Smile Politely

Make sure to make it to the Made Fest

In its second year, Made Fest — a curated marketplace featuring handmade and vintage sellers — is getting ready to share the works of 40+ vendors with the Champaign-Urbana community.

The Made Fest, which coincides with Pygmalion Festival, takes place on September 27-28 from 12–6 p.m. outside of Highdive.

Here’s what the festival’s creator, Justine Bursoni, has to say about what we can expect from this year’s festival:

Smile Politely: What’s the idea behind the Made Fest?

Justine Bursoni: We wanted to bring a handmade and vintage fest to Urbana-Champaign that would really speak to the community’s creative class, the college youth, and the lively attendees of The Pygmalion Festival. Since it is in conjunction with Pygmalion, we figured it would be a great way for our sellers to connect with other artists, musicians and writers that will be in attendance. And, most importantly, to support local makers and creators nationwide.  

SP: What kinds of items will be available?

Bursoni: We’ll have a bit of everything this year! From all-natural soaps, jewelry, illustrations, greeting cards, vintage men and women’s clothing and home goods, stuffed animals, baby and toddler clothing, craft simple syrups, beard and moustache care products, on-site screen printing, hand-drawn portraits, a mobile tintype photo booth, cigar box guitars, reclaimed wood furniture, paintings, comics… the list goes on and on.

SP: This is Made Fest’s second year. What will be different this time around?

Bursoni: Last year, we had only a single day for The Made Fest. For our second year, we decided to extend it an additional day. We’ve also doubled the amount of vendors we are hosting and have also varied the products that will be available.

SP: Which vendors are you particularly looking forward to hosting this year?

Bursoni: We are thrilled to have everyone with us for our second year! As a photographer, however, I am particularly excited to have Jen Jansen creating tintype portraits out of her mobile darkroom. It is going to be quite a unique experience for us and for many in Urbana-Champaign. If anyone is interested in having one created by Jen, you should contact her in advance. More info on booking a sitting is available on our The Made Fest Facebook page. 


Here’s what you can expect to find at this year’s Made Fest:

Wood and leather accessories from .Four.Chamber.Forge.

Pen and ink illustrations from A Little Today.

Cartoon-inspired jewelry from Al Dente Designs.

Six-stringed guitars made from cigar boxes from AxBox Cigar Box Guitars.


Ultra mod tie-dye from BarefootKidCreations.

Monsters to get you through your day from Bearmojo.

Beekeeping doodads from Bike A Bee.

Eco-friendly children’s products from Blackdogcircus.

Jewelry made from bone, gemstones, and antiques from Broad Street Jewelry.

Ceramics designed for beer and spirits lovers from CiCi Ceramics.

Vintage dresses, tops, menswear and more from Coast to Coast Mobile Vintage.

Sleek and simple metal jewelry from Considerthewldflwrs.

Wool blanks, military bags, globes, and more from Dear Home.


Furniture made from reclaimed wood from Dendro, Co.

One-of-a-kind, in-person portraits from Doodlebooth.

Wooden boards and other household items from EastFarmCO.

 Vibrant clothing for girls ages 2–10 from EmmaLoop.

Feng Shui inspired designs from Front Door Feng Shui.

Tintype portraits and other photographic wonders from Jan Jansen Photography.

Doodles of people, places, and objects from Jodi Lynn’s Emporium of Doodles.

Handmade coasters, collages, and vintage items from K&G Cafe.

Jewelry and accessories made from lost-wax casting from kFroet Designs.


Paper and stitched finery from Lets Be Friends.

Traditionally printed signs, cards, and other goodies from Living Letter Press.

Cast jewelry from recycled metals from Liza Michelle Jewelry.

Unconventional constructions from repurposed materials from Lumbering Behemoth Construction & Design.

Stuffed animal friends and drawings from Mary Wells Design.

Mandala-inspired artistic creations from Meditative Mandalas.

Fancy beard products from Merlin’s Beard.

Wooden acoustic speakers from Miller Woodworks.

Scarves, booties, headbands, and more for children and adults from Nora Gray.

Tasty gourmet doughnuts from Pandamonium Doughnuts.

Tasteful, well-potted houseplants from Plant Mode.

Charming screen prints and handcrafted sketchbooks from PolarRootStudio.

Colorful geographic prints and slogans from Poppy & Pinecone.

Whimsical jewelry from repurposed metals from Prairie Empire Jewelry.

Natural Artisan Soaps from Real Soaps.

Geometric earrings, rings, and other jewelry from RockSaltVintage.


Yummy simple syrups for cocktails and more from Sage’s Simple Syrups.


Sassy, unique t-shirts from Scobar.

Ties and other accessories for the modern man from Sir Chamber.

Fun mid-century-inspired drawrings by artist Sophie McMahan.


Blunt, straightforward slogans galore from this shop, Stone Robot Enterprises.

Exciting colors and patterns make up the clothing from The Louie Collective.

You’ll be covered by local screen printing wunderkind, Weiskamp Screen Printing.

Cute design and typography abound from Winchester Craft.

Women’s fashion, bold yet comfortable by Wulfka.

Limited edition screen prints, graphic design, and typography works by xxmedium.

Full disclosure: Justine Bursoni is co-owner of Smile Politely, and one of the founders of magazine.

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