Welcome to the makerie 


At the Makerie, we believe everyone has a creative soul and when we take time to make something with our hands, we connect with ourselves and others in the most meaningful ways. To celebrate and share our passion, we host modern creative retreats to nurture the creative spirit. We seek beautiful, special locations and renowned artisans and teachers who love to share their talents and gifts. Makers of all levels are invited to join us for several hours or days of joyful exploration and connection. While each retreat has its own unique personality, they all share an emphasis on play, creativity and self-care. We honor imperfection, slowing down, noticing life's smallest most meaningful treasures, and celebrating presence. It would be our pleasure and honor to have you join us.


Photo by  Linda Winski

Photo by Linda Winski

Ali DeJohn

When I look back, I can honestly say this journey began when a seed was planted at my adorable pre-school. All of the children were given amazing opportunities to endlessly explore their creativity and every creation was encouraged and celebrated. I was always so excited to go to school! Everyone was an artist. These are the earliest and most precious memories I have of falling in love with making things with my hands. Even now, when I’m wrapped up in a cozy blanket with my knitting needles in front of the fireplace or weave yarn onto a loom or even illustrate a tiny lunch note for my two small children, I enter another world. A place where all is calm, the ‘to do’ lists and worries melt away and the world can slow down. Using my hands to make something gives me a sense of purpose and a gentle way to express a bit of who I am. A professional artist I am not, nor did I attend design school (I always wish I did!), but am simply someone who has a love, appreciation and fascination for all things creative and handmade. 

Prior to starting the Makerie, I had a wonderful career in event planning, marketing and print production, working for a wonderful, family owned special event company in Chicago and 7+ years working with an amazing team to produce the Chicago Marathon, one of the best marathons in the world. I loved how each special event took on a life of its own and the most rewarding part of my marathon days was being able to stand at the finish line on race day, knowing that in my tiny way, I was part of helping someone else's dream come true. 

Putting together the Makerie is a wild and wonderful journey and one I never expected to be on. I’ve been able to call upon my event planning background and combine my love of handmade to create an experience that I believe is needed in the world. Nurturing our creativity is an essential part of living a happy, whole-hearted life because when we’re creative, we’re awake and alive. Sitting side-by-side sharing a real conversation while making things by hand, creates the type of connections where magic can happen! 

Among the many gifts the Makerie continues to give me, meeting the most extraordinary people who deeply care about creativity has been one of the greatest treasures. The Makerie is so much more than a dream come true for me and if I can in any way, inspire someone else to go after their dreams too, than that is the what it's all about. I’m so very glad you’re along for this beautiful ride.  

You can learn a bit more about the Makerie story via the While She Naps podcast, Do What You Love, and Smart Creative Women.







design + development by RYNFRANK