By Elissa Hall
Portland has deemed itself the city that works. The metropolis earns its slogan through a long history of industry and craftsmanship and, in recent years, Portland has upheld its slogan with a noticeable surge in production of highly designed, craftsman-based handiwork.
Kelley Roy recognized the new, growing artisan community in Portland when she founded ADX in June 2011, a community space that provides resources from heavy machinery to gallery space for Portland makers.
In less than two years, ADX has become an integral part of Portland's craftsman economy and now Roy plans to further establish Portland as a mecca for makers with Portland Made, a website and card program that aims to build a cohesive industry around products created within Portland, launching in early March 2013.
Roy observes that Portland makers are manufacturing goods that translate to all areas—indeed Portland's enthusiasm for handcrafted goods spans the realms of beer, coffee roasting, fashion, carpentry, metal-smithing and woodworking to name a few. Portland Made's aim is to consolidate these industries into one online space where consumers, makers, retailers and manufacturers can connect.
The project is bolstered by a collaboration with Supportland, a Portland-founded rewards card program that provides incentives to buy local. The Portland Made has adopted the model and, along with it, Supportland's significant local following.
The card puts the power of the dollar back in the hands of the consumer, which aligns with Portland Made's overarching goal to streamline the levels of production between maker and consumer. Essentially, Portland Made is making it easy for consumers to patronize small, local businesses and they're making it look really good at the same time.
The most visible aspect of Portland Made will be the website, and true to their belief in the combination of resources the organization has garnered a talented team of local writers, designers and videographers to generate substantial site content, accessibility and visual identity.
BAND studio owner Josh Doll explained their thinking behind creating Portland Made's brand development, which used sharp graphics to clearly highlight the site's "massive catalog of information with a personality." On top of showcasing the goods the portal is meant to reveal who a company is and what they do, which will also be conveyed in an editorial component as weekly interviews and in-depth company profiles. Featured vendors so far include leather crafters Tanner Goods and Geoffrey Franklin, the designer behind leather bicycle accessories line Walnut Studios. According to Roy, Portland Made is "not just an online marketplace, it's a network resource, an education, and hub where anyone can go where everything is made in Portland."
Portland Made launches in early March 2013
Images courtesy of ADX