Manufacturing is leadership. 

We dream it, we design it, we engineer it, we make finish samples, we make prototypes, we make more samples, we make more prototypes, we reengineer it, and finally we build it.

To make it right, to make it on time, to make it the best, we do the whole process, right here, in Chicago.  We are excited to debut a short video about our process that speaks to this very point.  We also would like our message to be a calling to the manufacturing community, both here in Chicago and throughout the United States, to come together to show how we all #makecoolshit.

Chicago was built on a foundation of manufacturers.  In a city with plentiful natural resources and access to any mode of transportation available, it’s no wonder manufacturing became its strongest industry.  Unfortunately for many Chicagoans, the 70’s brought more than disco balls and bell bottoms.  Rising oil prices, pollution control requirements and soaring interest rates drove many manufacturers out of the city.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, nearly a quarter of a million manufacturing jobs had been lost by the mid 1980’s.  In the years following as the cost of doing business in the city escalated and factories lost real estate battles to gentrifying neighborhoods, many continued to pack their bags.  “In 1970, the city of Chicago had 48 percent of the industrial jobs in the greater metropolitan area; in 1996, it had one-quarter.” (Phillips-Fein, Kim The Still-Industrial City)

But, in 1988, 555 was just setting up shop.  Over the past 26 years we have proudly grown to over 300,000 square feet of production and design space, right here, in Chicago.  Our foundation was laid by strong products built by strong people, and we will move forward into this New Year as a strong community.  Let’s make 2015 a great year for our city and our manufacturers!

Show us what you’re making in your city  #makecoolshit


“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford