Chicago Designers

Green Chicago plants

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Chicago was one of America’s manufacturing centers. And of late there has been a surge in local craft shops that are part of Chicago’s thriving design scene. If you’re looking for some inspiration for Christmas gifts, check out our guide to the 7 Chicago Designers You Should Know.

Circa ceramic

circa ceramic Chicago animals

Circa Ceramics has been producing pop culture-inspired ceramic housewares since 2007. The company is run by Andy Witt and Nancy Pizarro, a Chicago couple who make all of their ceramics in-house. All of her pieces are made to order and feature bright but tasteful colors that represent a contemporary take on classic Americana.

Image via Unique Chicago.


Flipbin Vinyl Records Chicago

If you’re looking to organize or showcase your vinyl collection, you’ve come to the right place with the Chicago-based company’s recently launched Flipbin. These containers are displayed and kept in equal parts. They are available in bright, strong colors and are made of strong aluminum. Their containers are currently available for pre-order from Kickstarter.

Image via Kickstarter.

Icon modern

Icon of modern reclaimed wood Chicago

Check out Chicago’s very own Icon Modern for unique, reclaimed wood products. From office furniture to dining tables to custom-made wooden floors, these robust yet modern products add a masculine flair to any home or office.

Image via Chicago Icon.

Tatine candles

Tatine candles Chicago

These rock and roll candles have been handcrafted in Chicago since 2001 and offer smoky fragrances in well thought out packaging. Tatine candles are perfect gift items for the rock and roll fan in your life.

Image via Tatine Candles.

Green matter

green matter plants pottery Chicago

In addition to selling houseplants that will (hopefully) survive the next winter, Verdant Matter also offers pots, planters, and pottery that are hand-made in their Chicago studio. These colorful designs are a huge improvement over the standard plastic tubs that will house your new succulents and cacti.

Image via Pinterest.

Somewhere in the air

in the air somewhere minimal pottery Chicago

For information on minimalist ceramic designs, visit Susan Dwyer’s online store, Up in the Air Somewhere. These handcrafted paper mache and ceramic products are inspired by the industrial architectural elements that are essential to Chicago’s skyline and history.

Image via Up in the Air Somewhere.

Field notes

Field Notes Custom Notebooks Chicago

These useful notebooks are based on a classic but disappearing 1950s Midwestern style. Field Notes are perfect for the aspiring writer who wants to hit the streets with something more rugged and stylish than the standard spiral-ring notebook.

Image via Ed Jelley.