Made Fest 2014 doubles in vendors, adds extra day

Coast to Coast Mobile Vintage Shop was one of 26 vendors at Made Fest’s inaugural festival on Sept. 28, 2013. 

By Sarah Soenke

While Made Fest may have been a dash in last year’s Pygmalion Festival, this year it is a main ingredient. Nearly 50 vendors will line The Highdive Outdoor Annex with booths featuring vintage and handmade goods on Saturday and Sunday, doubling the amount of sellers and open hours from its debut last year. 

Justine Bursoni, Made Fest creator and wife of Pygmalion creator Seth Fein, said this year’s expansion is due to the positive feedback from 2013. 

“Things went so swimmingly last year that we thought we should expand the next year to have more vendors and kind of diversify who our vendors are,” she said. “We’re hoping that will only intrigue more people to come out and shop and see what’s what.” 

The free festival, open from 12 to 6 p.m., both days, at Market and Main Streets in downtown Champaign, will feature vendors dominantly from the local community and the Midwest. Shopping selections will include vintage clothing, jewelry, ceramics, handmade instruments, prints and other craft goods. 

Made Fest will also be welcoming two specific new additions this year: an outside bar and food vendor. 

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An extension of The Highdive’s drink selections and Pygmalion Festival sponsors will be served outside as part of the festival for attendees 21 and older. Pandamonium Doughnuts, a handmade, specialty doughnut shop, will also be serving up gourmet sweet treats to the public. 

The Champaign-Urbana-based shop will be the first-ever and only food vendor at Made Fest. Its menu includes doughnut varieties free of trans-fat, artificial ingredients and preservatives. At the festival, attendees can expect seasonal favorites — such as maple pecan crunch, apple cider and pumpkin spice — as well as classic flavors, including PB&J and cinnamon sugar. 

James Kyung, founder and owner of Pandemonium, said he is excited to be the festival’s first food booth, as well as to have the opportunity to meet and sell among the festival’s other vendors.  

“When I approach my food and design my doughnuts, I try to make them look very pretty and very appealing to the eye,” he said. “So I guess that in itself is art, so you can kind of look at it that way.” 

While the shop frequently sells out early due to high demand at the Urbana’s Market at the Square, Kyung assured the shop will come prepared to try to last the majority of both festival days.

This year’s doubled expansion of the festival was led by co-creators Bursoni and Alexia Brown, an artist and shop owner from Austin, Texas. While the duo attracted many new vendors to the festival, they also have several vendors from last year’s festival planning to return.  

Coast to Coast Mobile Vintage Shop, a traveling resale clothing store based in a 1976 camper, will be stopping at Made Fest for its second year. 

“We actually based our tour around it, going back,” said Jaimee Dormer, owner and curator of the shop. “We wanted to go back and have that experience again because it was so well run.” 

The traveling shop plans to sell both men’s and women’s vintage clothing, as well as a fun variety of local makers’ goods, such as greeting cards, temporary tattoos and coloring books. 

In addition to appreciating the festival’s organization, Dormer said she enjoys the festival’s exposure to the performing bands and how they can often interact. 

“We’ve had quite a few bands that will buy things from us, and then they’ll wear the things on stage,”  Dormer said. “Last year we had the backup dancers from Major Lazer … and then also Caveman bought some shirts from us.” 

The communal open atmosphere is what attracts both Pygmalion Festival attendees and marketplace enthusiasts alike. 

“I liked how it was very intimate and very eclectic,” said Jasmyne Monaco, Made Fest 2013 attendee and senior in Media. “I bought four of these handmade soap bars. I thought it was really cool; they had different scented oils, so my mom and I both bought four.” 

While the festival had a major boost in sellers this year, Bursoni sees the festival maintaining its current size for now. Possibilities in expanding to a full street fair, adding another day and inviting more vendors might be down the line. For now, Bursoni hopes Pygmalion Festival attendees will enjoy what Made Fest has to offer and come check out the en plein air marketplace in between performances. 

“It’s just an extra part of Pygmalion that we kind of see fitting in and continuing throughout the years.” 

Sarah can be reached at [email protected].