By Brittany Wiley
BAPA Business Liaison
Allison and John Papara opened Made Artisan Collaborative, 1802 W. 103rd St., in August. Made is a marketplace that showcases artists, artisans and makers from Chicago and beyond.
In a way, this arts initiative was born about the same time as the Paparas’ son. Allison was not thrilled with the selection of aby clothes available, so she began to make t-shirts for their son. People started noticing her designs and asking Allison where they could get them, so she started Rocco bee Collective, a collection of “cool tees for cool kids.”
After finding success on Etsy, Allison broadened her business to include artisan markets. At these markets, she connected with other small businesses and artisans. “I was just blown away by their talent,” Allison said. And the idea for Made Artisan Collaborative was born.
Made provides a place for artists and small arts businesses to sell outside of markets; a place where they can sell consistently and not have to deal with the variables of outdoor events and the labor that comes with them. Now these artisans can sell from the Made without the worry of staffing or insurance.
Allison and John Papara decided to open the collaborative in Beverly/Morgan Park and found space on the fast-growing 103rd Street corridor.
“I knew this would be welcomed in Beverly because of the artistic, diverse community here,” Allison said. “We also feature artists and makers from the neighborhood.”
Local makers featured at Made include TC DuMont, Indre Vepstas and Nicole Burntz. Local woodworker Ross Weiler of RPW Creations made the tables and shelving for the space.
Made Artisan Collaborative plans to have an ever-changing rotation of items that include jewelry, art, candles, ceramics, Rocco bee Collective tees and much more. Made is always looking for more artisans to feature in their shop. “Small business is important to me,” Allison said. “As many [artists] as I can support I am going to.”
Keep an eye out for Made during upcoming local events like the Beverly Area Arts Alliance Art Walk on Sept. 18 and the BAPA/MPBHBA’s Sip n’ Shop on Oct. 7. Made also plans to host their own events, such as pop-ups and trunk shows. “Our goal is to boost arts awareness, support the community and help beautify the neighborhood,” Allison said.
Shop and browse at Made Artisan Collaborative Tues. through Sun. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @madeartscollab.