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Startup company aims to get workers standing

FARGO -- Tucker Richardson and Mike Teryohin are starting a new company they hope will make the workaday world sit up and take notice.Make that stand up.The business is called Fargo Made, and what Richardson and Teryohin have designed and plan to...

Mike Teryohin, left, and Tucker Richardson are founders of Fargo Made, a startup company that is looking to change the American workplace with its 100 percent aluminum standing desk. Dave Olson/The Forum
Mike Teryohin, left, and Tucker Richardson are founders of Fargo Made, a startup company that is looking to change the American workplace with its 100 percent aluminum standing desk. Dave Olson/The Forum

FARGO - Tucker Richardson and Mike Teryohin are starting a new company they hope will make the workaday world sit up and take notice.

Make that stand up.

The business is called Fargo Made, and what Richardson and Teryohin have designed and plan to sell is a lightweight aluminum desk platform that can be used with most workstations to create a standing desk.

"That's the cool thing about our product. It's made so if you have a normal desk or table, it modifies that into a stand-up station," said Richardson, an industrial engineer.

Richardson and Teryohin, an electrical engineer, both have day jobs at Appareo Systems in Fargo, a company that develops electronic and software solutions for original equipment manufacturers.

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The two used to do a lot of sitting at their jobs and both started to develop back problems.

"You can start to feel how it affects your body. You can feel your muscles atrophying," Teryohin said.

Contemplating the downsides of sitting for long hours at a task, the pair got to thinking about standing desks, but nothing on the market seemed suitable. So they designed their own, which they call the Sven.

Richardson said that after he started using their newly designed standing desk, his chiropractor noticed physical improvements right away.

"After two weeks of standing, I went to my chiropractor and he said, 'This is the best I've seen your back since I've seen you,' " Richardson said.

Another positive sign: About a half dozen co-workers at Appareo who purchased prototypes of the desk seem to like them, Teryohin and Richardson say.

Kickstarting things

At this point, the only way the rest of the world can purchase a desk is through a Kickstarter campaign that seeks to raise $9,500, which Richardson and Teryohin say is needed to keep the business moving.

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Most of the backers who pledge on Kickstarter will actually be buying a desk at a cost of about $190, including shipping.

Their goal requires the sale of 50 desks, and Richardson and Teryohin are already more than halfway there in what is shaping up to be a winning Kickstarter campaign.

Not all all startups that turn to Kickstarter for funding are successful, however.

A check of the Kickstarter website showed that while nearly 40 area projects reached their Kickstarter goals-meaning money pledged through the website actually went to the entrepreneurs-nearly 70 projects either didn't reach their goal, or were canceled before the campaign ended.

Local Kickstarter projects that met their goals included one launched by a pair of brothers who operate a pinball arcade called Fargo Pinball.

Another successful Kickstarter project was a locally developed video game called On My Own.

Teryohin and Richardson believe their desk, which comes in two colors, black and white, has a lot going for it, including an affordable price, lightweight design and easy assembly that requires no bolts or screws.

They found a local fabricator to make the desks-Sanders Metal Products-and feel that no matter how successful the business may someday become, they intend to keep the operation local.

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Mike Teryohin, left, and Tucker Richardson are founders of Fargo Made, a startup company that is looking to change the American workplace with its 100 percent aluminum standing desk. Dave Olson/The Forum
The Fargo Made aluminum standing desk requires no bolts or screws to assemble. Special to The Forum

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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