Design Week Portland Lady Makers: L+R Design Lab
Welcome to the Design Week Portland Lady Makers blog series. This blog series will highlight 5 female makers working in the Portland Metro area and participating in the Design Week Portland Pop Up shop taking place on April 25th, 2017 at The Redd.
We wanted to take the opportunity to highlight female makers; explaining why and how they got into the into the industry, their successes and challenges, as well as what it means to be a woman making and selling products today.
We’ll post a new blog each week, so keep an eye out and join us on Tuesday April 25th to shop and support these amazing women!
L+R Design Lab
This week we spoke with Allie and MC, owners of L+R Design Lab. Here is what they had to say:
What will you be selling at DWP’s Pop up Shop?
We are bringing small, medium and large handcrafted steel and wood furniture and accessories with both a modern and rustic flair.
How long have you been in business?
5 years together and MC had been welding for almost 10 years prior to us joining forces
How did you get into this business/why did you start making?
We are both self-taught and started out as hobbyist. We started as a way to contribute to our love of design. Then, almost suddenly, the designs and furniture were in such demand, we were fortunate enough to turn our love into a full time career!
What does being a female maker mean to you?
We get to merge the most masculine and the most feminine side of ourselves into our work.
Do you feel that Portland is supportive of it’s female business owners?
Yes, because we are continuously hired to do incredible works.
What are the challenges of being a female-identifying Maker?
We are sometimes not as aggressive or forward enough and can be more emotionally attached. We feel some clients don’t believe women can produce as big and as strong as men… and men tend to stick with men… like a buddy/buddy system bond between themselves. But we are here to show everyone our brain and our brawn!!
What are the benefits of being a female-identifying Maker?
We are compassionate and nurturing with clients and with our work and feel we have strong, detailed listening skills, which can lead to being quite meticulous…
What is the funniest (business related) thing that has happened to you since starting?
We were lifting a very large amount of steel and had been carrying it a pretty good distance; when Allie said, “in my next life, I’m working with feathers.” to which MC replied, “well, 100 pounds of feathers is still 100 pounds.” We both completely lost it and about dropped every piece of steel on ourselves… we couldn’t even walk until the laughing stopped, and even then, continued to giggle all the way to end.
What advice do you have for other Makers or small business owners, regardless of gender?
Treat it as a business from the beginning, not just a skill. Staying on top of filing and organizing all paperwork is very important.
What compelled you to join Portland Made?
Portland Made has opened its doors to help and we never like to say no to help. We truly appreciate all Portland Made brings to our life and our business… whether through connections, designers, or workshops!
More on L+R Design Lab