Few makers openly acknowledge their desire to hit it big. To make that sale to an international company, or even to get picked up by the local co-op or boutique retailer. Once you acknowledge those goals and dreams, you have to brace for the fact that you might not accomplish them.

Eight years ago, Jaime Schmidt wasn’t ready to give a voice to her aspirations, either. She was making all-natural beauty products as a hobby to sell on the local farmers market circuit, and she never really considered selling her deodorants, sunscreens, and lotions to a larger market until her growing customer base suggested it. But once that seed was planted, she told those in attendance at Scout Books on August 23, she secretly knew she wanted Schmidt’s Naturals to be big.

maker events, portland
small business events, portland

In a very candid Q and A session, Schmidt told an audience of makers how she went from batching 10 or 20 deodorants on her kitchen stove to 20,000 in a state-of-the-art production facility, from the farmers market scene to national retailers like Target and WalMart, and—she now admits—from a dream to a reality, when Schmidt’s was sold to Unilever on New Years Eve.

One of the first questions posed to Schmidt was about her brand’s identity: Was it ever a maker brand, and is it still, in the wake of the sale to an international giant? Schmidt answered in the affirmative: “It always will be.” Part of what Unilever bought is the identity and the story behind Schmidt’s, something that other brands represented by the conglomerate (Dove, for example) could try to reverse engineer, but the authenticity of Schmidt’s DIY roots isn’t easily replicated, and Unilever seemed to recognize and value that.

small business events, portland

Naturally, many in the audience wanted to know about scaling, too: How was Schmidt able to go from those small batches on the stovetop to keeping up with an international demand? Aside from the obvious—you can’t just multiply all the ingredients in a recipe by a thousand and assume it will turn out well—Schmidt also had to consider the sheer quantity of raw materials needed. And the money needed to procure those materials.

Taking on a business partner definitely helped the transition. When Michael Cammarata approached Schmidt in 2014, he brought in connections that allowed Schmidt to continue growth and reach a larger audience. And thank goodness for naivete, Schmidt says: Had she been a little less green and a little more rooted in the business world (rather than maker-minded), she might have deleted that “weird” email from Cammarata.

maker business events

Finally, Portland Made’s Director, Jim Hassert, asked Schmidt if she had any advice for married business partners, an issue that resonates with many in our maker community (Schmidt’s husband, Chris Cantino, ran the marketing department for Schmidt’s Naturals). According to Schmidt, the key to maintaining both partnerships— in marriage and business—is recognizing and celebrating each other’s strengths, in knowing when to stay in your “lane” and when to jump in and help.

maker business events
maker events, scout books
scout books, oregon

Schmidt stayed well after the structured portion of the evening to hear the stories of makers in the audience and to offer advice, a testament to her continued commitment and interest in the maker movement, even as she prepares for her next (to be determined) step

maker business events

Written by: Katey Trnka   //   Photography: Sarah Toor


Keep an eye out for more Portland Made events.


Host: Scout Books
Speaker: Jaime Schmidt
Sponsor: MadeHere PDX
Audio & Video: Work Undone 

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


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.


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.


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