Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 19th, 2009 at 2:00 pm
Portland Design Works has been busy since we broke word of their arrival back in September. Erik Olson, the former Planet Bike GM who moved from Wisconsin to Portland to launch the company, has now joined forces with former Planet Bike co-worker, Dan Powell.
Powell and Olson have finalized their initial line of products (grips and inflation accessories), launched their website, and moved into a new office in Southeast Portland.
“You’d start a surf company near great waves…we moved to Portland because its bike-friendly culture. We wanted to design and test our gear in that great urban cycling atmosphere.”
The duo have also announced that, while the bulk of their product will be sold through traditional distribution channels, they’ll sell direct to Portland shops and deliver local orders by bike (a bakfiets is in the plans, but Powell says they’ll use a trailer/front-rack set-up for now).
“We want to be a part of the community, to have a connection,” says Olson about the bike delivery plan, “plus, making deliveries by bike is a great excuse to get out and ride.”
I got an email from Dan Powell this morning. He said for the last few weeks and well in February, they’ll be going “shop-to-shop” in Portland to introduce themselves, ask what products people would like to see in their line, and get feedback on new product samples.
In a press release sent out to the bike industry, Portland Design Works describes themselves as a “new brand of urban bicycle accessories with a focus on simple, beautiful design.” Their first products — which will be in stores by the end of next month — are grips and inflation accessories. Coming in spring will be a line of cargo racks, tools, mini-pumps and fenders.
Olson gave a preview of those products at the Oregon Manifest bike show back in October (note copious use of bamboo):
Midwest natives Olson and Powell say this venture, and living in Portland, is a “dream come true”. And, if you ever doubted that Portland’s bike mystique has real economic impact. Consider this. When asked why they chose to start the company here, Erik Olson said,
“You’d start a surf company near great waves, or a wind farm on an enormous plain. Likewise, we moved to Portland because its bike-friendly culture… We wanted to design and test our gear in that great urban cycling atmosphere.”
PDW hopes to have their goods available nationwide by summer. Check out RidePDW.com for more info.