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Q&A: Fighting Sawks owner talks small business

Marie checks out one of her best-seller items at her downtown Grand Forks business, Relax Event Studio and Fighting Sawks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

With Mother’s Day around the corner and National Small Business Week in the rearview mirror, the Herald talked with small-business owner Marie Jensen about Fighting Sawks and Relax Event Studio.

Jensen sells her socks and gifts in downtown Grand Forks and also has an Etsy shop and an e-commerce website,

Jensen spoke with the Herald about her businesses and her favorite Mother’s Day items:

Q: What is Fighting Sawks? Can you explain the name, what kind of things do you sell, etc.?

A: Fighting Sawks is a fun socks and gifts shop in downtown Grand Forks. We love puns and the community, so we are named Fighting Sawks to support the Fighting Hawks. The shop has been open for two years, and in addition to novelty socks, we also sell jewelry, greeting cards, soaps and candles and more.

Q: Can you tell me a little about the Relax Event Studio as well?

A: In 2014, we started as Relax Event Studio, an online company that custom designs paperie for weddings and special events. The paper gift labels we created to go around wedding party socks took off. Our customers started asking for more and more fun and varied styles of wedding socks. We had so many socks in inventory for our online sales that we decided to open a brick and mortar store in downtown Grand Forks -- Fighting Sawks. From there, we have expanded to items for all occasions, not just weddings.

Q: Do you get many of the items for the Fighting Sawks store locally? How do you decide which items to sell?

A: We currently design our own items and also sell retail items from other creators. All of the companies we work with are based in the United States and proceeds of profits go to charities like Doctors without Borders, the Red Cross, and other local and national charities. The criteria for what we sell are good quality, unique, project positivity. Life is hard enough -- everything we have in the shop brings joy and fun.

Q: What is a favorite product that you have in stock right now and why?

A: My favorite products are the funny soaps and candles line we sell from Whiskey River. We have a Candle for the Middle Child -- it has a "largely invisible scent." The candle for Okay Moms smells like "wine in a sippy cup." I also love our hilarious and quality line of socks by Blue Q.

Q: Do you have any Mother’s Day specials? Do you have a favorite gift for mom in stock?

A: On our website and in the shop, if you use the code "MOM" you will get 10% off your purchase. The “Okay Moms” candle is my favorite for the holiday. I also love the jojoba oil infused spa socks we have and the pair of pink socks by Blue Q we have that say “I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.”

Bonnie Meibers

Meibers joined the Herald in September of 2018. She reports on all things business in Grand Forks and the surrounding areas. Have a tip or want to get to know her? Call her at (701) 780-1114 or email her at

(701) 780-1114