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Mark King

Born in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1949. He credits his father for his work ethic. He didn't get an allowance but started working at 12 and after 3 years he could plumb a house.

After moving to Vail, CO, in 1970, Mark worked in gourmet kitchens, reaching chef status in mid 1970's. In 1977 he went to work for Concept Restaurants designing and building restaurants. In no time, he realized that he liked designing and building stuff much more than managing people that weren't exactly motivated.

Turning ideas on paper into reality, for a person like Mark, is very satisfying. Being happy with his work is more important than a paycheck. This is a concept that means more to Mark at 62 (sparing you the starving artist rap).

In 1980, Mark's first shop was in Minturn, CO, 7 miles from Vail. It was ill equipped, cold as hell and the gas heater blew up once or twice a winter from the dust that collected in it. Somehow, he managed to put out some pretty good work for a couple of years.

He upgraded to another building in 1983 collecting more and better equipment and started working with and alongside some of the best woodworkers in the business. He was even thrown a bone or two (sub contracts) from the big boys Rudi and Will. In Mark's last few years in Vail he did a couple of joint efforts with Robert Lepper, a master blacksmith - wood doors with bronze embellishments. He started to really enjoy building doors, maybe because they operate.

So, when he moved to Whitefish in 1988, opening a door shop seemed to be (and turned out to be) his best option. He was the new guy in town and the local economy wasn't too hot so he lived in the shop that he had just bought on Baker Avenue. He ate a lot of PB&J's.

In 1990 he got a couple of high profile jobs on Central Avenue - O'Keef Jewelry and the Remington remodel. Since then, thanks to some wonderful clients, life has been good. Mark has had the opportunity to be involved in some great projects, both challenging and gratifying.

Mark has a passion for travel. He's studied wood shops in Brazil, New Zealand, Vietnam.

Jon Hjertberg

Even as a kid Jon always found the most fun making things. He started building and rebuilding toys and models, then bicycles, and then old VW's and motorcycles. He studied lots of math and science, art, psychology, engineering and photography.

After finally graduating with a degree in economics, he opened a bicycle shop with his brother Ric, and then a bicycle wheel and component manufacturing company, Wheelsmith. This provided great experience working with a wide variety of materials (from wood to exotic metal alloys to carbon fiber) and production processes (from hand crafting to custom tooling to computerized robotics). It also gave him the opportunity to spend time in Europe and Japan.

While woodworking was always an important part of Jon's life, both for work and play, it was moving to Whitefish when he decided to make woodwork his focus. He was soon fortunate to connect with Mark King, who shared his commitment to excellence in both design and fabrication, with a strong emphasis on function as well as aesthetics. Jon lives near Whitefish with his wife Rebecca and their dog, Penny.

Graduated Stanford: 1975
Wheelsmith: 1975 to 2003
Working with Mark King: 2004 to present