Lauren McGrady established the rough and wondrous Rider in 2015, less a retail store than a shifting bazaar— a living gallery of her creative and curious mind, where locals hover to chat about everything and nothing surrounded by all the objects and art and apothecary that someone in the know would covet. Rider acts as the hub of her design hustle, which includes commercial and residential interior design and art placement. People wander into the space hoping to recreate a similar magic in their home and they end up as both satisfied clients to her full-scale interior design service, as well as anointed members of her ragtag and authentic creative club. Rider is also an ethos, rooted in the place where it lives– a colorful oasis under the elevated train car tracks of Lake Street in Chicago’s Fulton Market district where people who don’t like being told what to do can revel in things that are equal parts seedy and beautiful. To work with Lauren is to become a Rider- each one owning their own flavor of irreverent, gritty and wild elegance that Lauren sees, extracts and amplifies with her work.
Lauren has worked alongside other members of the Chicago PD crew to actualize their dream living spaces, traveling to LA to complete projects for clients as well. While her passion resides in residential projects she has now branched out into commercial work, completing a dispensary design in Arizona for one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical cannabis companies. She and her partner, Claire Henry—who serves as the cultural engineer for Ace Hotel Chicago—founded a commercial art placement arm of the business, Rider Does Art. Our most recent project, in partnership with McCaffery Interests and New York Life, entailed decking the halls of their 180k square foot Class A office—home to Fortune 50 companies, including Coca Cola—with some of their favorite work from emerging and mid-career artists.