GF Design

About Gretchen

Gretchen Fleener GF Design Mound MN

Gretchen spent her childhood completely submersed in art, design, creativity, and entrepreneurialship as the daughter of a carpenter and a graphic designer who both had their own businesses. With this unique blend of 2D and 3D skills coming as second nature, she spent her earliest days publishing monthly family newsletters and building "robots" out of cardboard boxes and old calculator and radio parts.

Fast foward to age 15 when she took her first job of detassleing corn. Getting up at 4:00 am every day to detassle corn had a way of preparing her for any job to come. As long as she doesn't have to return home dehydrated, mud-soaked, and bleeding from her ankles and fingers from thistles and corn husks, well, she really has nothing to complain about. Achieving great success and total ignorance of the fact that this was a male dominated "field" proved useful later in life...

Her college career began at UW-Stout as a Graphic Design major for 2 years, where she learned a lot, wanted more, and soon discovered that the field of industrial design was her true passion.

Gretchen lived in Ohio just long enough to earn the title "Buckeye," where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Design from The Ohio State University in 2003. While there she landed an internship at the Scotts Company, followed by two more internships with Procter & Gamble in their Beauty Care and Baby Care categories.

Upon graduation she worked as a Retail Display Designer for Best Buy for 4 years. While there she was responsible for taking her retail display designs from their initial concept to 3D SolidWorks modeling, creating drawings for engineers, spec'ing materials and hardware, selecting vendors to manufacture prototypes, creating installation instructions, and following through with final store installation. Her time at Best Buy proved invaluable to her ability to see design through from start to finish.

For her next gloriously risky career move she left her dependable corporate gig to band together with two other creative free spirits, forming a 3 person partnership, known as O&E Design Group, LLC. They took on a wide variety of projects in the realms of product, graphic, retail design, photography and illustration. O&E's clients ranged from large companies such as Polaris and Mystic Lake Casino, to local individual inventors with product ideas. In the year she spent working as a Partner, Designer, and CFO of O&E, Gretchen learned countless valuable skills and knowledge surrounding the behind the scenes creation and proper maintainance of a sucessful business.

Gretchen served in a 2 year volunteer role as president of the Industrial Designers' Society of America, Minnesota chapter. Along with her team of fabulous officers, she lead a very active local design community, planned and executed chapter events, and published a monthly e-newsletter and bi-annual printed newsletter. Through this experience Gretchen learned a lot about leadership, bringing together a community, and the value of delegating work to other highly qualified colleagues to achieve the greater goal.

Since 2008 Gretchen has been living her dream, working for herself. She enjoys the wide variety of projects and clients, including retail display design, graphic design, product design, photography, and photoshop editing. When she's not designing, she is busy running her other two companies, and, all while raising her sons Sammy & Toby as a full time mommy via her home studio in Mound, Minnesota.

In the rare occasion that Gretchen has spare time, she enjoys painting, baking, playing the piano, biking, camping, fishing, and especially making more work for herself!





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