AMES, Iowa- An Ames man has done what many have dreamed of doing. He quit his job as a mortgage banker, sold his truck to fund his dream, and even ran up credit cards. Chris Ihle’s dream is not to open a bakery or be a scuba instructor. His dream was to be an artist, in LEGOs.
Chris Ihle has had a passion to create full-sized statues of only LEGOs.
“A lot of people played with LEGOs as a kid,” said Ihle. “For 40 years LEGOs been the number one selling toy.”
Ihle began ordering LEGO’s and via email and Instagram began pitching an idea, that nobody was doing.
“Our first client was Matt and Josh Altman, from the Bravo Network show Million Dollar Listing LA,” said Ihle. “They’re opening a gallery new office just right off of Rodeo Drive, they asked us to create life-sized LEGO statues of their husbands for the big unveiling, and after a lot of blood sweat and tears, we did it.”
Not without a few bumps. Ihle without a few bumps. In taking the statues to LA, one of them was damaged. Ihle called his associate Chris Rau to come help make repairs.
Rau, who studied mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, works constantly on LEGO statues. While Chris Ihle is the visionary, creative leader, Rau is steady, and methodical, what it takes to make a statue from 114 thousand LEGOs.
And then our second client, Des Moines Area Community College has a wonderful professor there by the name of Simon Estes,” said Ihle. “Currently we are half way through Simon Estes and look forward to getting the second half done.”
The new company called We Build U is hoping to expand, as they land more clients.
Already statue number 3 is booked to build LEGO statues for the Music Man in Mason City.
Ihle also received recognition a few years back for pushing a stalled car from railroad tracks in Ames, to save the lives of an elderly couple.