Erik Organic is independently owned and operated by Erik Schimek. Gail (also known as Erik's mother) and John answer our phones and emails.
Erik has been working with members of the Amish community since 2001. Prior to this, he taught high school technology classes and assisted in grantwriting for local nonprofits.
Erik strongly believes that a business must uphold its end of the social contract by being responsible to its customers, to the land, and to the community at large. He was reared on Midwestern values that stress the importance of hard work and doing right by other people.
To that end, our furniture is created from locally-sourced solid hardwoods — and is joined together with strong Amish wood joints. This assures a high quality piece that will become the next generation's treasured heirloom.
Erik is currently busy exploring the greenbelt parks in Austin, Texas.
Gail has worked in the accounting field for nearly three decades, including customer support and problem resolution. She previously worked at the University of Minnesota as an accounts receivable specialist.
She now enjoys being Erik Organic's lead customer service representative. Family, friends, cats, good coffee and gardening are Gail's passions. (Gail is also Erik's mother!)
John 'Sparky' Birrenbach
Sparky lives in his late grandparents' lake home which he inherited over a decade ago. His grandfather, like our craftsmen, built the home by hand from the late 50's through the 60's when they retired there. As the father of two daughters, John has always been a bit of a maverick and has many decades of small business experience, and understands the needs of our customers.
He's an avid fisherman who loves to hunt the elusive Muskie. When Sparky is not helping our customers you'll find him fishing for Muskie on the lake where he lives, from his canoe. We think he is a little crazy fishing for such a big fish in such a small boat but he knows what he is doing.
'Sparky' picked up his nickname from running sound and recording for local music artists. He is an avid fan of music of all sorts having learned to play guitar at the age of 7 he continues to play, record and meet and work with artists of all kinds. Complete with a recording studio in his basement he likes to take some time and just jam with whoever happens to come by to play. He has a long list of artists that he has met in his work and play like Bun E Carlos (Pictured to the Right With Sparky), Willie Nelson, Pearl Jam, Edgar Winter, The boys from Kansas, Chris Dorn, Johnny Cash, Grant Hart and many, many others.
If you are interested in furniture for your studio there is no one more knowledgeable on our staff than Sparky. He works with other studio engineers and has contact with some of the top experts in the industry, many of whom helped him confirm the design of his home studio.
Sparky and Erik have been friends for over 20 years.
Erik Hare is happy to be a part of the Erik Organic family! It keeps him in touch with his Amish roots which go back to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
He has a genuine passion for real wood that bubbles over into nearly every conversation he has. In addition to arranging deliveries, "The Other Erik" is the main contact with the craftsmen and often works on highly custom and special orders to make sure all the details are just right. He is also our social media manager, working to get the word about Erik Organic to the world. He is also a published author and staff writer for several magazines.
While all this keeps him busy, though, the most important part of his life are his kids, now in high school (boy, how time flies!).
Erik Schimek and Erik Hare have been friends for over 15 years. (And yes, every other person in Minnesota is named Erik. Thanks for asking! :)
Benny and Bitten
Bitten has 5 years experience in keyboard warming, and is an integral part of our 'Make Sure Every Invoice Has Cat Hair On It' recycling campaign.
Benny keeps close watch over the office, keeping it safe from boxelder bugs and errant slips of paper that 'just happen to fall on the floor'.
Jeremy is our photographer, and does an excellent job at it! He is a web designer, photographer, musician, animal lover, Minnesota sports fanatic and enjoys organic gardening.
Jeremy and Erik grew up together in Mankato, Minnesota.
Jake, Simon and Dan
We work with several local companies that hand deliver the vast majority of our furniture. (When ordering from us, your furniture will probably be delivered by Jake, Simon or Dan).
The personal touch provided by a small, locally owned company has proven to be very popular with our customers.
Jake is shown in the photo to the left. He is the brother of our tablemaker, Eli.
We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Amish partners.
Out of respect for the humility of the Amish faith and their community's desire for privacy, we do not promote the likenesses of individual craftsmen on our website.
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