If you’re a fan of Windy City Rehab, you’ve probably heard of Ari Smejkal. The 56-year-old skilled artisan specializes in furniture and interior design and runs his own business, Hammer Design Group. Viewers can see that Ari is the proper guy for the job when it comes to remodeling a home’s interior thanks to his efforts on the show.
So, who exactly is Ari on Windy City Rehab? Continue reading to learn all there is to know about the reality star.
Ari Smejkal: Career and education.
Ari enrolled in Landscape Architecture school (through Sophisticated Living Chicago), but while there, he started his own business with seven people.
He dropped out of education in 1983 to concentrate solely on his company. Ari’s Hammer Design Group was situated in Barrington from 1993 to 1995.
The business relocated to La Grange in 2008 and created a pop-up shop in Portage, Michigan.
Ari and his team have worked on a variety of commercial and residential buildings, according to Hammer Design’s website. The Graduate Hotels in Minnesota, Built Burgers in Los Angeles, Big Vinny’s Chicago, and others are among their commercial initiatives.
Ari is also a talented artist who has been commissioned by a number of customers to make one-of-a-kind items.
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Who is Ari Smejkal, exactly? ‘Windy City Rehab’ stars him.
Ari has been working with his hands since he was a child, according to his company’s official website. He began woodworking with his father and grandpa when he was 15 years old and immediately acquired a passion and understanding for artisan craftwork.
However, Ari’s great-grandpa, a Czechoslovakian carpenter, carried on his carpentry techniques for decades, according to the website.
Ari spent years developing his technique to the point where it is now, and it seems that his family’s tradition will be carried on for at least another generation.
Taner, Ari’s eldest son, is passionate about woodworking and assists his father at the shop with his two other siblings (when they return from college). Taner’s passion for woodworking has led him to establish his own firm, Taner Made.
Ari got his start in the business by studying landscape architecture, according to Sophisticated Living Chicago. He did, however, create a firm of seven individuals before completing his schooling.
He walked out of school in 1983 to pursue his profession full-time, laying the groundwork for today’s Hammer Design Group.
The objective of Hammer Design Group is straightforward: “We only use the highest-quality materials and never cut corners. We respect integrity and provide one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted items or experiences.”
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The Graduate Hotel in Minneapolis, MN, Built Burgers in Los Angeles, and Big Vinny’s in Chicago are among the notable hotels and restaurants that Hammer Design Group has worked on, according to the official website.
Ari enjoys painting and doing crafts for his loved ones when he isn’t using his hands to construct.
His Instagram account has over 24,000 followers and is rising by the day. Ari uses that platform to communicate details about his involvement in Windy City Rehab, as well as personal projects, photos of friends and family, and other nuggets about his life.
Ari is a regular on Windy City Rehab, with presenter Alison Victoria and frequent collaborators like Nelson Ramirez. The group works together to renovate townhouses and apartments around Chicago.
Check out new episodes of HGTV‘s Windy City Rehab, which is broadcast Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.