For this month’s Meetup, attendees were invited to a new maker space—so new, in fact, that this was the first event hosted at brickPDXLocated in a Southeast Portland building shared with a bakery, a comic shop, and more, the new space is poised to support the maker community through pop-ups and communal work space, and it served as an expansive location for one of our best-attended Maker Meetups to date. 

A massive skylight and ample windows showed off the potential of the space, which even served as a photography studio for one of our special features this month—an opportunity to have professional headshots taken by Nicholas Peter Wilson. Wilson was able to get through several photographs before attendees were asked to take their seats.

Director Meghan Sinnott reminded us of the three aims of all Maker Meetups—to connect, to check out maker spaces, and to learn something new—before inviting Jaime Schmidt and Chris Cantino of Schmidt’s Naturals and Color. to talk about their support of new developments at Portland Made. Stressing the importance of entrepreneurial community organizations, the couple shared their experience in growing a local business from humble roots into a household name, and teased exciting new announcements the community can expect this summer.

Next, the night’s speaker, the self-described (and trademarked!) Lawyer-Human Shreya Ley, introduced herself. Having worked as a lawyer in established firms for about six years, she transitioned into more customer-focused, accessible work to help makers and other creatives seeking representation for issues of intellectual property.

Shreya Ley, Human Lawyer

Ley spoke about all things copyright through an anecdote about the trajectory of an innovative French press cozy. Originally made for the creator’s personal use to keep her coffee warm, the cozy was something that she had seen used for tea for ages, but never for coffee, her preferred caffeinated beverage. Soon, her friends were asking her if she could make them their own cozies, and it wasn’t much longer before she started to profit off them, using the name Bodum Buddy and leasing a manufacturing facility to satisfy customer demand.

And then, the cease and desist letter came. Bodum, the leading French press manufacturer she named the cozy after, demanded that she stop using their name on her product. That meant buying new packaging, destroying labels, and essentially building her brand back up from scratch, a very costly endeavor. Had the creator done more research, a lot of these headaches could have been avoided. Some key takeaways from Ley included the following:

  • Don’t name your product after a big brand. Many of these big brands have lawyers on retainer, and they will sue if they see a conflict of interest or someone profiting off their name. The costs of litigation can put a maker just starting off out of business fast.
  • Do your research. Is there anyone else out there doing what you do? Can you use the name/the recipe/the design that you want without violating any patents or trademarks? It never hurts to consult a lawyer who can do this research for you, too, especially if you’re not legal-savvy.
  • If you are making money off it, it’s worth protecting. Seek out patents, and trademark your work. This is essentially your way of showing that you were the first to create something, and it allows you to sue for damages when others create copycat products.

Ley took questions both throughout her presentation and well after the formal portion of the evening concluded. Makers then stayed after for an incredibly active, engaged networking session, enjoying local goodies from brands like Reverend Nat’s, Olympia Provisions, and The Baker’s Mark, and making sure to get their headshots.

Nicholas Peter Wilson

To view headshots from this Maker Meetup, click here.

Nicholas Peter Wilson
maker business gatherings
maker business gathering
maker business groups

 

Written by: Katey Trnka  //  Photography: Sarah Toor and Nicholas Peter Wilson

Up next– June’s Maker Meetup on scaling up and manufacturing. 

SPECIAL THANKS


♥️

Sponsor: MadeHere PDX
Host: BrickPDX
Speaker: Shreya Ley, LayRoots.com
Drink Sponsor: Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider

 

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