For his day job, Mike and his wife own a small interior arts company called Nestcraft Studio where they design and build custom furniture and cabinetry on a commission basis, mostly higher end work utilizing domestic and exotic wood veneers. At night, he builds custom cafe motorcycles. The company he started, MONNOM, is building steam, and he hopes to transition to doing more motorcycle work in the very near future.
Mike grew up on a farm outside the small, rural Iowa town of Harcourt, Iowa—population 178. He currently reside in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife and two children.
Mike’s wife, Sandy, is an artist and interior painter. They worked together on starting the interior painting business for the first 6 years and he gained a lot of furniture commissions from their early clients. They still do a lot of work together, and their two trades seem to work well together.
Mike says he has always loved design and making things; woodworking was a good way to help people acquire something they needed and gave him a way to challenge himself and realize a creative vision. His recent turn to building motorcycles seems to further that creative vision and has sparked a new love for balancing a design aesthetic with a functioning piece of art.
I asked Mike what he loves most about living in the Midwest.
“In a city like Des Moines, you have every opportunity to do whatever you want; people will support you, and the resources needed are all pretty easily obtainable. I love the Midwestern attitudes of less hype and BS and more doing. People tend to put less into an image here and more into a vision or product. I also love being able to afford a nice house, raise a family, and be close to my extended family.”You can find more of Mike's ongoing projects by hitting the links below.