Oregon Creatives Get Their Group On

by | Dec 15, 2008

Laura Oppenheimer of The Oregonian put together a feature article on the efforts being made by Portland’s various creative communities to unite and successfully promote themselves.

salon owner, Kahala Orian, sporting a knitty

Here, Oppenheimer shows the two ends of the local spectrum:

If you picture the creative economy as a continuum from corporate giants to part-time artists, Nike inhabits one end. Oregon’s largest company employs more than 6,000 people at its headquarters, on a college-size campus near Beaverton.

A notch away from Nike is the advertising firm that branded it: Wieden+Kennedy. Columbia Sportswear Co. and Adidas USA round out the huge names. A slew of midsize companies design clothing, sports equipment and buildings, make movies and computer games, and promote it all to the world.

To explore the other end of the continuum, you could’ve walked down Southeast Belmont Street last weekend, past coffee shops and neighborhood bars, across from a retro arcade and a vegetarian diner, into KOiPOD salon. The owner, Kahala Orian, hosted a craft show called Handmade for the Holidays.

More than 20 entrepreneurs covered card tables with knit hats, soy candles and hand-stitched pillows, while a DJ wearing giant silver headphones spun tunes.

The article also explores how Steve Gehlen and Tad Lukasik are launching Oregon Creative Industries “to connect people online and in person, lobby for resources to help business grow, and to make creativity the state’s economic signature.”

OCI is a startup in the non-profit sector. They’re looking for volunteers to help grow the business, if you’re interested.