Welcome to The Portland Outsider, the new free quarterly magazine that’s all about homesteading, health, and the urban outdoors. It’s for the bike commuter who raises chickens, the bird watcher who cans tomatoes, the gardener who’s training for a 5k. It’s a magazine for those striving for the sustainable urban lifestyle. It’s about Portlanders sharing ideas and strategies with Portlanders. It’s about helping you live a more self sufficient, healthier and more engaged life. You can find copies all over town. Take a look and tell us what you think.
WE KNEW PORTLAND WAS HOME to a lot of makers and artisans. But we didn’t really know it until entries started showing up for our first annual Made in Portland Awards. Nearly 300 local artisans entered. Our first thought: this is amazing stuff. Our second thought: how can we possibly pick the best?
Here’s how the process worked. Local makers entered the awards by sending us a photo and descriptioan of their product. Next, we put together a panel of judges with expertise in each of our five categories: food, drink, style and design, home, and outdoors (you’ll meet the judges in our feature story). Based on those initial entries we whittled down the list. At that point, we sent out questions to each of the first round contenders to learn more about them, their process and their products. We whittled down some more.
Then we got to meet everybody.
We visited garage workshops, warehouses, studios, a basement at a guy’s parents’ place, and just about every other permutation of small-scale manufacturing you can imagine. But as different as the workspaces are, the people have striking similarities. They are driven not just by passion and talent, but also by a pronounced value system. They want their work—what they spend their days at—to mean something more than a paycheck.
Sam Andemariam started Mariam Foods so his young children could learn about and take pride in their Ethiopian heritage. Aaron Koch started Treehouse Chocolate Co. as a way to support small-scale cocoa farmers and, by extension, the tropical forests that support them. Lisa Jones can charge more for her Pigeon Toe Ceramics, but she remembers what it was like to be young and love design she could not afford. She says she wants her work to harken back to a time when craftsmen didn’t just create things, but inspired through their creations.
Jones and her fellow winners accomplished that.
Want to meet the makers and see their products firsthand? Come to our Made in Portland Awards Party on December 12, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at ADX, 417 SE 11th Avenue..
Editor & Publisher
The Portland Outsider