Hands-on cabinets

Custom furniture business opens in Eagle River


Published:

Steve Hokanson, left, stands with his employees Chris West and Matt Bower in front of an unfinished murphy bed they’re working on for a client. In the summer 2012, Hokanson started his own business, Designed Alaskan Products, LLC.

MIKE NESPER

Steve Hokanson used to run a hedge fund.

But he couldn’t deny what he was born to do — work with his hands.

“The money was really good, but at the end of the day, I didn’t make anything,” he said.

So Hokanson returned to his roots — building furniture.

After honing his skills in Chicago, Hokanson has brought his talents to Alaska. He worked for EE/CC Fine Homes Inc. in Girdwood before going solo.

Last summer, he started his own business in Eagle River, Designed Alaskan Products LLC., which constructs high-end cabinets and custom furniture.

Hokanson said his profession is rare in the U.S. these days.

“There’s not a lot of people making things in this country,” he said.

Construction is in his blood — Hokanson is a fourth generation furniture craftsman.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 6,” he said.

Hokanson said he has a great sense of pride seeing a project from a drawing on paper evolve into a finished product.

“It’s rewarding work,” he said.

Hokanson has just two employees, Chris West and Matt Bower. But the company’s small size allows Hokanson to focus on quality, he said.

“I don’t want to be big, I want to be the best,” Hokanson said.

Business has been steady since opening, Hokanson said, and he and his crew are currently finishing an 11-piece order for a home in Girdwood.

For more information about Designed Alaskan Products LLC, including photos of past projects, visit www.designedalaskan.com.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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