Emy and I met Preston and Angela Anderson at Glam Doll Donuts on a frosty Sunday afternoon in December. Sitting across from them on a couch covered in faux sheep-skin— surrounded by checkered tiles, pink accents, sprinkles, maple bacon— I felt a distinct, funny kind of dissonance. Preston wore jeans, work boots, and an easy flannel. Angela leaned into our conversation, one of her husband’s understated walnut bangles slipping out from the sleeve of a crisp, navy blazer as she gestured. Here we sat, surrounded by excess, discussing a beautifully simple craft.
“We’re both Swedish— we love Scandinavian design… clean lines, natural beauty,” Angela reflects on the time-honored aesthetic she and Preston hope to bring to their products. Take a peek at their portfolio, and you’ll find function intersecting with beauty at every corner— from cutting boards, to bangles, to candle sticks. “I just wanted to try and create things rustic enough to use at our cabin, but clean enough to be used in The Cities… my work is born out of what we use on a regular basis,” Preston elaborates.
Let’s talk about rustic. Remarkably, all of Preston’s designs take shape in his sister-in-law’s unheated garage in South Minneapolis, crafted with tools passed down to him by his father and grandfather. “It’ll get up to maybe 40° in the coldest months, and I’ll move the car around when I need more space.” Preston’s tiny workspace became slightly less cramped this Spring, when he sold his treasured road bike to invest in some equipment upgrades. He cringes a little when he tells this story— for a guy who loves fishing in the Boundary Waters, and who recently posted a picture of himself skijoring, a sacrifice like that feels weighty.
Down a bike, but up a business, Preston and Angela have slowly started setting up collaborations with local makers whose aesthetics feel right— a little rugged, always refined. Great Lakes Co. currently features Preston’s color-block bottle openers, while William Rogue just started stocking his gorgeous walnut fishing nets. Like the products themselves, every move the couple makes feels intentional, genuine. “I’d rather do small well, than try to do a ton of stuff in a mediocre way,” Preston says thoughtfully.
While the pair plans to keep things simple at first, the ultimate dream is to open a brick and mortar shop. “We’d have a workshop in the back, host classes… the dream is to offer more opportunities for our community to come together… that’s what excites us the most.” Angela’s eyes sparkle as she imagines what the future might hold for the business. Preston adds, “Minneapolis is such a great place to be… we feel really lucky to live in an [arts] community that wants to see its members succeed.”
As we wrap up our conversation, Angela reflects a little bit on the growth of the pair’s business and long history together. The couple met when they were kids, and started dating when they were fifteen. They eventually went on to study at Bethel University together and got married a year after graduating. “I’ve always admired Preston’s spirit … he's always been curious, and trying new things. In college he decided he wanted to grow a lemon tree from a seed. That little lemon tree is sitting in our kitchen, and it still produces fruit each year! Everything he touches turns to gold.”
Words by Diana / Images provided by Preston Made