Trophy Case

8 Winning Portland Design Finds

From beautiful brass mobiles to bold boxing gloves for women, these locally designed goods are a step above.

By Eden Dawn September 21, 2017 Published in the Design Annual: Fall 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

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After studying sculpture at Olympia’s Evergreen State College, jewelry designer Natalie Joy Miller branches out with a series of beautiful brass mobiles such as this Monstera deliciosa—also known as the split leaf philodendron. $130

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Image: Michael Novak


Made entirely from recycled water bottles and natural materials, these soft, malleable pots and vertical planters from Hillsboro company Root Pouch offer an alternative to the traditional hard plastic. The eco company snagged a big award in Spain in 2015, taking home the Iberfloral Innovation Technology Award for most advanced green item in the already-green horticulture category. $2.50–25 at Concentrates NW

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Image: Michael Novak


Paula Hayes used her background as a product development chemist to fill a gap in the local cosmetics market—makeup for women of color. Her Beaverton-based company, Hue Noir, specializes in handcrafted, small-batch lipsticks, glosses, and eye shadows for darker skin tones. $8–25

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Combat Sports

Society Nine founder Lynn Le, a mixed martial artist and Krav Maga brown belt, named her company after Title IX, the landmark 1972 federal law stating that no school program can discriminate on the basis of sex. Now Le’s team works with female athletes to test the company’s boxing gloves, wraps, and apparel to make sure they’re as much function as fashion. Boxing gloves pictured: $78; other fighting gear from $8

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The Occult

Kim Krans hand-drew each of the 78 cards in her Wild Unknown tarot deck with intricate odes to nature, from Canada geese in flight on “The Lovers” card to the mighty pine tree on “The Emperor.” The deck comes bundled in a gift set with an illustrated book on the meanings of each card and how to start reading. $40

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Impress even a sultan with gorgeous golden cantilevered Thalia mugs, made as a collaboration between local product developer James Owen and Bishop House owner Brian Sunderland. The two worked for six months to find an adhesive that could bond borosilicate glass, 24k gold, and stainless steel and handle both 200-degree tea and iced coffee. $329 for set of two

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Venn Design creator Tyler Benner says his stylish, spherical chairs encourage active, thoughtful sitting by forcing you to balance (or gleefully bounce) while you work—a boon to both body and mind. Benner’s orbs use an internal ball cushion wrapped in foam and a layer of heavy-duty fabric ranging from hemp linen to Pendleton’s signature jacquard prints. $289–399

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With her Mexican heritage as inspiration, Portlander Jennifer Bolanos dedicates her shop, Vía Raíz, to contemporary designers reinterpreting traditional craft in jewelry, textiles, and home goods—like these black-and-white enamel spoons. $12,

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