After spending years in the corporate world, Andrew Kates felt that he needed something more. Convinced that he wanted to open a delicatessen, he spent two weeks working at Zingermans Deli in Ann Arbor, where he quickly realized that, while he feels they have the greatest sandwiches on earth, it was not a career that he wanted to pursue.
As he continued to try various endeavors, he ventured into a store on Clybourn Avenue in Chicago called Jayson Home, where he saw a mosaic table that he thought was spectacular. So he took a class and learned how to make mosaic tables. After trying to sell these tables at art fairs throughout Chicago, he quickly learned that it would be very difficult to earn a living selling mosaic tables.
While participating in one of these art fairs, a passerby asked him if he could melt the glass together in his mosaic tables. He let that thought ruminate for about nine months, and then decided to purchase a small kiln and give glass fusing a try. He decided to start small, so he chose glass cabinet knobs and handles as his product.
Now, 15 years later Sietto is stronger than ever. All of its glass knobs and pulls are handcrafted in small batches, with no shortcuts and the purest materials available. With a sincere belief that every detail matters, it takes great pride in making sure every piece of its decorative hardware is the perfect complement to its customers’ cabinetry. And recently, Sietto has expanded with the addition of various lines of decorative hardware made of metal!
The People of Sietto
Andrew founded Sietto, making true his dream of starting his own business. Beginning in a small windowless studio in the Cornelia Arts Building in near north Chicago, he has grown the business every year, and Sietto currently calls the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago its home.
A University of Michigan alumnus, Andrew worked for Xerox Corporation, as well as in the commercial real estate industry, before launching Sietto in 2005. He spends his free time playing basketball and broomball, and continues to root for his hometown Cleveland Browns and Guardians, despite the endless heartache that accompanies it. An avid foodie, he studies and frequents the many food establishments that Chicago has to offer.
Many people in the industry have asked him, “why don’t you expand your business to encompass other kitchen and bath products, such as towel bars, door hardware or tiles?” His answer is always the same. He wants his company to specialize in just one area of expertise – designing and manufacturing unique and exquisite decorative hardware. And that’s all.
Adam is a craftsman & artist with an extensive creative background. As a production manager with Sietto he applies various skills & attention to detail to ensure the quality & timely completion of many of the handcrafted items from their initial beginning through packaging & shipping. Likewise, he makes an assortment of display boards for retailers & design showrooms.
A long time Chicagoan, he got his start at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Outside the Sietto studio he pursues numerous interests including art, design, music, literature, photography & history.
An audio engineer and clothing designer, Eamonn is a multidisciplinary artist who cares for the quality of Sietto’s glass production. He uses his variety of experience in the arts and dedication to detail to build glass cabinet pieces in a consistent, organized way.
Originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, Eamonn graduated from Columbia College Chicago having pursued audio production. Though mostly he designs, cuts and sews vintage and contemporary textiles into clothing and accessories.
Dustin is a native Chicagoan. As a production assistant he lends his skills to the Sietto team in creating their handcrafted items. He also puts together display boards showcasing each of the Sietto collections.
Outside of the Sietto studio, Dustin divides his time among his primary interests: cooking, reading and films. A big fan of Chicago’s classic architecture, he frequents the Loop where he also enjoys the city’s museums and bookstores.
Katie takes on a variety of tasks to support Sietto’s daily operations. From shipping orders to assembling display boards, she helps the team make production deadlines.
Since moving from the West Coast, she has loved exploring the city of Chicago and all it has to offer.