Our story…

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Fredricks Design, Inc. The story of our 2nd generation, family run product development business is a case study in big dreams realized through hard work, good luck, and our commitment to doing things really well.

Fredricks was founded in 1984 in a little cottage on the north bank of the Grand River in Grand Haven, Michigan. The startup was based on the shared vision of two brothers, Maury (myself) and Bruce Fredricks. We developed the framework of our vision for the new company over wine and tapas while living and working in Andalucia, Spain. I returned to Michigan in 1984 and Bruce returned stateside to join the startup the following year.

Our timing was excellent…

The timing for the launch of our startup was almost ideal. The economy was picking up steam following a deep downturn, people were buying cars again, our clients were investing in outside resources, and technologies were emerging.

Our firm was founded at a pivotal time. We were early investors in emerging PC based CAD systems. We quickly realized the potential of digital tools and invested heavily in training and equipment to leverage emerging technologies to grow our business.

The web was in its infancy, but showing promise as a powerful communication and research tool. We were early adopters and launched our first web site as quickly as possible.

Big breaks…

Our early work with domestic and European teams exposed us to different viewpoints and management styles. We learned what worked and what didn’t. We traveled extensively, immersed ourselves in different cultures, and learned to work with diverse teams.

We were also lucky to meet some wonderful clients and mentors along the way. Many of our clients spent time with us to share their experience and wisdom. We were able to experience different processes and management approaches to determine what worked for us. Most importantly, we grew lasting and positive relationships through our work together.

We have been able to identify talent and grow our team with the right designers and engineers. We would like to think that we attract great people, but the reality is that we have been very, very lucky in our relationships!

We founded the company in an almost ideal location. Western Michigan is home to some of the world’s leading car suppliers, furniture companies, and consumer brands. The area is home to a growing number of life-science companies and medical research universities. We are networked with leading suppliers, manufacturers, and material experts.

The road ahead…

Although the world has changed dramatically over the past 30 years, we continue to apply the simple fundamentals to grow our firm. We work with great clients who appreciate our contribution, we work on the right problems to develop end-user solutions, and we follow through on our commitments to doing everything well.

We are excited and passionate about our future work. There are so many big problems and challenges in the world and we will continue to look for ways to help develop solutions. Our best work lies ahead…

What a journey! A world of thanks to everyone we have worked with over the years!



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