Nearly 20 years ago, after leaving a job as an advertising copywriter, Lee Allison, with no experience designing ties, embarked on an adventure and has never looked back. Now, the Lee Allison Company occupies 4,500 square feet of open loft space in a 100-year-old industrial building that once housed a tannery. Here, in the collaborative space flooded with light from nearly a dozen windows below 14-foot ceilings, the team constantly drums up new designs for the silk ties: neckties, bow ties and formal ties. Some are whimsical, others are more traditional, but they all have character and clever names like 15 Cent Cigar, Chip Shot, Fidel's Cigar, and Phish. Yes, like in the jam band. Some come pre-tied, some you have to tie yourself. While the majority of their business is handled online, via catalogue, over the phone or in select retailers around the country, if you happen to be in town, call ahead and make an appointment. You can pop by the Bucktown loft, pick up a few ties after a private viewing and then go for lunch at Hot Chocolate, drinks at Bluebird or dinner at the Bristol, all a short distance away.