Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood is quiet and quaint. With its century plus old homes, mature trees, and small businesses, it resembles small town America.
It is a quiet oasis in our urban landscape. Many notable people lived in Ravenswood, including Carl Sandburg. Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls Ravenswood home.
The Ravenswood Manufacturing District is a mix of old and new too. Straddling both sides of the Metra rail line, it is over one mile of various manufacturing and re-purposed buildings. Architects, high tech, environmental, craftspeople, artists, artisans, breweries, a distillery, and small businesses of every kind occupy space in former factories, large and small.
One of these companies is Defy Mfg. Co. Defy Mfg. makes bags and luggage. The company was launched in 2008 by Chris Tag, a former art director in the advertising business.
"US manufacturing isn’t dead. Sure, many factories are shuttered. Many never to return. But what about the American spirit that built these companies? Is the same country that gave us flight, cars, & Levi Strauss done? Not even close. And anyone who steps up to say it is better think twice. Take a listen. It’s the sound of resurgence. A reckoning. A “Watch out what you predict, pundits. We’re on our way back” lyric sung to the tune of sleeves being rolled up and people getting back to it." (Defy Mfg. Co. Website)
Defy Mfg. is located at 4527 N. Ravenswood Avenue. They have a show room, sales, shipping and receiving here. Their manufacturing facility is located in another part of Chicago.
Chris Tag is proud of his products and his company. He has a passion for the products he sells. His passion drives him to manufacture the very best. Defy started making bags with military grade canvas. The company graduated to leather, sourced locally from Horween Leather Company. Other bags are made from waxed military grade canvas and military grade vinyl. There is also a line made with the same Horween leather used for basketballs.
Their nylon bags are made with military grade 1000d Cordura. Cordura is known for its durability and resistance to abrasions, tears and scuffs.
“Defy or Die.” That’s not just a motto. It’s our mantra." (Defy website)
All straps and hardware are made from military grade materials. Quick release buckles are the same used by United States Special Forces paratroopers. The buckles have a 500lb. load capacity. They cost over thirty dollars apiece.
Defy's label states, "Life's too short for cheap buckles".
Chris Tag hands you products and encourages you to feel, and in a few cases, smell the quality.
Defy also produces shaving kits, cases for tablets and other small cases. There are lines of wallets, card holders, key chains, and accessories as well.
Defy is designing guitar straps and will start producing those soon.
Defy Mfg. Co. collaborated with corporations for branded products, including Maserati.
Chris Tag never fails to mention his products, materials, and other goods are all made in the USA, even the zippers are a heavy duty water resistant type from YKK.
Defy Bags are expensive. You are investing in quality that will last and endure. That alone makesDefy Bags well worth the price.
Filed under: Uncategorized