The Art of Saying Thanks

Let’s face it. The well-expressed thank you is an art form. But, many of us think we don’t have the talent to play the “artist.” So we put off our thanks, perhaps because we’re anxious about finding the right words, or in this case, finding the right gift.

There are lots of ways to add your own freshness to the gesture, and make it meaningful, personal and proper!

First things first. Exhale.

Vineyard Select Wine Gift Basket

Next, if you’re reading this article you already know Made In Oregon has you covered in the gifting department. Our Best Selling Holiday Gift Baskets pretty much personify the art of thanks. They are gourmet, gorgeous, and filled with fine foods caught, grown or freshly made in Oregon, and in a range of price points.

Meaningful, check. Personal, yup. Proper, most definitely. And, affordable!

All you need to work on is timing. A thoughtful thank you is given promptly. Modern etiquette experts say within 48 hours of the favor or good deed.

We can help you with timing with our expert customer care and efficient shipping of your gift basket. And, if you’re running late, with expedited shipping.

Perish the thought that your “thank you” is tardy! Good intentions won’t get the job done. But, we will.

Divine Swine

Oprah Loves Olympic Provisions Salamis! The media tycoon just released her 2014 Oprah’s Favorite Things™* holiday list, and surprise, she chose Portland’s own Olympic Provisions gourmet salami—specifically, the European Sampler—which she called “the United Nations of cured meat.”

Needless to say, we’re super excited for Olympic Provisions, one of our prized vendors and partners in bringing Oregon made fine artisan foods to market.

Olympic Provisions gourmet salami

Meet Olympic Provisions. Established in 2009, this USDA-approved salumeria quickly became a Portland, Oregon landmark operating two restaurant delis and onsite meat-curing facilities. Their salami is spectacular. Created by salumist Elias Cairo, Olympic Provisions uses all-natural ingredients. Pure and simple pork and salt and spices go into every delicious, hand wrapped salami. Their pork comes from Pacific Northwest raised pigs that are antibiotic-free. Their salamis are handcrafted in Portland kitchens, but known throughout the USA, and praised in many trade magazines including Bon Appetit, The New Yorker, Saveur and of course, O Magazine.

Olympic Provisions salamis are seriously wonderful gifts for the carnivore in your life. We carry several of the best selling salamis, including a sampler of four stellar meats: French Saucisson Sec, Italian Sopressata, Spanish Salchichon and Chorizo Rioja custom packaged in our signature Made In Oregon gift box. http://www.madeinoregon.com/Olympic-Provisions-Gourmet-Salami/

Might we suggest a deep ruby Oregon Pinot Noir to pair with your salami selection. Holiday gifting approaches.

View the full article at http://tinyurl.com/lxz4g9m

*Courtesy OPRAH Magazine, December 2014.

Best Place to Shop ‘Til You Drop

We were thrilled to see our Made In Oregon airport stores featured in a recent Yahoo! Travel online article, entitled “The Airports You Won’t Mind Getting Stranded in Because They Rock.” In the article, Portland International Airport (PDX) ranks as the Best Place to Shop ‘Til You Drop.

Nobody looks forward to a layover, but even the best laid holiday travel plans can experience a hitch. You can only hope your layover is at PDX, which the article’s author AirfareWatchdog says is the best airport to shop and eat during a layover.

“… In the PDX airport, you’ll have your pick of top-notch boutiques, duty-free outlets, and local and regional stores such as Oregon-based Nike. But our favorite shop is Made in Oregon, which stocks all kinds of products made within the state lines, like craft beer, cheese, jam, handmade jewelry and other unique gift items.”

Made In Oregon store in Concourse C

Made In Oregon’s first store opened in PDX in 1975 where it remains today in the fantastic Oregon Market, set among primarily Oregon restaurants, boutiques, services and amenities. This store is located in the Main Concourse before TSA Security checkpoints, and our store associates can expertly advise you which products you can bring through security and on board your flight.

If you decide to stay close to your gate, we offer two more Made In Oregon stores conveniently located among sky-lighted gates in Concourse C (domestic) and Concourse D (international). All of the same great products made, caught and grown in Oregon are offered at these stores. And, like most PDX retailers, boutiques and eateries, airport prices are the same as in our mall stores and online.

Stop in and shop. Browse. Check a few gifts off your holiday list. Bring a remembrance of Oregon home. If we don’t see you at PDX, stop in at our online store at www.madeinoregon.com or at any of our six mall outlets.

Pairing Wine to Goblet

You’ve bought the perfect Oregon Pinot Noir wine. Now pair it with the perfect wine glass; one designed just for your Pinot Noir. Made In Oregon’s wine steward, Sam Welch, talks about how to better enjoy wine from the proper goblet.

The Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir Wine Glass was developed in workshops with famed Oregon Pinot Noir wine producers. This goblet was specifically designed to balance the acidity of the wine and deemphasize the alcohol, to create a perfect sip every time. Riedel wine glasses are available online at www.madeinoregon.com and at all of our retail stores.

One Day I Will

I stood next to a young man who stared up at the sumptuous Pendleton Wool Blankets displayed in our Lloyd Center Store. Staring isn’t quite accurate; he was mesmerized.

“Can I answer any questions about the Pendleton Blankets?” I asked him.

“No,” he said. “I can’t afford to buy one today. But, I will one day.”

Our young customer had decided he would own a dream blanket. And, he knew where to buy it. But, just not today.

AICF Raven & The Box of Knowledge Blanket design

Many of our customers purchase Pendleton Blankets as heirloom gifts to mark a special occasion, like a wedding, birthday, new baby, new home or graduation. The American Indian College Fund tribal blankets are notable here in that sales of these blankets help fund scholarships to tribal colleges and lift the educational prospects of native students around the country.

Our repeat blanket customers often are collectors who watch for new design releases from Pendleton Woolen Mills, or are adding blankets from a current commemorative series like the Heritage, Legendary and Tribute Collections. In these collections, Pendleton reintroduces archival and enduring designs of the legends and symbols of America’s native peoples. There’s no better eye candy than a well-chosen array of trade blankets displayed throughout a home. Colorful, geometric motifs that blend in beautifully with today’s modern home décor.

Pendleton Wool National Park Blanket Series

We want to mention the vintage-styled National Park Blankets and matching mugs which make terrific wedding gifts. These blankets, along with the traditional Camp Blankets and Eco-Wise Washable Wool Blankets, make excellent bedding gifts.

Sometimes you’ll see a blanket referred to as a “robe.” Robe blankets are twin sized (64 x 80 inches). They are popular among Native Americans for ceremonial purposes, and traditionally were used to wrap themselves for warmth.

 

Made in Oregon is the largest retailer of Pendleton Wool Blankets in the nation, aside from the manufacturer. Pendleton blankets are made in the USA. The wool is still sourced from ranches around the country, and woven at their Oregon and Washington mills.

If you buy a Pendleton Blanket as a gift and must part with it, cheer up, shipping is FREE. If you’re buying one for yourself, shipping is still FREE. No sales tax, either. When you add it all up, we offer the best selection at the best price.

“One day I will” is today. If not for yourself, then for someone else. If not as a personal reminder that you have impeccable taste, then as a cherished gift to be handed down to the next generation. Your blanket awaits.

 

Look also at our Wool Throws and Saddle Blankets, Pendleton BathMuchacho Baby Blankets, Thomas Kay Collection.

 

Oak Knoll Releases its Rose Festival Wines

Every year Oak Knoll Winery releases a small batch of collectors’ series wines to commemorate the annual Portland Rose Festival. 2014 is no exception. The winery introduced three selections that not only are quintessentially Oregon, but great wine values.

Their Pinot Noir Rosé is a flavorful 2013 vintage produced in the heart of the Willamette Valley. It has a low alcohol level which allows this wine to show off the beauty of the fruit. Perfect for summer.

Their Rose Festival Pinot Gris is a flavorful 2012 vintage that opens with notes of lychee and fresh rain. The wine’s vibrant palate features nectarine and mandarin oranges up front with a Myer lemon finish.

And finally, the Rose Festival Pinot Noir is a deep, rich 2010 vintage. This wine brings dark cherry and raspberry notes to the palate, supported by toast, earth, and a hint of vanilla. Elegant and smooth, it finishes strong, suggesting a wine with potential to age, but is just fine to enjoy today.

 

Each year, the official festival wines include a custom label designed by a local artist. A couple of months before the Rose Festival kick-off, the winery unveils a juried winner whose work will grace bottles of the three wine selections. Artist Drea Rose Frost was named the 2014 label art contest winner. Frost works in various traditional media, including painting, photography and fiber arts. She recently completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts. She resides on the Oregon Coast.

The month-long 2014 “Portland Party” runs through June with encore events running all summer long. The award-winning Rose Festival is now more than “a hundred summers” old, and in 2010 was proclaimed Portland’s Official Festival.

Oak Knoll Winery celebrates its 44th anniversary this year, with the next generation of vintners continuing the tradition of partnering with the Portland Rose Festival as the founders have done to date.

Made In Oregon always has supported the Rose Festival, and again, we’re an event sponsor. We feature the Oak Knoll wines and lots of Rose Festival merchandise in our Portland area stores—namely at the downtown Pioneer Place and Lloyd Center locations, at our three Portland International Airport stores, and online at www.madeinoregon.com.

CHANGE IS GOOD!

Our Washington Square Mall store has moved to new, temporary digs. Our light and bright new location is just around the corner from our old store, and now right across the mall hall from Joseph A. Banks Menswear. We’re conserving our energy in this temporary space while our permanent store is being designed and built out. COME ON BY!

COMING SOON! Look for the GRAND OPENING of our new and improved Made In Oregon store right across the hall from Macy’s Department Store, and just steps away from our old location. We expect to open our new Washington Square Mall store in August 2014. Of course, we’ll provide more details as we approach this exciting date.

Until then, don’t be a stranger. Stop by our temporary store and say, “Hello.” You’ll be greeted by the same impeccable people who’ve provided you with awesome customer care all these years. All the niche Oregon products you know and love—Pendleton Wool Blankets, handcrafted Myrtlewood bowls, artisan pottery, glass and jewelry; and foods like Oregon Pinot wines, craft microbrews and ciders, Tillamook Factory Cheese, wild smoked salmon and seafood, fresh roasted hazelnuts, gourmet chocolate truffles, Marionberry jams and much more—await your visit.

Our Washington Square Mall store hours are Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

See you soon!

 

 

How Green Can We Go?

Made In Oregon is so green! And, now we’re taking an even greener step to improve our environmental impact with introduction of an eco gift shipping box. Currently, we’re testing a custom-designed eco gift box that could replace our most popular green gift box, and ultimately, could eliminate the use of 8,000 shipping cartons annually. That’s green savings of 34 trees annually and enough BTUs to power an average home for one year.*

The Eco Gift Box with outside shipping panel.

Our intention is to improve our overall footprint as well as save costs. Of course, it will mean lower labor costs, but it also cuts down on waste and the energy of using more materials like water and wood.

Development and design of just the right shipping-worthy eco box was a year in development. The hard work resulted in a lightweight, one-piece corrugated box made of recycled materials that includes a removable mailing panel, and is capable of withstanding rigorous handling. The box’s exterior displays an attractive graphic treatment of scenic Oregon. The inside flap tells a little about Made In Oregon and of the fine products within.

Made In Oregon hired FedEx to evaluate the prototype’s durability during shipping. Packed with breakables and a few other products, the eco gift box underwent a series of pre-shipment tests to simulate FedEx air and ground shipping environments. It passed with no product damage.

It took several iterations to produce an appealing gift box that’s sturdy and functional for our customers. Made In Oregon began testing the eco box in January on selected gift box orders. We expect 70 percent of our gift packs will use the new eco gift shipper once our process is fully operating.

 

*This list of green impacts provides the industry average data from the Environmental Network Paper Calculator in a relatable format. All calculations are based on EPA data and reflect the environmental impact of the annual production of this box in 2012.

Sentimental Socks

With news that the Port of Portland will replace its 20-year-old carpet throughout the Portland International Airport has come a surprising sentimentality from locals. Hometown travelers appreciate the peculiar, even “weird” part of Portland’s identity. In this case, the removal of the bright teal, albeit heavily trampled on, iconic carpet from our award-winning airport.

Leave it to a local entrepreneur – Jeremy Dunn of The Athletic – to salvage our sentimentality by designing lively teal socks and teal tee shirts embellished with the iconic carpet pattern on them. Who could have imagined his seed of an idea would take off as it did.

PDX Carpet and Matching Socks

In record time, PDX Airport Carpet Socks and tees reached a cult status that completely surprised Dunn. He initially made a small run of shirts just to sell to friends, but soon couldn’t keep up with the orders.

As he recalls, “I went to sleep and woke up with over a hundred [shirts] sold.”

The socks are made of cushy, moisture-wicking fabric on the foot, and a six-inch cuff. The practical unisex sock design means he and she can share a pair. They are designed in Portland, made in the USA, and available at MadeInOregon.comat our three airport stores and most of our mall stores.

As for the airport carpet, Port officials won’t roll out new carpet for another year, and it will take until 2016 to complete installation. They don’t quite know how they’ll dispose of miles of the old carpet, but commemorative options are being looked at.

Until then, Oregon travelers can simply wear a bit of home-sweet-home wherever they go.

Portland Trail Blazers Deconstructed

“Blazermania” has broken out across Oregon with our own Portland Trail Blazers playing through a winning season. Keep your fingers crossed, and root for the home team. For fans in need of a primer, we offer a few fast facts.

Trail Blazers Bloom Big in 2014 Season

Team record.  As of this writing, the Blazers were 12 – 3 on the road this season, the second-best road record in the NBA, and 25 – 7 overall.

Team logo.  The team’s “pinwheel” logo is a graphic interpretation of two five-on-five basketball teams lined up against each other. One side of the pinwheel is red; the other side is silver.

Nickname. “Rip City,” in reference to the home city’s nickname. The term was coined by the team’s play-by-play announcer Bill Schonely to describe the ball ripping through the net during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 18, 1971, the Blazers’ first season.

Team colors. Red, black, silver and white. Home uniform: Red, black and silver blaze strip on white. Road uniform: Red, white and silver blaze strip on black.

Team mascot.  Blaze the Trail Cat, a two-tone silver-colored mountain lion.

Workplace.  Up until 1995, all home games were played at Memorial Coliseum when the team moved to the Rose Garden Arena. The home court was renamed Moda Center in 2013.

Fan shop.  We can’t seat you courtside, but we can get you outfitted for the game. Our Trail Blazer’s Fan Shop has tee shirts for adults and youth, ball caps and beanies. Visit:  http://www.madeinoregon.com/Portland-Trail-Blazers/ or stop in at any of our nine mall and airport stores to gear up.