Makers Union PDX sprang up in April 2020 as a solution for Portland-area artists, makers, and creatives whose business models were based on in-person markets and retail accounts. As stores closed and markets were cancelled, founding members, photographer Christopher Dibble, furniture maker Jubal Prevatte, and custom wood and metal design fabricator MC Lemay created our online marketplace.
The marketplace supports our creative community with an online space for makers to sell their goods while also raising funds for community members deeply impacted by the pandemic. In 2020, we donated 15% of sales to the Black Resilience Fund, an emergency fund dedicated to healing and resilience by providing immediate resources to Black Portlanders.
Additionally, we partnered with Portland Made to mobilize nine vacant retail window spaces around the city and showcase the work of local artists and makers. Each window features locally made goods by dozens of brands and artists, with a QR code that takes you to pdxwindowshop.com. Here, you can learn about each artist or maker and purchase their goods.
Our intent is to continue building community while giving back the love and support we have received as small businesses in Portland. Our motto of "cooperation, not competition" speaks directly to that intent for we truly believe "a rising tide lifts all boats" (John F Kennedy).
WHO WE ARE
JUBAL PREVATTE, Co-founder
Having spent most of the last decade as a contractor building restaurants while running my working furniture/woodwork shop, I've gotten to know many people in both industries. When I saw the toll the pandemic was taking on both industries, and what others were doing to help, I knew I had to find a way to contribute; to pay back the communities who have had my back. Finding common goals with MC and Chris, we decided this was indeed something we wanted to tackle together.
MC LEMAY, Co-founder
My Journey in helping to create Makers Union PDX was the result of realizing I was struggling to pivot my business to adjust in these quickly evolving times. Even if I did pivot, I did not have a proper outlet to direct my products to. After reaching out to fellow makers, and awesome teammates, we pulled our resources to facilitate the process for all of us.
CHRISTOPHER DIBBLE, Co-founder
I’ve always been a people connector, whether in life, my business, or other various projects I have, like Stockpiler. I’ve received so much help throughout my career, so I do my best to help anyone who asks. With much of my photographic work being cancelled or postponed indefinitely, I suddenly had a lot of free time on my hands. I knew I wanted to help those in need by selling my work and donating proceeds to mutual aid funds. Finding a common goal was such an exciting moment. It meant that we could really pool our resources and help even more.
JAIME JOHNSTON, Operations Director
When I became unemployed right before the pandemic, I opened a business and became a member of Portland's small business community. It was lonely in the beginning. But I soon discovered a welcoming community of artists, makers, and creatives eager to connect and happy to lend an ear or a hand. I feel like I've found my people. My favorite thing about being part of Makers Union PDX is learning the stories behind the makers. This is a strong and resilient community that I’m proud to be a part of.