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MFGR Designs

An interview with founder Peter Costanti

If you know someone who works at the locally based architectural design firm, MFGR Designs, you might have already had thoughts of quitting your day job in hopes of finding a boss like Pete Costanti. If you haven’t heard of MFGR, or don’t know an employee, then seeing the MFGR team skiing at Big Sky or Bridger Bowl on a deep Tuesday afternoon might cause you a similar revelation. 


 

BL:  So what does MFGR stand for?

PC:    MFGR is an abbreviation for Manufacturer. When I started the business, I knew the end goal was to be a design firm that was also manufacturing those designs. Hence, MFGR Designs.”


 

BL:  Who started the business?  

PC:  Pete Costanti in 2009


 

BL:  How did it evolve?  

PC:  It wasn't an opportune time to start a business in the heart of a recession so we had to be diverse in our scope and progressive in our approach. The business started in a two-car garage on the southside of Bozeman with very few resources, but with an eagerness to establish a name for ourselves.  The original intent of the business was to be a full-scale design-build firm that wasn't using the typical 'design build' model. We started building furniture, signs, custom steelwork, and landscape with a splash of architecture when jobs managed to emerge. We went from one employee to three, three to five, five to nine, and now we've landed at 18. I've always thought that having a lot of cookie jars (scopes of work) allowed us to be resilient when times were slow and conversely allowed us to grow into a diverse engine as opportunity and growth in Bozeman has accelerated at a faster pace than nearly any community in the country. So as it turns out, it was the most opportune time to start a business during a recession because it has allowed us to sharpen our knives in all the facets of the business.

BL:  With all these ‘cookie jars,’  is MFGR still Bozeman-centric?

PC:  Not only do we design and build houses, we also have a full metal shop and wood shop with capabilities to build our lines of furniture while also fulfilling custom projects ranging from stairs and furniture to landscapes and anything else our awesome clients can throw our way. We're currently designing a 180-unit apartment building here in Bozeman while also selling furniture to some of the world’s top hotel chains and restaurants. We sell our lines of furniture all over the country and collaborate with world-famous architects. We're dreamers capable of building out the visions of our clients while still having time to share a PBR after a powder day or salmon fly hatch.

BL:  Where did all the artisans train?  

PC:  We have a handful of MSU architecture graduates with master’s degrees while also having makers trained in furniture design and fabrication from Appalachian State University; some have gone to engineering school at UConn and some have literature degrees. There are welders from Gallatin College, a landscape designer from MSU, and an operations manager from Wall Street. We have designers who were trained at local architecture firms and some from internationally acclaimed architecture firms like BCHO Architects. The team is diverse and the education and experience, wide-ranging. This is what makes us capable of doing what we do. The answer to every question is somewhere under our roof and the skill to do it is invariably in one of the many capable team members.


 

BL:  Is one of the MFGR team the mastermind behind the boutique in Ferguson Farms?  

PC:  My wife, Kait Costanti, owns and operates Salchicha in Ferguson Farms. Salchicha means sausage in Spanish. We have two Dachshunds (Hillshire and Finch) that have become the namesake. MFGR did the design and build-out of the store that included all the built-ins and we also have many of our furniture pieces in the store.


 

BL:  How would you describe the ethos of MFGR?

PC:   We all moved here because we LOVE Bozeman. We came as skiers, snowboarders, avid fly fishermen, and bikers. We came to camp, to float and to pinch every ounce of adventure we could out of this beautiful place. We’re also professional designers and makers who want to offer an alternative to the folks that are trying to pinch every nickel out of this community with greedy design, poor community development, and a fast-paced life that isn't inherently the Bozeman we came for. We work 36-hour workweeks to leave time to do what we really love with our families and friends and this balance helps to keep us eager and efficient and leaves us with a drive to be the best.


 

Pull Quote

MFGR - “Mary, Frank, Gary, Roger… just kidding.”

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