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  • Writer's pictureJamie Rothberg

Building Up

Standish, Michigan is a small town. Roughly 2,500 people live there and share one traffic light. Tyler Mitrzyk used to be a resident. When he lived in Standish, eight-year-old Tyler would build with k'nex, creating fictional yet creative cities and random, large structures. Tyler started off following instructions, making sense of what to create. Later, he decided to create something bigger.

Tyler explained how he took his building outside of k'nex to create "ecosystems with a pond and filling it with fish and turtles in our family backyard." From ponds to coups, Tyler's building expanded to mostly outdoor activities. Eventually, he built a two-story shack as a (questionable) hangout for him and his teenage friends.

When the shack was destroyed, Tyler took to motocross. "I always built my own ramps, rails, and jumps. I build my own motocross track, too."

K'nex and motocross turned into welding courses. "Welding is hard work, but I enjoyed it for fun and I was good at it, so I moved to a business college prep class."

Tyler knew that his love for creating projects would not dwindle with age. "I always had a knack to make a space feel comfortable." But before Chicago Fabrications came into fruition, Tyler became a proud United States Marine. "I was a 0311 Infantry for the first 6 years and was deployed to South East Asia in 2009." Tyler multitasked between jungle warfare training operations and a business entrepreneurship degree with Central Michigan University.

Tyler was eventually deployed and his degree was completed. Six years later, in 2015, Tyler was living in Chicago but the Marines continued to swim in his blood. "I deployed back to Asia in 2015, but I was working with a small community to better their living situation, mostly a humanitarian mission."

As you can imagine, this mission was right up Tyler's alley. He started a company with his CMU degree. Tyler's Terrariums turned into Chicago Fabrications (Chi Fabs for short).

Today, ChiFabs is Tyler's main focus. His four-story warehouse - and also office - is in southern Chicago. He started advertising on Craigslist for free, explaining how he can build terrariums and almost anything else. Through much research and experience, Tyler discovered that selling barn wood as a distributor would be beneficial and when he got his first barn, he was able to sell all the wood within two weeks.

Chuck Advertising was Tyler's first big client. He created 26 metal sign designs, fabricated and installed the project throughout Chicago.

It's no surprise that Tyler is proud of what he has created. He is always looking for business, constantly helping his employees, and making sure his clients are receiving the best work possible.

Tyler stated, "I took something I loved to do everyday and create a business from it. There has to be a visitor to chase, and we always need something to look forward to to feel a purpose."

There is something to be said about making your passion your career. Tyler has been beyond successful and there is no doubt he will continue to grow in the upcoming years.

Check out Chicago Fabrications at

Follow them on Instagram here: @ChicagoFabs

Questions? Tweet @ChicagoFabs

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