Fargo Forum Feature: ICSS Supply Co. Relocates

By: Kris Bevill, Prairie Business Magazine

ICSS relocates, opens F-M's only full-service sawmill ICSS (Ingvald's Conservation & Sustainable Sourcing) Supply Co., a reclaimed wood company that opened in Fargo since 2012 has relocated to Moorhead, Minn., and expanded its services to include what is believed to be Fargo-Moorhead's only full-service sawmill and lumber kiln.  

ICSS (Ingvald's Conservation & Sustainable Sourcing) Supply Co., a reclaimed wood company that opened in Fargo since 2012 has relocated to Moorhead, Minn., and expanded its services to include what is believed to be Fargo-Moorhead's only full-service sawmill and lumber kiln. 

"As far as I know, nobody in Fargo does any lumber drying like we do," says Seth Carlson, founder and owner of the company.

ICSS opened in Fargo with the initial focus of buying and selling reclaimed wood, salvaged from grain elevators, barns and other historical sites, with the purpose of promoting sustainability and forest preservation. But Carlson says his business has since evolved to include the manufacturing of products from reclaimed wood, including flooring and paneling, so the business moved to a larger facility in Moorhead to accommodate its larger needs. 

The move also allowed ICSS to add its own sawmill and kiln drying services, which not only streamlines its own business by eliminating otherwise necessary weekly trips to sawmills and kiln drying service providers in Minnesota Lakes Country, it also allows ICSS to generate additional revenue by offering those services to customers in the Fargo area.

"We've always had a big demand for millwork production services," Carlson says. "We're just making it more efficient by bringing it into our own shop."

ICSS opened its new location on June 1. So far, it has only operated the sawmill and kiln at about 50 percent capacity while Carlson and his crew of three employees conduct final tweaks on the equipment, but he says business from home builders and contractors has already been strong, particularly for a new service - milling urban trees that have been logged either due to disease, damage or for hazard reasons. 

"A lot of home builders have clients who have trees that have been taken down and they are referring them to me," Carlson says, adding that many of the homeowners don't know immediately what they plan to use the milled wood for. "They just think it's awesome that they can save the tree and not have to send it to the landfill."

Carlson says he essentially created a market for reclaimed wood when he opened his business a few years ago and has since watched demand steadily increase. "It seemed like the demand was nonexistent," he says. "But once we got that spark going with the help of the community, it's definitely been a really consistent demand. I think it's really cool that a lot of the home builders are coming to us and utilizing our material. It's showing a lot of innovation and progressive thinking from North Dakota builders that we haven't really seen before."

Now, Carlson is focused on fostering demand for new construction and remodeling projects while educating the community that reclaimed wood doesn't have to look like old barn wood. "We can actually mill old lumber to look any way you want - it can be old-looking or it can be fresh and new," he says. "That's kind of the cool thing with us being able to offer all these services, we can now create 100 percent recycled product that isn't necessarily rustic. It really expands designers' options."