What started as an “artisan culture” of designers and manufacturers handcrafting products locally is growing into a full economy in Portland, Oregon. The launch of Portland Made, a collective of Portland-based designers, manufacturers and local goods retailers, will no doubt strengthen the locally-made food chain while making it easier for consumers to find locally-made products. The mission of Portland Made is to grow the local manufacturing economy, create more jobs and export products globally – all while educating the consumer about how the whole process works.
“People want to be connected to what they’re buying,” said Kelley Roy, owner and director of ADX, an industrial shop that is partnering with Portland Made. So Portland Made educates consumers about the designers behind the product, as well as the product’s local manufacturing process. Some of the products made include light fixtures, ukuleles, furniture, backpacks, sliding doors, belts and bee balm. The stories behind each product detail where the materials come from and what inspired the people to make them, giving consumers more depth about what they’re buying.
Since Portland Made directs people to where products are sold, stores that carry Portland Made products get more visibility. A $75 per month membership gives retailers benefits ranging from a Supportland rewards card membership to online exposure through profiles, product write ups and advertising. A membership also gives stores access to forums and a membership portal, which makes collaborating with the community easier.
To see Portland Made in action, check out their Launch Party from 7 to 10 on April 18 at ADX, 417 SE 11th Ave. in Portland.