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.


Emily Clark
logistics director

Emily Clark has been making things for as long as she can remember. The most influential crafter in her life was her grandmother, and some of Emily’s fondest memories are of sitting next to her grandmother at her sewing table, cutting quilt squares or making doll clothes. Her grandmother made everything – clothing, tablecloths, napkins, doll clothes, stuff sacks for sleeping bags, curtains, pillows, costumes, and instrument cases. Emily learned that crafting can not only soothe the soul but can also create timeless memories and practical pieces.

 Emily continues the tradition by making anything and everything! She feels blessed to be the mama of a spunky, big-hearted kid who also loves to create with her hands. Together they make all sorts of messes with projects and experiments. They knit, build things out of wood, bake, work with clay, sew doll clothes and make jewelry – creating new memories in the process 

One of Emily’s great joys is working with her good friend Ali DeJohn on the Makerie retreats. Emily largely manages the logistical side, and says that her years in the restaurant industry as a chef and cooking instructor as well as the years she spent as a bicycle tour guide have helped round out the skills she needs for the job. No wonder the food is so great and that she’s unflappable in the face of last minute emergencies!

Creating things with her hands is a way of life for her, and she can’t imagine it any other way. When she’s not too busy with life, she sporadically documents her adventures on Instagram as teawithlola.

Photo by  Linda Winski

Photo by Linda Winski

  Photo By  Thuss and Farrell

  Photo By Thuss and Farrell

Krissa Bloom
logistics director

Building, designing, crafting, making–these things have always been a part of my life. Creating isn’t just what I love to do. It’s part of who I am. My grandfather was a serial hobbyist, always at work at something new and exhilarating. His basement was a place of wonder and excitement for me. My mom also cultivated a deep and creative knack, her talents shining bright on countless theatrical costumes and book reports, the characters of my imagination coming to life out through construction paper, markers, seashells, and straw. By the time I could hold I pen I wanted to doodle, color, and draw. I love to sew, embroider, mend, and rework. Anything to do with fabric ~ you name it, I like it. {Check out some of my creations at Bloomberrycrafts}

The Makerie brings out the creative crafters in us all. It’s also an incredible business run by a superhero woman. I feel so very fortunate to work with Ali, to support the Makerie, and to meet so many talented and creative people in this way. You could say it’s a childhood dream come true.








design + development by RYNFRANK