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Become a Trillium Artisan

Anitra in her studio
Do you work with found, reclaimed, recycled, repurposed, upcycled, or vintage objects in your art or craft? Do you currently earn less than 80% of the median income for the Portland Metro area? Do you live in the city of Portland? If you don't live in Portland, do you have a City of Portland business license? If yes, then we want you!
 
Trillium Artisans is a nonprofit funded by the Portland Development Commission and others to "connect artisans to markets." More specifically, we help market fine and indie crafts made from recycled or reclaimed materials.

What's in it for You?
Product Review Information
Artisan Meeting & Workshop Schedule

Lily in her studio

 
What's in it for You?


  • Access to our credit card processing services. Each year, Trillium members run more than $25,000 worth of sales through our merchant services accounts. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of setting up an account, but don't want to lose those sales that only happen when you take plastic, we can help.
  • Consignment sales - we'll give you 60% of each retail sale and 80% of each wholesale sale (if you sell wholesale with us, not everyone does).
  • Possible piecework making Trillium Design products, such as our Organic Catnip Slugs and Mason Bee Condos, which pays by the piece at the equivalent of $12.50 an hour.
  • Small business counseling - we're here to listen if you just need someone to bounce business ideas off of…or if you're having a problem with a wholesale customer, or a shipper, etc. And if we don't know the answer, we'll find someone who does! By appointment only.
  • Product development "test marketing" and counseling through our product review process.
  • A peer network of fellow artisans who are growing their "green" crafts businesses. This group is accessible through a google group, for members only. Members share ideas, resources, and referrals for craft shows, grants, contests, opportunities, and sales venues such as www.etsy.com.
  • Invitations to hear guest speakers from craft leaders such as Queen Bee Creations, Portland Super Crafty and more.
  • An opportunity to get your crafts on the Trillium website, our Etsy shop, and our store on WorldofGood.com by eBay. Wholesale buyers from across the country peruse our online catalog. Recent wholesale customers include the Gaiam and Sahalie catalogs.
  • Someone to handle catalog orders for you - if 64-page vendor manuals aren't your thing, let us deal with the details.
  • Access to a computer workstation, with Adobe software, high-speed internet access and printing. By appointment only.
  • Access to our fax and copy machines.
  • An opportunity to sell your crafts in our retail storefront in Portland, Oregon.
  • A chance to show your work at private sales and nonprofit foundation events.
  • Use of our digital camera and light box which can be checked out for two weeks at a time.
  • Free product photography consultation and lesson with a professional photographer.
  • Tax deductions to offer to suppliers of your salvaged materials. We are a 501c3 nonprofit.
  • Luxury fabric samples for use in all sorts of projects, for $1/lb. (Ask about our $10 start-up grant for our fabrics.)


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Jacob sourcing books

Click Here to Download the Product Review Application

Click Here For Frequently Asked Questions and More Information


What products do we carry?
 
All work sold by Trillium must pass a product review panel.


There are five main criteria upon which products are juried. The product review committee, composed of passionate customers, fellow artists, boutique owners, and others, asks:
  • Is the craft item made from at least 50% recycled or reclaimed materials?
  • Is it well made? We market to high-end green consumers who hold "durability" as a cherished value. We also guarantee all the products we sell.
  • Is it priced to pay you at least $12.50 an hour, after consignment? (Trillium pays artisans 60% of the list price for each retail item. This means that if you spend two hours making an item, you'd have to get $25, so the retail price would be at least $41, as $41 times 60% is $25. This can be tricky, as the perceived value of an item is not always high enough to get your living wage out of it.)
  • Does it fit with Trillium's existing products and product lines: Home, Garden, Women's Accessories, Pets, Gifts, Apparel, and Children's items? Sorry, we are not currently selling 2D gallery art.
  • Would our customers buy it at the price identified above?
Product Review Guys In Aprons

Visitors on a tour of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity volunteered to help with product review. These guys took their responsibility seriously, making sure the aprons were well made and a good fit!


Your responsibilities:
 
Once your products pass review, you will need to:
  • Write a very short story to market yourself and your products.
  • Tag your own items with story tags (artisan story and product story) as well as Trillium tags. Items without tags will not be marketed.
  • Deliver consistent, high-quality products on time for both wholesale orders and retail events. By "consistent" we mean that products must be consistently well-made, durable, and in compliance with our other standards, even if they are one-of-a-kind.
  • Provide photos of yourself and your products if you have them (for our website). If not, set up a time with staff to get your picture taken.
  • Make appointments! No drop-ins - please call before you come by. If you swing by there's a very high chance that we're working with a customer or another artisan, or on deadline for a grant report. We try to be flexible, but calling ahead is a good business skill that we encourage.
  • Volunteer at least 10 hours a year for Trillium. We don't charge a fee for what we do - instead we rely on grants and volunteers!
  • Write a business plan (or, if you already have one, provide a copy to Trillium). We have a business planinng template that was developed just for Trillium members to use, so please ask us about it.
  • Be prepared to work on your business! We don't do marketing for individual artisans - we only do marketing that benefits the group as a whole.
  • Make a three-year commitment. We are funded to work with artisans for three years, after which time artisans may stay with us by paying a small sliding-scale annual membership fee. PLEASE NOTE: Graduated artisans must earn at least $500 in business income per year outside of Trillium in order to stay enrolled.
  • Artisans who do not qualify as low income are asked to pay a small sliding-scale annual membership fee.
  • Be prepared to report your business income on a quarterly basis, and your total household and business income on an annual basis.
  • PLEASE NOTE: New artisans must earn at least $250 in business income outside of Trillium within the first six months of enrollment in order to stay enrolled.

2012 Product Review Deadlines

Here are the deadlines to submit your work in 2012:
January 27
February 24
March 23
April 20
May 25
June 22
July 27
September 21
October 26

Please submit samples of your work (we would like to see at least three samples of each product line you are submitting), and a completed product review application, prior to these deadlines. To submit, please make an appointment with Amanda by calling 503.775.7993, or send an email to amanda@trilliumartisans.org.


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Artisan Meetings

Artisans with products accepted for sale are invited to attend Trillium's monthly Artisan Meetings. Meetings cover such topics as business planning, pricing, marketing, product photography, and selling online. Guest speakers include sales representatives, bloggers, career coaches, bankers, lawyers, and successful craftspeople. These meetings are also potluck dinners, so please bring a dish, snack, and/or beverage to share. Meetings are held at the Trillium Artisans store on the last Wednesday evening of the month, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm, unless otherwise noted.

2012 Artisan Meeting Schedule TBA



For more information or to make an appointment, please contact Amanda McCloskey at Trillium Artisans, 503.775.7993, amanda@trilliumartisans.org.