Great Lakes Vacation Spots

As it gets cooler, I find myself being nostalgic for those perfect summer days when jackets weren’t a necessity, the breeze is never brisk, and any day or weekend is perfect for going to the beach.

Usually the beach for me is in Chicago, but this summer I went to two new beaches in Michigan: Saugatuck and Petoskey. Both places were a blast, with fun downtown restaurants and shops, plenty of outdoor activities, and, of course, great beaches. The fact that I had never been to beaches so nearby made me wonder what other awesome places I had missed out on, so after some research I found this list on Midwest Living’s website. Among this list are places like Traverse City, Michigan, Mackinac Island, Michigan, Grand Marais, Minnesota, Lake Erie Shores and Islands, Ohio and so many more.

Which Great Lakes destination is your favorite? Show it off with our Great Lakes belt. And let us know what the Great Lakes mean to you, we are always coming up with new designs and want your feedback!

Hope you all had a great weekend and are staying warm!


Chicago Belt Co. Website Has Launched!

Check it out here. Let us know which belt is your favorite below! 

GQ Style Section – “The Want”

One of our favorite places to check for the season’s must have items is GQ’s “The Want” list their homepage. “The Want” list currently includes varsity jackets, tipped polos, sneakers, loafers, best new designers x Dockers, and – our personal favorite – college classics. While all of these must-haves of the season are great looks, they also all could be accessorized with Chicago Belt Co. belts. While many of the accessories suggested on the “college classics” list don’t come cheap, Chicago Belt Co. will soon be giving schools a more affordable – yet still-stylish – option to show off their school spirit and rock the season’s trend.

Our “Great Lakes” belt is coming in a variety of colors, some of which are Midwest school colors. These belts are the perfect way to show pride for your university without being covered in school logos or mass-produced university products. Our website is going live soon, we will keep you in the loop about exact dates and company updates!


Thanks for reading and please check back soon!

5 Reasons To Sport a Chicago Belt Co. Belt

Before the Chicago Belt Co. website goes live, we want everyone to get excited about Chicago Belt Co. products and let you know how we have truly combined practicality and great style into each one of our designs for the launch.

Here are 5 reasons to Sport a Chicago Belt Co. Belt:

1)   You can wear it to work. According to The Newsweek article, “It’s Casual Friday, Every Day” even the most previously conservative offices are making their dress code policies less formal. Chicago Belt Co. belts are a practical, versatile, and preppy yet stylish way to dress up or down your office attire – whether its dark jeans, khakis, or casual dress pants.

2)   If have gone through high school, college, and your post-graduate life wearing belts that are covered in symbols that have no meaning to you, Chicago Belt Co. is one of the few brands that embodies and celebrates the Midwest and the Great Lakes lifestyle.

3)   It is a sturdy, comfortable, and lasting belt that is well worth its cost.

4)   Chicago Belt Co. is an interactive brand – we want to hear your feedback on everything so we are able to create products for our customers that they have a say in and truly enjoy.

5)   You identify as a Chicagoan – you know exactly what Mary Schmich is talking about in her advice about how people of the Windy City operate.

Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful fall weather. Thanks for reading and come back soon!

Keep the Lakes Great!

Since one of Chicago Belt Co.’s signature belts is a map of the Great Lakes, owner Rob Cardenas attended an event to celebrate the Great Lakes and raise awareness about their growing endangerment. The event was put on by the Shedd Aquarium and 93XRT and featured performances by the band Guster.

It was a huge success – over 2,000 guests, perfect weather and atmosphere at Montrose Beach…basically a great time all around. Not only was this event a lot of fun; it also succeeded in its effort to raise awareness about how important the Great Lakes are to our everyday lives and why we need to all make an effort to make them great.

Some quick facts about the Great Lakes:

42,000,000 Number of people that depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water

2,000 Number of species that depend on the great lakes

10,000 Great Lakes coastline (in miles)

20 Percent of the world’s freshwater resources that come from the Great Lakes

Check out the Shedd’s “Keep the Lakes Great” Facebook page here to take a pledge to keep the Great Lakes clean. Visit their site for more information about the initiative and tips on how you can preserve the Great Lakes.

If you would like to contribute to the Keep the Lakes Great initiative come Oct. 19th to the “Adopt a Beach” at 12th Street Beach from 12 – 1pm to help clean up the beach…another effort to protect the Great Lakes.

Check back soon for photos of Chicago Belt Co.’s Great Lakes belt and a link to our website (which is going live soon!) so you can show your love for the Great Lakes.

****Thanks and come back soon


Growing up I always dreamed of starting my own company but never knew exactly what kind of business I wanted to get into. After graduating from the University of Dayton I did what most kids do (e.g. move back home and started working a desk job). The idea for a Midwest belt company always came up in my head, but I never thought it would be possible in the near future. As I started working nights and weekends developing my vision and researching, I realized that my dream could be attainable, but to have any chance at all I had to go for it. So, this summer I said good-bye to the corporate world and hello to a brand and products I am really passionate about.

To me, the Great Lakes lifestyle is smart, casual, distinctive, and top-notch in quality. Is there anything better than the perfect summer day in Chicago, a boat ride on Lake Michigan, or a football game? I want to create belts and other clothing items for the way people in the Midwest live that celebrate and showcase the pride for their roots. The Chicago Flag, map of the Great Lakes, and classic staples like seersucker are part of the first belt designs I have chosen to be part of the brand’s launch. To see more of what inspires me check out Chicago Belt Co.’s Tumblr page. The website goes lives soon, so get excited!

Thanks for visiting and come back soon.