Like most entrepreneurs, Allison Papara’s frustration with the maker’s space turned into an opportunity to fill a void in the market. The lack of options for quality, unique, handmade goods piqued her curiosity about the handmade market.
Allison was a music lover who expressed her art and creativity through DIY t-shirt designs during her teen years. Years later, the former barber of 15 years went back to making t-shirts. This time, she launched Rocko Bee Collective, an online custom t-shirt store for children. Despite her Etsy shop success, Allison wanted to help fellow makers.
She envisioned a shop for makers on the Southside of Chicago. After she and her family became residents of Chicago’s historical Beverly neighborhood, she knew the area would be ideal for her brick-and-mortar store.
“Beverly is family-oriented and has always been known for its artist history.”
Made Artisan Collective currently has products from over thirty local artisans. Anything from sensory toys, jewelry, hanging wall decor, ceramics, soap, to project bags can be found in her shop. Mrs. Papara plans to raise awareness by creating other opportunities for makers, such as hosting DIY classes and giving them a chance to have their products on the shelves.
There’s a simple application process if you are a crafter that’s seeking shelf space. Open applications are quarterly. You can send a direct message via Instagram and email samples of your work. Categories are limited.
Allison makes it clear that her business is all about the makers, artists, and artisans.
Mades Arts Collective is located at 1802 West 103rd Street, Chicago, IL 60643.
Follow on Instagram: @madeartscollab