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

    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2014

    Join Martha at the American Made Summit kickoff cocktail party.

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 8, 2014

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

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 15 - 16, 2014

    Shop for holiday gifts at the Martha Stewart American Made Pavilion.

    Learn More

More Finalists

  • 2014 Audience Choice Winner
    Self taught metal artist opened up a gallery on bridge-less low country island 13+ years ago to specialize in handcrafting coastal sculptures.
    Crafts, Recycled, Upcycled, Vintage Crafts
  • 2014 Food Finalist

    Harris Bridge Vineyard

    Amanda Sever & Nathan Warren
    Pinot noir/gris dessert wines and vermouth farmed, crafted, and shared in the storied Harris Valley between oaks, river, railroad, and bridge.
    Food, Wine & Spirits
  • 2014 Design Finalist

    Maine Heritage Timber

    Tom Shafer & Steve Sanders
    Maine Heritage Timber embodies the American Spirit. We create unique products using sunken virgin timber from Maine’s river drives of the 1800’s.
    Design, Furniture & Home Accessories
  • 2014 Crafts Finalist
    the great lakes goods is a hand made goods company based in brooklyn, ny
    Crafts, Paper Crafts