The husband and wife team of Jared and Brianne Mees started Tender Loving Empire in 2006 as a way to put out Jared’s first record release. The following year, Brianne Mees says, the couple decided to open a shop to complement their music label. “When you have a record label,” she says, “it’s all just on the internet and you can’t really touch it or hold it. We liked the idea of having a physical space, where people could feel like they were more part of it.”

The store allowed the pair to combine Jared’s passion, the records, with Brianne’s interest in handmade goods. After three years in a tiny northwest Portland space, Tender Loving Empire moved to its current location, downtown on SW 10th Avenue. Besides LPs and CDs from the twelve bands now on the label—mostly Portland acts like Typhoon, Loch Lomond, and Radiation City—and some other local music, the shop carries goods from about two hundred artists, eighty percent of whom, Mees estimates, are from Portland.

Jewelry, prints, and gift items make up a large portion of Tender Loving Empire’s wares. Block and Sons’ iPad holders, Schmidt’s deodorant, Bishop Art’s Portland Raindrop magnets, and Burdy Fly Away onesies are just a few popular items. Mees herself oversees the production of Make Waves, a series of ocean-themed dioramas. A house line of t-shirts, featuring designs by local artists, is screen printed at the shop, which also prints clothes, posters, and other flat stock for outside clients.

Tender Loving Empire’s West End location, within walking distance of eleven hotels, Mees says, means that most customers are visiting Portland from out of town, “wanting to take a little piece home” of the creative culture of the city. “It’s a cool spot for us to be in,” Mees says, “because rather than selling things made in Portland to people in Portland, we get to support Portland artists” by offering their creations to people from around the country and beyond.

Portland Made Branding

More and more consumers are valuing independently made, locally sourced goods. Let customers know you are Portland Made by branding your website and product packaging.

 

Portland brands

GROWTH MEMBERSHIP

Designed for more established businesses who want their products seen and their story told, our Growth Membership offers the greatest online exposure, including products, related content, and links directing consumers back to your website. Showcase your products in our online Shop, include your photo in our Featured Maker Gallery, and add your logo to our Brand Gallery. Your Featured Bio tells your story, has a slider of your brand images, and highlights any related blog posts and products you may have on PortlandMade.com. Share your news, events, and product releases in our blog, newsletter and social media channels.

STARTUP MEMBERSHIP

Our Startup Membership includes a one on one session to check in about your business and get some free feedback to remove obstacles and/or develop your business. It includes your logo in our Brand Gallery, as well as your brand’s Bio Page, where others can see a brief overview of your business, and a link to your website, Etsy shop or Instagram account. Looking to show off your products or for added services? See our Growth Membership, and/or optional add-on services.

IDEA MEMBERSHIP

It all starts with an idea. This stage of membership is designed for those who have an inkling for what they want to do, but may be hazy on the details. Maybe you want to connect with other makers, or you need product photos or a business consultation to help get you to the next level.

Brand Bio

When visitors click on your logo in the Brand Gallery they are taken to your Brand Bio page. This page includes your logo, a product photo, brand story, and link back to your website or shop page.

Portland maker Membership

Maker Meetup

This monthly, one-of-a kind networking event is FREE for members; $15 for non-members. Crafted to be the most useful hour and half a maker can spend on their business each month, this event aims to: expose makers to new workshops, connect makers with each other, and learn from experts.

portland maker events

 

Access to Vetted Resources

Connect with talented professional service providers and subcontractors, offering the range of services small businesses need to thrive. Our online Resources page highlights those we recommend and trust.

Portland Made service providers and vendors

Inclusion in Brand Gallery

Add your logo to the collective’s Brand Gallery. Visitors can peruse brands by category, and click to see your Brand Bio page (for Startup tier), or Featured Bio page (Growth tier).

Portland Brands

Featured Brand Bio

For makers looking for greater exposure, your Featured Brand Bio includes your logo, a slider of images, your brand story, and link back to your website or online shop. As well, this featured page showcases products you have in Portland Made’s online Shop and any related Journal posts you may have on our site.

Visitors can navigate to your Featured Bio from the Brand Gallery and, for those with a professional photo included in Featured Makers, from this gallery as well.

Maker Membership

Your News & Events shared in our Blog,
Newsletter, and Social Media

Broadcast your news, product releases, upcoming events, job openings and more, across Portland Made’s website and social media outlets. Share news content with Portland Made’s consumer audience and maker communities.

Portland maker news

Your Products in our online Shop

Showcase your goods in Portland Made’s online Shop. Visitors can see your product/s and description on the Shop page, and are directed to your personal website. Your product detail page is great for added SEO and as well directs visitors to your personal site.

Inclusion in Featured Makers

Add your maker photo to our Featured Makers gallery. The most prominent page in the Discovery menu, this gallery highlights you as a Portland maker, shows your business name when hovering on your photo, and clicks through to your Featured Bio page where visitors can get an in depth look at your business and visit your personal website.

Portland Made membership perks

Complimentary Business Consultation

Meet for a one on one business consultation to assess the health of your business and identify areas for improvement. 

Jim Hassert, Portland

Preferred Creator Market Vendor

We’ve teamed up with WeWork to produce Creator Market, a semi-annual event hosted in their beautiful westside location. All Growth members can apply first (no application fee), and if you get accepted you vend for free as well.

Portland Made market

 

Product Detail page

Show off your goods! This page is where consumers can see your goods in more detail. It includes a photo, description, and prominent link to your site where they can buy directly from you.

Portland Made goods