My name is Marcus Harvey and I have a passion for Portland.
Call it being a 90’s baby, the rise of Michael Jordan and Ken Griffey Jr., being brainwashed a Duck fan by my parents, or my proximity to the Nike World headquarters - I loved anything and everything that had to do with sport. My childhood was spent either glued to the TV watching our Blazers play, or outside running around with friends.
In high school, I was tasked with the responsibility of running the student store. I was ordering snacks, filling out inventory sheets, selling, and bookkeeping. I’d also be in charge of designing and producing shirts for the men’s basketball team. My high school experience equipped me with skills that, unbeknownst to me, I’d use every day of my life in the future.
Naturally, I would go on to become an Oregon Duck, graduating in 2012 with a degree in Digital Arts and Business. During my time at school, I developed a love for marketing, art, screenprinting, branding, and community (in the form of a group of great friends in my fraternity).
In moving back to Portland in 2012, I noticed companies from all over the country began asking for apparel and products that had “made in Portland” on the tag. This led me to start my own freelancing business making apparel for companies near and far, leaning heavily on the knowledge of screenprinting I had learned in my earlier years.
During this time, Instagram was just beginning to grow in popularity. Seizing the opportunity, I started the @portland page as a way to build community and share in my love for the city through photography and give yet another reason for these brands to align with Portland. Starting from zero followers in 2013, I’ve grown it to over now 370,000 followers, with people using my tag #portlandnw over half a million times.
In managing and running the page, I sensed the pride that Portlanders had and wanted to create something that would even further show it off. On Black Friday of 2014, using my background in apparel design and branding, I launched Portland Gear. Two t-shirts in two photos on the @Portland page, linking to a website I built the night before. On opening day, it did $5,000 in sales and I’ve never looked back.
Since then, we've seen our products all over the world and have shipped a piece of Portland to every state and 60 countries.
In 2014, we bought a ‘73 VW Westfalia bus and drove it around to Portland events before we ever had a shop. It now lives at Washington Square as a staple pop-up. In 2016, we opened up our retail location on 19th and Burnside. Today, our core team has grown to seven dynamic and nimble full-time creatives, helming the mission of purveying Portland for everyone near and far.
We’ve been fortunate enough to do some amazing collabs with the likes of the Trail Blazers, Timbers and Thorns, OHSU, Water Ave Coffee, Breakside Brewing, University of Portland, University of Oregon, local non-profits, and so much more.
I want to create products and experiences that people actually enjoy wearing and sharing, cultivating community in this amazing city we call home. Thank you sincerely for all the support, and for allowing me and my best friends (who happen to be my employees) to live out our dreams, doing what we love every single day. We can’t wait for what the future has in store.
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