OUR STORY


1840 Creative is a custom woodworking and steel fabrication business that
designs and handcrafts quality custom, industrial, and modern-industrial furniture. 

 

Launched in Chicago, 1840 Creative was established by Yair Rodriguez and
Elvis Ortega.

It was the result of Yair’s passion for woodworking (as he comes from a family
of carpenters) and Elvis’ passion for steel (as he comes from a family of steel
workers). Since both enjoy working with their hands, they launched 1840 Creative
as a way to fuse their passion for wood & steel to create custom handcrafted
furniture made from local resources. 

 

The number "1840" itself comes from a reference to the Industrial Revolution - a
time when there was a transition between wood and steel. As artisans, Yair and
Elvis always look for ways to incorporate one with the other to create a unique esthetic and style.  

Whether providing custom design services for clients or fabricating pieces for sale, 1840 Creative products always reflect a standard of excellence and are backed by the business vision and core values. 
 

VISION

Pair a high quality custom product with an excellent customer experience. 


 

VALUES

Craftsmanship - we were brought up "to do things right the first time" and as such -  we always look to work efficiently and never compromise quality or safety to "save a buck"


Integrity - clients will always know the origin of their materials, we will always make appropriate suggestions & push back when needed, and we will always guarantee our builds

Communication & Transparency - if we can build it, we will commit to it, and keep you updated along the build. If we cannot build something with confidence and guarantee high quality - we will communicate immediately and be honest about our scope and reach

 

SOCIAL IMPACT

1840 Creative is dedicated to and values hard work, craftsmanship, growth, and continual improvement. However, not before acknowledging and stressing the importance of education, mentorship, and building a strong network of support. 

Yair and Elvis boast three masters degrees between the two, years of experience in the public and non-profits sector, and a vast history of helping diverse communities. When creating 1840 Creative, it was important to them that they create a social impact program to give back even during its initial startup phase. 


CRAFT & CONNECT

Quarterly, 1840 Creative and its Makers open the door to the Studio and Makerspace to non-profits or programs that support youth mentorship. Students are invited to attend a hands-on session where they are paired with professionals from diverse industries to connect and work through manually creating something together.

The value of the experience is two-fold. The first value is for both youth and guest professionals to experience the gratification of building something with their own hands.  The second value is in exposing youth to professionals they would otherwise not connect with in their everyday lives. 

 

Our hope is to impact youth on two levels: (1) to increase their self-confidence by allowing them to experience their capacity to build and create and (2) to expose them to mentors who can share with them their career paths, experiences, struggles and accomplishments.  

 

OUR TEAM (click for more)

Yair | Woodworking
"From a young age, I developed a fascination with the design and fabrication of wood and steel.  I grew up around both my grandfathers. One was a carpenter (as was his father) and the other was an electrician/mechanic for railroad engines. It is from this heritage of "taking pride in one's work" that I strive to produce high-quality designs and fabrications at 1840." 

Yair has a BA in Communications and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Elvis | Fabrication
"I actually began working in metal fabrication at the age of 15. My father would bring me to the sheet metal fabrication plant where he had been working for over 20 years. I use working with metal as an opportunity to release my artistic side and create authentic pieces. In my eyes, the combination of wood and metal is the perfect match of class and structure."

Elvis has a BA in History from Southern Illinois University and a Masters in Education Northeastern Illinois University.
Manny | Maker
Manny helps when help is needed in every and all aspects of 1840 Creative.
Abel | Resident Maker
Resident Maker and Principal at Abel Pulido Designs.
"Rey" | Apprentice
Helps with sanding, steel prep, sanding, milling, sanding, finishing, and shop maintenance. Since beginning with 1840 Creative, his grades have bettered to straight As (and 1 B) and has also been recognized for having the most gains on his EOY test scores. He plans on volunteering to build homes in New Orleans during spring break 2017.

Someday he will will run 1840 Creative - but not until he obtains his MBA. We remind him of that everyday.
Aliki | Logistics Manager
Aliki oversees staffing needs and delivery to clients.

Avid MMA-er and is currently working on his BS at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is in preparation to pursue physical therapy as his career choice.
Adriana | Design Director
"I have a passion for design and creating "visual experiences" through my work. Years of business design and consulting has taught me the importance of brand recognition. I believe your marketing creative should reflect your product upon first glance." 

Adriana has a BA in Graphic Design from the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi and a Masters in Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Carlos | Resident Artist
Chicago native, Carlos has always been influenced by the city and its culturally rich neighborhoods.  He is fond of incorporating both urban & graffiti elements mixed with traditional Mexican character into his art pieces - a true expression of the urban Latino influence. As a wide ranging artist, Carlos has crafted event logos, t-shirt designs, and even tattoos. As the creator of the popular Carrera de los Muertos 5K in Pilsen, Carlos designed the original logo for the race.
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