In 1998 Catherine Wilson moved into a house with dark shutters that, while affording her privacy, also blocked out much-needed light. A friend suggested she weave simple window coverings herself. Thus began an exploration that has led Wilson down a path she hadn’t anticipated but one that “is completely satisfying for me.”


With degrees in art history and architecture, and having spent years working as an architect and in real estate, Wilson has a keen aesthetic sense for creating beautiful living spaces. Having advised numerous clients over the years, she suddenly faced her own practical design quandary, and the question “what do I want to do?” was something she wanted to explore. She started to experiment with techniques and materials. Weaving on a floor loom turned out to be a good fit for her, and she discovered that using thin, plastic newspaper bags as a weaving element was an unexpected but satisfying solution. The idea of reusing and recycling an otherwise throwaway material was very appealing to Wilson; a simple cotton warp and the thin plastic bags as weft – white on white, with the random appearance of black (from the lettering on the bags) bits – proved to make a beautiful window covering of abstract design that let in light but at the same time was opaque to the outside world.


To Wilson’s delight she discovered that newspaper bags were available in an assortment of colors; she could purchase directly from suppliers, utilizing their overstock and scrap, which afforded her a better price and further put to use material that otherwise might have ended up in a landfill.

She finds building up a sufficient inventory is a challenge, as well as finding the right niche for her creations. Because she is the sole producer and operator of her business, the time and materials involved in creating her pieces – each 14” square pillow requires 200 plastic bags, for example – means she can’t fill random wholesale orders on a short deadline. She like the idea of collaborating with designers on defined projects and commissions, and hopes to do more of that in the future.


The surprise that her customers express when they discover that the “fabric” in her window coverings, throw pillows and table runners is plastic newspaper bags “is my favorite part,” says Wilson. It means she has succeeded in taking a common and disposable “really ugly thing” and turned it into something both beautiful and functional.

To see Wilson’s work and to learn more:

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 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