Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

This site is archival. Please visit the current MIZZOU magazine site for up-to-date content.

Alumni Profile

Crafting a life

Eric Grgurich

After working as a commercial lender in Kirksville, Mo., Eric Grgurich, BS Ag ’97, launched businesses of his own. He designed and built this spiral staircase.

After Eric Grgurich, BS Ag ’97, graduated from Mizzou, he worked a few years in construction before becoming a commercial lender at Bank Midwest in his hometown of Kirksville, Mo. Although he liked the job and his colleagues well enough, deep down he knew he would be happier getting out from behind his desk. When he made that move, he launched a career that called on a host of skills he’d been developing his whole life.

Grgurich grew up on a farm and always liked working with his hands. “I started working early in life,” he says. “In addition to doing everyday chores from the time I can remember, I started welding at age 10 to help with repairs. I think those experiences gave me a good work ethic and made me a better person.” 

During high school, Grgurich met Tara Mullins (now his wife, Tara Grgurich, BSN ’99). In woodworking class, he made her a cherry display case and a cedar quilt rack that now are part of their home furnishings. He hopes one day to pass them down to their children.

Using his skills in metalworking, woodworking and construction, Grgurich owns and runs Epic Design & Contracting, a residential construction and remodeling company, as well as Outback Welding & Machining. The businesses keep Grgurich busy, but in free moments he heads to his shop to relax with welding and blacksmithing projects.

In 2010, a job came along that tested all of Grgurich’s abilities in working metal and wood — a local couple commissioned him to build a spiral staircase and private library for their home. Not only did Grgurich design all the pieces, he also forged the metal for the staircase, and built a wooden desk and massive bookcase. “It’s one of my greater accomplishments,” he says. “I would love to spend the rest of my life doing that kind of work.” — Dale Smith