Riggo Design

American Made Since 2005

Riggs Barr

Chicago, Illinois
I love steel. How it looks, feels and even its smell! And I love creating pieces that let this gorgeous material be appreciated for generations.

Tell us about your business.

Riggo Design is my one-man shop based in Chicago where I design and build custom steel art furniture and furnishings. Many of my clients want a dream piece that they have pictured in their minds and just can't find it anywhere. While others aren't sure what they want, but they know they want a one-of-a-kind focal point for their room or maybe their entire house. I hope to move into more commercial spaces, getting to impact the entire client experience. As a steel artist I must remember that my art will be around for generations and to stay relevant it must be rooted in classic and timeless design - never trendy. "Trendy" has a short shelf life, my pieces do not! My work doesn't appeal to everyone and that's fine by me. If it did, that would mean my work is too safe and too watered down. My pieces are bold, eye-grabbers that demand to be touched. And when I see a person timidly reach out and touch my art, I know that my art has touched them. And that's what it's all about.

What makes your business stand out?

I guess what makes my business unique is...ME! My personality, my journey, my skills as an artist and basically the way I see the world impacts everything I do and everything I make. I believe art should be fun. It should be approachable, never intimidating. And when your medium of choice is cold steel that's not always easy! That's why, whenever possible, I like to hide little discovery points in my art - the client's name, an important date, a little bug or even a sea monster! It keeps it fun, lighthearted and it personalizes it for the client and gives them a deeper sense of ownership. Sometimes they can't wait to point it out to everybody and sometimes they keep it as their own little secret. I also like to re-purpose salvaged elements like floor grates, or integrate an item with significant family importance into a new piece with a new life. Whatever makes my clients happy makes me ecstatic. On second thought, maybe that's what makes my business unique.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Life is too short to work in a job you don't love. Chase your passion and the career will follow. -and- Don't be afraid to get your hands can always wash 'em.

Mark Your Calendar

    Aug. 31, 2015

    Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.

    Oct. 19, 2015

    Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.

    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.

    Discover the American Made Summit

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