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Meet the BikeCrafters: TiGr Lock, Orquidia Violeta, and piggyflowers

In case you haven’t heard, Portland’s bike-centric holiday gift fair is back! BikeCraft 2017 is December 15-17 at the Bike Farm (1810 NE 1st Ave.) and it’s powered by Microcosm Publishing.

Last week we shared our first in a series of vendor intros written up by Microcosm Co-owner and Marketing Director Elly Blue. Here are three more…

Orquidia Violeta – Orchid Velasquez (website)

I first met years ago at a Portland Society meeting, where she introduced herself as a maker of “veggie onesies.” She still makes adorable outfits for tiny babies and has expanded into other kids’ clothes like ponchos and headbands with the power to make a small child look like a delicious piece of fruit. Each item is a unique work of art.

What’s your bike craft?
I sew hand-dyed kids clothes from recycled fabric, with vegetable and push-bike appliqué pockets.

How did you get started?
I design and sew hand-made wearable artwork. I started fifteen years ago. I ride a bike for transportation. I have sewn other bikey items in the past, but I’m currently focused on kids.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I love to work with color, and see little people wearing my craft.

What’s your biggest challenge with it?
Everything I make is one-of-a-kind, so it’s hard to operate like other businesses.

What does bicycling mean to you?
Bicycling is freedom. I can go anywhere, anytime, and it’s fun. I pick up fabric, commute to a shared sewing space, deliver to stores, and sometimes sell at farmers markets – all by bike!

piggyflowers – Shannon (website)

Shannon, aka piggyflowers, is returning to BikeCraft this year to fill the demand for sturdy, attractive, reflective flowers to decorate your bicycle basket, hair, clothes, cat, etc. People who are into stuff like this—well, we know exactly who we are.

What’s your bike craft?
I make Petal Brites: reflective flower accessories for bikes and more.

How did you get started?
I made my first Petal Brite when the fuzzy centers fell off the flowers on my bike basket garland. I covered the bare spots with reflective stickers and my garland wasn’t just pretty, now it had a safety feature! I thought other people would like reflective items that were not only practical, but pretty. I opened an Etsy shop and started selling Petal Brites in 2011.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I love making Petal Brites! Whether it’s working with flowers that catch my eye or bringing a customer’s special request into bloom, I know it’s complete when the combination makes me smile. I also love it when my customers let me know they are happy with their Petal Brites and share photos of them in use.

What’s your biggest challenge with it?
Because I have a day job, finding time to devote to my Petal Brites is challenging, especially coordinating photo shoots and photo processing with my husband. But his photos are always worth the wait.

What does bicycling mean to you?
I started commuting by bike when my daughter was 11 months old because I missed getting regular exercise. I was working full-time and didn’t want to spend more time away from my daughter going to an exercise class. I had a short commute and riding my bike took 10 minutes longer than driving so it was the perfect way to fit exercise into my day. Eighteen years later, my bike is still my preferred way to travel. Bicycling keeps me physically and mentally healthy. I love my bike.

TiGr Lock – Jim Loughlin (website)

One of the coolest things about BikeCraft is getting to meet folks who are producing something totally new and different with a ground-up business model. Jim Loughlin and his brother are a Kickstarter success story and they make bike locks that don’t look like any I’ve seen before. I’m really looking forward to checking these out.

What’s your bike craft?
My brother and I make bike locks. Not a very crafty kind of item, but it feels like a craft business to us. We put a lot of thought into design, production process, sourcing raw materials, how things function. We form and assemble each lock by hand. Our finger prints are literally on every item we ship.

How did you get started?
Our dad got started in the lock business on a more industrial scale in the 1970s. We joined him later in life. The idea for the TiGr came out of work we were doing for a different security challenge. Being lifelong cyclists we’ve been thinking about bike locks for quite a while. We introduced the original TiGr Lock idea via Kickstarter in 2011.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
Working with my brother.

What’s your biggest challenge with it?
My brother can be a pain in the @#$.

What does bicycling mean to you?
Freedom. As a kid, I loved to use my bike to get myself where I wanted/needed to go without having to ask an adult for ride in a car. As an adult I love being able to get places without having to buy gas, or worry about traffic.


If you’re ask excited about BikeCraft as we are, don’t forget to snatch up a few tickets for the special Friday night preview party (and benefit for the Bike Farm!).

Thank you Elly for these great Q&As. For more details and a full list of vendors, check the official BikeCraft website and stay tuned for more vendor profiles.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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