This Tuesday evening the Clone-A-Willy team took a little trip to Portland's Hand-Eye Supply, a store dedicated to locally-made work wear and tools. Hand-Eye Supply holds meetings every Tuesday covering different topics for their Curiosity Club. The Curiosity Club is a self proclaimed "forum for the fearlessly curious", so you bet you could count us in!
This weeks featured speaker was Kelley Roy, the found of ADX and author and creator of Portland Made. ADX is a full wood and metal shop located in Southeast Portland. Kelley's goal in ADX is to provide a space to help Portland creators make a living off their craft. ADX gives Portland artisans access to tools they may not have space for or be able to afford otherwise. It creates a space for all people to craft, from beginners to master artists. ADX also offers classes to teach vocational classes of all levels, allowing people to experiment with both the business-side and hobby-side of crafting.
A small business consisting of 40 employees, ADX also has an in-house design team. As a newly profitable company, they serve clients of all sizes, from making craft handles for local breweries to creating mass marketing materials for corporations such as Apple. Most recently ADX is partnering with the Portland Apparel Lab to offer a space for local fashion designers, and apply their business model to a new industry structure.
Kelley's vision for the future of the maker movement has transformed the communities access for creatives and artists in Portland. She explains that the "maker movement is driven by the quality of products and where they come from". This framework is the inspiration behind her book and collective Portland Made. Portland Made serves the community of local makers to address their growing business needs as they navigate through the challenges of business growth.
While many cities are hopping on the "makers" train, Portland is unique. We are "scrappy" Kelley stated. The passion for the movement in Portland is driven from the people and resources like ADX and Portland Made are aimed to provide for the makers themselves. One amazing new resource for local artisans, named "The Grange", is an allotted amount of real estate in the Portland area made affordable specifically for Portland makers to take space in.
While Clone-A-Willy may not be the first "artisan craft" that comes to mind when people think of crafts made in Portland, we are very proud to be apart of such a progressive and forward thinking movement in our beautiful city. Kelley's theme of locally sourced products ultimately aims to open up a conversation about the products we all consume. Being thoughtful about what is being made and what is being bought is the best we can do not only for ourselves, but for our community as a whole.
We stand behind every product we make, sourcing from the United States and hand assembling at our centrally located warehouse in PDX. Like ADX, we aim to make a product and provide a service that opens up a conversation around craft, community, and the human experience.
We are excited for the future of the Portland makers movement, and agree wholeheartedly with Kelley Roy's ending statement - "we're stronger together".