Illinois Made Criteria
Are you our next Illinois Maker?
Illinois is a land of pioneers.
It was the artisans, inventors, farmers, and makers who first built the communities of Illinois—and it's those same folks who continue to shape the culture and make a tangible, positive impact on the local economy. Whether it's a master hat maker whose hats draw shoppers from across the globe or a small distillery whose craft spirits keep whiskey fans happy while sustaining local farmers, local artisans are key to the past, present, and future of Illinois.
Illinois Made celebrates those makers, creators, and artisans who help craft Illinois by hand, inspiring visitors and fellow Illinoisans to discover more about the state by experiencing firsthand the passion that makes it thrive.
Examples of Illinois Made makers include
- Artisans & Craftspeople (i.e. Carpenters, Potters, Glass Artists, Painters)
- Food & Beverage Artisans (i.e. Distillers, Brewers, Cheese Makers, Coffee Roasters, Farm-to-Table Restaurateurs)
- Farmers, Winemakers/Viticulturists
- Global Makers: artisans and businesses whose reach extends into international markets but whose humble beginnings are right here in Illinois
Become a Maker
To be considered for the Illinois Made program, businesses must embody the personal spirit of Illinois, demonstrating through their work what makes our state so unique.
Makers exemplify what it means to be a local artisan. They represent the pinnacle of small businesses in Illinois—offering a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found in the cities, towns, and rural communities of the Land of Lincoln.
Above all, Artisans, Makers, and local businesses up for consideration must meet the following key criteria:
- Located in the state of Illinois.
- Open to the public with an amazing visitor experience available to travelers.
- Produces all crafts, products, and wares in Illinois.
- Lives by the “Illinois Made” mantra by sourcing materials or expertise from other local businesses or Illinoisans.
- Has a captivating story to tell, whether because of a rich history, unique origins, or a pioneering spirit.