Home Archives May 2009 The PDX-BK connection

The PDX-BK connection

| Print |  Email
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATSBrooklynPortland

PORTLAND For Lexy Funk, opening the only West Coast chapter of her clothing company, Brooklyn Industries, in Portland was a no-brainer.

The longtime Brooklynite founded the company with her artist husband, Vahap Avsar, in 2001 in Williamsburg and made hipster staples like the bike messenger bag and graffiti T-shirts into fashion for the masses. “We could have more easily opened a store on the Upper West Side, but Portland really resonated with us,” says Funk about launching their 11th location at the corner of Northwest 23rd Ave. and Johnson St. last February. “A lot of the creativity we see in Brooklyn we also see in Portland. There is a natural synergy.”

This synergy has long been palpable for the aesthetic similarities between the cities (think bikes, skinny-jeaned artists and industrial backdrops) and has established a sister-city immigration pattern of sorts among Portlanders with big-city dreams and Brooklynites weary of paying $1,800 per month in rent. Or in the case of Project Runway winner Leanne Marshall, relocating from southeast Portland to Brooklyn last winter to launch her fashion career, instead of to Manhattan: “It just felt right. It felt like home.”

Businesses are catching on, say entrepreneurs like Funk, because there is a sense in both cities that inspiration and financial reward are not mutually exclusive. Matt Lounsbury, head of operations for Portland’s hometown java empire, Stumptown Coffee, says this word — inspiration — comes up often in his dealings with clients in Brooklyn, where the company recently opened a roasting plant in the sparse industrial neighborhood of Red Hook, and where a dozen or so local restaurants and retailers are serving and selling Stumptown’s coveted fair-trade brews.

“Manhattan is the big city; Brooklyn has that neat indie feel that we’re all about,” says Lounsbury. “People in Brooklyn ‘get’ Portland. There is definitely a mutual admiration.”

Funk says the Brooklyn Industries store in northwest Portland is already faring better than their only other store outside of New York City, located in Chicago, which opened more than a year ago. Sales associate Korina Emmerich says she’s meeting a lot of longtime B.I. devotees and also a lot of newbies. “People are a little confused when they see us. They’re like, ‘What is a Brooklyn store doing here?’” she says. “They’re totally interested, and also a little weirded out, too.”

In a city like Portland, that’s never a bad thing.

STACEY WILSON
 

Comments   

 
Chris Masagatani
0 #1 eROI AgreesChris Masagatani 2009-07-03 12:29:42
Love the article. I moved to NYC 2 years ago to start eROI NYC. The transition was one of the most exciting of my life. There is a ton of truth to this line "inspiration and financial reward are not mutually exclusive." The odd couple NYC-PDX.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

From the Editor: The human factor

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In this issue, we celebrate our 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project.


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 34 Medium Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Wheel man

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.


Read more...

Speeding up science

News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Read more...

Green your workplace

News
Thursday, April 03, 2014
100Green14logo200oxBY OB STAFF

Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.


Read more...

Buy the book

News
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
2 03.25.14 thumb bookshopBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.


Read more...

How to boost web traffic

News
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY  | OB WEB EDITOR

04.10.14 thumb seo-trafficSEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO).  Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS