Trillium Artisans is an innovative, green, nonprofit community economic development program that empowers artisans and actively connects them to markets.
Trillium was founded on John McKnight's principles of asset-based community development, which finds a way out of the tangled web of poverty by focusing on talents and capacities, rather than what is lacking.
In 1994, we conducted an asset inventory of extremely low-income neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon, and found talented residents wanting to sell their handmade goods and build their own businesses.
To facilitate this, the Eco-Biz program was established and later renamed Trillium Artisans. The Trillium name was chosen because the three-pointed trillium flower reflects the triple bottom line principles (people, planet, and profit) of the sustainability movement.
Trillium's primary goal is to help low-income artisans increase their craft business income and build sustainable microenterprises. All products reflect the commitment to sustainability: they are created with at least 50% recycled or reclaimed materials, and are priced to pay the artisan a living wage.
Today, Trillium has a growing group of artisans, wholesale accounts across the country, and a retail store and offices conveniently located in Downtown Portland. We are also an Etsy team, and we sell on World of Good by eBay.
In the fall of 2011, after many years of operating a store at SE 92nd and Foster Road in the Lents neighborhood, Trillium had an opportunity to participate in the Downtown Pop-Up Shop program for the holiday season. The temporary move was a great success, and Trillium's board decided to stay on and make a permanent move to the pop-up shop location, with a grand opening in February 2012. You can now find us at 318 SW Taylor St., Portland, OR 97204.
Our current focus is to continue Trillium's proven track record of providing small business counseling, access to markets, peer networking and technical assistance and training to low-income craftspeople. The project works to expand e-commerce marketing opportunities for the group as a whole, as well as to increase the technical skill sets of our member artisans.
Trillium Artisans is funded by grants from the Portland Development Commission's Economic Opportunity Initiative, the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, and Meyer Memorial Trust.
For more information about us, please visit our profile and blog on WorldofGood.com, an eBay Community. You can also join us on facebook, twitter, and flickr.
Note: Trillium Artisans' 501(c)(3) registered name is Neighborhood Pride Team dba Trillium Artisans. We were originally started as a project of the larger nonprofit Neighborhood Pride Team, now defunct.