HOME & DESIGN // Photos by Mandstrom Photography

Farmstead Reimagined


The Adams’ family house is situated on a fourth-generation farmstead just south of Grand Forks, North Dakota. The place possesses a mystique that few dwellings in the GRAND region can match. Years ago, the place was lined by ag ϐields as far as the eye could see and it was a country property. The home of Steven and Darla Adams now exists as a beautifully and thoughtfully reimagined property once considered rural but now is today in the middle of city additions and developments. The charm of the country and the pride that grows from the roots of any farmstead have survived in the home, while modern features in line with luxury and high style have been infused throughout what appears to be a modest home from the outside. A sign in front of the house signals that the family’s multi-thousand-acre operation’s headquarters resides on the property. But the house doesn’t exist anymore on a farmstead out in the country. The landscape around it has changed. The home is now more country-esque and less outside of town than ever before, even if many of the views still provide nothing but sprawling uninterrupted nature. From the outside, ranch with a two-story ceiling outcropping the appears as you might expect from a generationally successful farming family, effective for the space, without over-indulgence of architectural features that don’t serve a direct purpose for its location in the world, and, all with a style aesthetically leaning to quality, chic design and a layout created with lifestyle comforts in mind. The Adams’ home is a celebration of living in a place because of its place—in both location today and its presence in the family’s history. Its updates reϐlect the owners’ willingness to adapt

ALL SEASONS ALLURE: A last minute add to the major remodel efforts, the four-seasons porch has become an every morning stop for both Adams. The views show water, trees and wildlife.



City sprawl will continue, but the Adams’ farm place has everything it needs to remain true to its roots as a base for a family linked to the region through its soil. to harsh homeowner realities (ϐlood conditions) and an ability to revamp several thousand square feet into a space worthy of a holiday home tour and magazine photo shoot. Like all great homes, the Adams’ family home isn’t great because of its sheer size, materials used or speciϐic locale. The Adams’ family home is memorable and great because of a combination of factors, including its history, the people who lived there before or today, and the massive amount of ideas, solutions and small decisions or changes that they (family members, designers, friends, architects or contractors) all came up with for the house along the way. In the end, it has all added up to create a house with a big presence and great story.

Generational Style

WHY NOT WINE: A budding connoisseur of wine, Steve decided to add a small storage space for his growing collection.


Originally built in 60s, the main home on the property is one of three. Steve grew up in a smaller ranch style home next to the new home. Another house was added to the site for his Grandpa and as a farming operation headquarters. Darla and Steve moved into their current spot in 1990. Daryl Adams, Steve’s father, owned a wide swath of land near and around the property. At different times, a member of the Adams’ family has occupied one or all of the three houses that exist on the property today. There are still large ag buildings and storage sheds that remain as well. Gravel is still the driveway material along certain sections of ground, while heated concrete has its place in other areas. According to Darla, the original design was a simple ranch outϐitted with modern amenities of the day. Georgia marble covered the lower front of the house and was used as a ϐireplace surround inside. Steve says his dad shipped in the marble on a train car and he still remembers unloading and handling that tile as a young man. The old version of the house also included color-themed bathrooms (red, green and blue) and Bell telephones wired into the bathrooms and throughout the house. After raising their kids on a separate farmstead across the river on a different swath of Adams’ land for a time, Steve and Darla took the opportunity to continue the tradition of the generations before them when they had the choice to

FIREPLACE SOLUTIONS: Steve had a custom stainless-steel mantle built for the fireplace because a wood option wasn’t as feasible. The brick tile replaced Georgia marble. The beam (to the left) was also designed differently after Steve was able to work with the architects on a solution to avoid putting a massive column in next to the fireplace.

relocate to the farmstead. Today, the Adams have renovated portions of the largest home on the property for guest stays and most importantly, grandchildren to play and be kids. “It is a big home for two people,” she says. “We really contemplated building something different for ourselves.” Since moving in, Darla and Steve have worked together to reimagine the home. Working with an architect and a handful of designers, they have drastically changed the once simple ranch layout. A raised two-story entryway was added to bring in overhead light and create a noticeable entrance feature. Most of the ϐirst ϐloor was gutted and laid out with an open concept in mind. Because of the high volume of windows added, Darla says one friend tells her the house is “aquarium like.” A deck area was transformed into a four-season porch that Darla uses nearly every morning to watch the wildlife stroll by. Darla’s vision for design and interior aesthetics combined with Steve’s ability to ϐind solutions for unique issues (don’t forget he has been running the Adams’ farming operations since he was 30 and in addition to the current home, Steve has overseen the remodel of other properties) have made the Adams’ last home hurrah a success that

DESIGN TEAM: Darla and her trusted designers reimagined the master suite, including a seating area and impressive closet.

MEASUREMENTS THAT LAST: The Adams saved a section of wall lost to remodel changes. The wall shows the height measurements of their children throughout the years.


COFFEE ANYONE? Both Darla and Steve enjoy a great cup of Joe. For their last remodel efforts, they chose to install a coffee and espresso bar. The section also features a stainlesssteel icemaker.

FARMSTEAD PROPERTY SURROUNDED BY CITY: Now surrounded by homes and development on all sides, the Adams' family property still offers a unique placement along Cole Creek.



CUSTOM OFFICE: A former Adams’ Family Farm office for Steve, the custom walnut and maple desk and cabinets now provide a working space for Darla.

both Steve and Darla believe will continue the tradition of generational living. City sprawl will continue, but the Adams’ farm place has everything it needs to remain true to its roots as a base for a family linked to the region. As for the next generation of Adams, Steve feels his business partner/son could take the opportunity to live in the home one day. As for Steve and Darla, their hard work over the years has given them ample opportunities to pursue different living locales or options. They’ve certainly thought about other options, but the talks always end the same way. They know where they need to be, and they know where they want to be. As for the generations before them and what they might think of the property today or the state of the Adam's family in general, Steve doesn’t say much, offering only a short statement that seems to indicate he hopes the previous Adams would agree with his decisions about the house and everything that the house represents. Both he and Darla are proud of their work and the changes they've made. Every decision seemed to have meaning and purpose, as if the home was more than just a physcial dwelling. On the question of previous generations, Darla is quick to talk about the past on Steve’s behalf. Steve’s father, Daryl, she says, "would be immensely proud of his son and the home and life we have created." G

Prepping For The Holiday Home Tour

For the 2019 Grand Forks Holiday Home Tour, Robb Cook and his team of designers at i4Design spent multiple days sprucing up and creating a festive home. (Along with several others for the annual tour). Cook and his team decorated several rooms with unique-tothe-world tree and holiday décor. Cook and Darla have worked together in the past on other design projects in the home. The design team was able to incorporate several meaningful pieces into the decor including family quilts, cherished coffee mugs, Darla's childhood attire and more.

STARTED YOUNG: Steve has always been a farmer. The designers used a toy tractor from Steve’s youth as a decoration in the home. Today, the Adams have land in either direction of their home spanning as far away as 45-miles.


Individual Kitchens ȮÀõ²³½¶ú´¶Ä Get your ideal kitchen at a price you can afford.

Whether you want a brand new kitchen or to simply freshen up your existing one with replacement doors or worktops, we can create the perfect kitchen for you.

701-739-1547 | 1212A Dyke Avenue | Grand Forks, ND



Each office is independently owned and operated

Valley TechPros

Ashley Cota

Norby's Work Perks


Valley TechPros

Norby’s Work Perks

Electronics break but Valley TechPros Can Fit It! Located in beautiful downtown Grand Forks, Valley TechPros is your local experts in everything electronics repair, offering a wide range of repair services at an affordable rate. We service everything from Phone, Computer & Mac Repair to Small Electronics, Game Systems, Record Players, TV’s & So much more! #ValleyTechProsCanFixIt

Norby’s is your turnkey solution for all office interiors; ranging from fully ergonomic office chairs to a complete smart building designed by us with modular walls, flooring, and adaptable furniture. We have evolved and we will keep adapting to the most current trends in design principles for Interior Spaces while never losing our commitment to our customers to provide “Service, Service, Service in everything we do”. 11 S 4th St Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-746-9441

523 Demers Avenue Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-335-6862

Coldwell Banker – Forks Real Estate As a realtor, my first priority is to make my clients happy and I do that by listening to their wants and needs. My goal is to achieve the best outcome in every transaction with a fun, easy, and stress-free process. "I  what I do... therefore people  what I do!" Ashley Cota 218-280-7278

Simplymaid At Simplymaid, we understand your home is unique. This means your cleaning services should be unique as well. We create a cleaning plan around your budget and will clean however and wherever you like. After all, this is your home - let's clean it your way! At each visit, your Simplymaid team will thoroughly clean to your specifications. And yes, satisfaction is guaranteed! 2506B S. Washington St Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-765-3069



Avant Hair and Skin Care Studio's and Spa

117 Yoga & Wellness

Budget Blinds

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117 YOGA & WELLNESS 117 N. Washington St. Suite D Grand Forks, ND 58203 701.738.8888

Half Brothers Brewery

Budget Blinds At Budget Blinds, our goal is to provide you with the best products and services in order to enrich your home environment. We offer FREE In-Home Consultations, Professional Measure and Installation, and the Best Warranty in the Industry. Call us today to schedule your Free In-Home Consultation. Style and Service for Every Budget. 701-213-0254


Avant Hair and Skin Care Studio's and Spa 10% OFF Avant Gift Cards thru Dec. 24th. AVANT SALON'S AND SPA takes great pride in everything we do! Signature Customer Service, Technically Strong and Professional Providers of Services and Treatments. AVEDA Naturally Derived Hair Color and Products for the Hair, Skin, and Body. The Look...The Feel... 33 S. 3rd St 701-775-5333 (downtown) 2750 Gateway Dr. 701-746-8000 (Gateway)

Half Brothers Brewery Welcome to the Family Half Brothers Brewery is a familyfriendly brewery featuring the finest craft beer, delicious food, and local live music every night. Working with local artists and professionals, we’ve built something special that goes beyond quality beer and great food. Come in for a pint and a bite and see for yourself. 17 N. 3rd Street Grand Forks, ND 58203 701-757-0805



Crary Real Estate

Innovative Basement Authority

Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture

Ann Love

Jessica Rice, Crary Real Estate

Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture

Innovative Basement Authority

Ann Love

Buying and selling your home can be very emotional. I am here to simplify the process and make everything easy on you. Whether you are buying your first home, building your dream home or downsizing into the perfect town home, I am here to assist you!

At Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture we see you as an individual with a unique set of needs, and we view chiropractic care as a system of health care that can help you reach improved levels of wellbeing. Allow our combination of experience, evidence-based care, and collaborative mindset help you reach your health goals.

Innovative Basement Authority was formerly Innovative Basement Systems. We specialize in basement waterproofing, concrete repair, crawl space repair, foundation repair, radon gas mitigation, sump pumps, dehumidifiers, and more! Innovative serves ND, IA, MN, & WI and provides high quality & exceptional customer service.

4551 S Washington St Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-741-8681

3750 32nd Ave. South Suite #103 Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-775-1034 Phone: 877-365-0097

Ann Love is excited to announce that we have expanded our size selection! We now carry sizes that range from XS – 3X. Whether you are looking for something business casual, a special occasion dress, or just a cute casual outfitWe’ve got you covered! Make a trip downtown this holiday season to check out all the local, small businesses! Follow us: Facebook & Instagram @annloveboutique 402 Demers Ave. Suite 120 Front Door off 4th Street.


For Total Joint Recovery, There’s No Place Like Home. If you’re a candidate for outpatient total joint replacement, you have a choice in where you have surgery. Hospitals are for sick people. Our patients go home the same day as their procedure. Choose North Dakota Surgery Center, so you can relax and recover in the comfort of your own home. 

Why Choose North Dakota Surgery Center For Your Joint Replacement? Patients are discharged home the same day as surgery. Patients experience a more comfortable, friendly, and personalized environment than a hospital.

Our Physicians

David Schall, MD

Our center provides easier access for patients and their families. Outpatient centers offer a reduced risk of infections compared to hospitals. Outpatient treatment is a costeffective alternative to inpatient care. Patients pay approximately 50% less than the same procedure in a hospital setting.1 1. Richter, D.L. & Diduch, D.R. (2017). Cost Comparison of Outpatient Versus Inpatient Unicompartmental Knee Arthoplasty. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 5(3), 2325967117694352.

Joff G. Thompson, MD

Robert Clayburgh, MD

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT US AT: | 2600 47th Ave. S, Grand Forks, ND 58201 | 701.738.4240




701.746.2790 |

Profile for BBI International

Issue 6, 2019 - GRAND Lifestyle Magazine  

The best of the Grand Cities magazine. Featuring Ann Love Boutique, Ring Family Farm, Adams Family Farm, HB Sound & Light, Lego Mania by HB...

Issue 6, 2019 - GRAND Lifestyle Magazine  

The best of the Grand Cities magazine. Featuring Ann Love Boutique, Ring Family Farm, Adams Family Farm, HB Sound & Light, Lego Mania by HB...

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