Holding only a piece of fabric and a tape measure, Kash Ross sits down to design what will become a signature piece in someone's professional wardrobe. He carefully lays out a paper pattern created from 35 individual measurements and hand cuts superfine worsted wool for the suit's outer layer, fully lining it with canvas cloth for shape and body and sewing in buttonholes with fine silk thread.
And if Ross is smiling as he lovingly completes the reinforced, rubberized waistband, it's not just because he knows it will keep a shirt from becoming un-tucked and diffuse electricity in the event of a lightning strike. It's because he is carrying on a family tradition. For more than 40 years, Ross has walked in the well-hemmed footsteps of his father, a respected clothing maker in Bombay who trained Ross in the art of master tailoring. Kash Ross Creations now bustles with a team of tailors and seamstresses consulting with clients in English, Polish, Lithuanian, and Russian, striving to handcraft eye-catching apparel that, like Ross' father's legacy, stands the test of time.
Growing up on a farm granted Ryan and Shane Stonemetz a firsthand look at the injustices of the industrial-food market. The brothers watched their father and grandfather toil daily to make ends meet and subsequently swore off entering the family business. However, as the pair established their adult lives in Portland and Seattle, they realized that injustices live forever unless someone puts up a fight.
And so began ProFarm Produce, a small farm-to-customer enterprise that lowers prices for shoppers and increases wages for farmers by eliminating the middleman. The company started with nothing more than a 12-foot truck and a bed full of organic cherries, but it has since grown to a fleet of trucks thanks to an extra-potent fertilizer that's safe for automobiles' digestion. The expanding staff transports ProFarm's bounty to 20 area farmers' markets and various wholesale clients. ProFarm also participates in a CSA program that provides weekly boxes of fresh, local produce to participants in surrounding communities.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
Staccato Gelato sees itself as the intersection between Italian café foods and Oregonian ingredients. With local produce and hormone-free milk, they craft a menu encompassing 18 flavors per day. Although regular flavors include amaretto, cherry chocolate chip, and peach, the daily rotation is up to whoever’s behind the counter. Friday through Sunday, the shop augments its menu with freshly fried donuts, along with illy coffee. Visitors can make use of the café’s free WiFi and soften their scoops with the outdoor patio’s sunlight.
The staff also takes Stacato’s treats offsite, catering to crowds via a full-service scooping cart and a freezer rider. A mobile tricycle, the freezer rider boasts a low carbon footprint thanks to only using methane emissions.
The owner-artists at Portland Picture Frame summon a combined three decades of experience as they nestle paintings, photos, kids' art, tickets, and other wall cargo into custom-assembled frames. The store’s professional designers consult with customers to begin the decision-making process, choosing from hundreds of frames and mats, including deep shadow boxes, filigreed gold, mat-black finishes, and artfully arranged lincoln logs. Glass can also be customized, with options from regular clear to museum quality. Portland Picture Frame's staff also applies their expertise when meticulously restoring art. Their trained eyes offer complimentary in-home or office consultations in the Portland metro area.
Wax Loft?owner Carissa has been dubbed the "trifecta of waxers"?she's quick, clean, and talkative. Her goal, along with her partner Elizabeth, is to render clients' skin smooth-to-the-touch with a careful and focused technique, but she cites her sense of humor and likable demeanor as traits that help her clients relax with the faith that she'll leave their intended areas as smooth as a baby's silk pajamas. Working alongside an Aveda Institute graduate who shares the talent for creating a warm and comfortable space, Carissa and Elizabeth offer face, body, and bikini waxes with equal parts precision and personality, as well as brow and lash tinting to put the finishing touches on each client's look.