March’s Maker Meetup, hosted by New Deal Distillery, started with a special announcement: Director Jim Hassert, having taken on the role of CEO at maker brand betsy & iya earlier this year, is handing off his Portland Made duties to Meghan Sinnott.

Sinnott introduced herself, detailing her involvement with organizations such as Travel Portland, The Moth, Pedalpalooza, and the World Naked Bike Ride.

Meghan Sinnott, Portland Made

After announcements, the night’s presentation on wholesale sales started. Panelists for the evening included Nick Johns, Independent Dealer Account Manager at Showers Pass; Chris Chase, Founder of Otter Wax; Maya Mori, Founder of Frankie & Coco PDX; and Tom Burkleaux, Founder of New Deal Distillery. With such diverse product lines the panelists detailed very different relationships with wholesale sales, ranging from being almost entirely dependent on wholesale for liquor (Burkleaux states that roughly 80% of New Deal’s sales are through wholesale channels due to OLCC regulations) to somewhere in the middle for Frankie & Coco and Showers Pass, who both say about 65% of their sales are wholesale, to focusing almost exclusively on direct-to-consumer sales in the case of Otter Wax (Chase states his wholesale sales function as advertising for his brand).

wholesale sales panel discussion, portland

None of the makers were shy about sharing some of their rookie mistakes. In particular, Chase noted his eagerness to sell to everyone led him to lose control of the curation of his brand. Once he was a bit more established, he was able to take a step back and assess: Did he really want to be on the shelves at “Rite Aid-esque” outlets? One way to circumvent this mistake, Mori says, is to bring along suggestions for how to merchandise your product. If the retailer is receptive to your ideas, it’s much more likely to be a good fit. If not? Probably better to move on.

Johns noted that another way Showers Pass has protected the brand is by doing away with third-party Amazon sales. They believed these sales to have  a detrimental effect on the perceived value of their product, so eliminating that line of business allowed them to re-establish their reputation as a high-quality retailer.   

In addition to protecting your brand, the panel offered another major piece of advice: Connect with the employees at retail outlets, and not just the buyers you negotiate with. How does one do this? Free product goes a long way, and Johns likes to bring along Showers Pass socks and gloves to hand out when he visits a new retail partner. Not only does this establish a more personal connection with the staff, it allows them to speak knowledgeably and honestly about your product with customers.

maker events, portland
Maker events, panel

After the presentation, attendees were treated to complimentary cocktails, courtesy of our host for the evening, good conversation with other makers, and a tour of the stunning New Deal facility.

Join Portland Made for two events in April!

Maker Meetup, April 23, will be presented by The Good and will focus on conversion rate optimization. Also on deck, communications expert Nicholas Kessler will be leading an elevator pitch workshop on April 18, teaching makers how to better talk about themselves and their products. Learn more here.

Written by: Katey Trnka  //  Photography: Justin Hawkins

SPECIAL THANKS


♥️

Host: New Deal Distillery

Speakers: Nick Johns of Showers Pass, Chris Chase of Otterwax,
Maya Mori of Frankie & Coco PDX, Tom Burkleaux of New Deal Distillery
Sponsor: MadeHere PDX

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.

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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.

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Portland Brands

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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.

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Your Products in our online Shop

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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

 

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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.

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