Production Assistant / Team Leader

Hey everyone,

Plywerk is looking for another fantastic person to join our growing team. Details below. Please share if you know someone who might be a good fit.

Cheers,
The Plywerkers

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TITLE:  Production Assistant / Team Leader
REPORTS TO: Studio Manager & Woodshop Manager
COMPENSATION: $10 – 12 ph starting, DOE
BENEFITS: stock-options + health care benefits available (after introductory period)
LOCATION: Portland, OR

Plywerk specializes in the design and manufacture of handcrafted, eco-conscious photo display products from our headquarters & workshop in Portland’s inner SE industrial district.  Since our beginnings in 2007, Plywerk has been driven by the desire to create products that blend a high-design aesthetic with an ethos of sustainability – in both the environment and society at large.  Read more about us on our website.

We are looking for a qualified and committed individual to join our team as a Lead Production Assistant, who will specialize in the manufacturing of our products, order fulfillment, and shipping. Woodshop experience and the ability to work on one’s feet all day, every day with focus and energy is required.

Plywerk Woodshop

Duties will include mastering the skills & steps of all workstations in our fulfillment studio (applying adhesive, handling & mounting prints, precision trimming, product packaging, shipping, etc.) and in our woodshop (using a table saw, router, belt & disc sanders, branding irons, drill press, etc.) while conforming to established standardized procedures and maintaining efficiency, focus, and high standards of quality throughout.

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This person is expected to grow into a leadership role as new production staff are added, assisting with training, coaching, and facilitating production flow as necessary.  As such, a positive, professional attitude at all times and the ability to lead a team of peers is necessary.

Studio

In addition to the requirements outlined below, and to being a cultural fit with our small and growing team, this individual should possess a keen kinesthetic & tactile awareness for working with his or her hands, and a creative conceptual ability for problem solving and process improvement.

Plywerk Office

Role Competencies

  • The ability to maintain an energetic and positive outlook towards clients and co-workers in emails, on the phone and in person, while being considerate of our product limitations and margins at all times.
  • Strong organizational skills with both digital and paper-based CRM & sales systems, and spreadsheets.
  • Kind, honest, assertive, firm and fair approach to ALL client and co-worker interactions.
  • Able to communicate concisely, effectively and efficiently.
  • Self-directed & highly organized in managing sales-leads and existing clients.
  • Quick learner who is able and willing to adapt to new processes and changes.
  • Work well with others on collaborative projects and tasks.
  • Enjoys a broad set of tasks (that may cross into other roles within the company)
  • Putting the answer to this question in the subject line of their job application: What is the tallest mountain in Oregon?

Technical Skills

  • Thorough understanding and experience in using Highrise (or similar) CRM system.
  • Thorough understanding and experience in using Basecamp (or similar) project management system.
  • Thorough understanding of printing, DPI, color.
  • Thorough understanding and experience in using Google Drive.
  • Competent using Excel, and generating reports and spreadsheets.
  • Quick learner of and efficient use of new software and/or online tools.
  • High level of computer competency (examples: typing, keyboard shortcuts, basic troubleshooting).

Qualifications

  • BA in Business, Marketing or Communications
  • 3+ years of experience in sales related positions
  • Recent experience in photo / gift market / ad specialties

To apply, send an introductory email to jobs@plywerk.com and include your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Office

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5 Top Photographers’ Blogs

We know that sometimes our customers stare at our gorgeous bamboo or maple picture frames just wishing they had something to print. Yup, we’re pretty sure that happens. That’s why we’re here with some inspiration for you from the pros, but let’s get one thing straight right out of the gate: this list is by no means exhaustive. In fact, it’s pretty much a list of some photographers who I personally happen to admire, either for their work, their willingness to share their knowledge with the photo community, or both. So without further ado, Plywerk presents the 5 Top Photographers’ Blogs… in the world!

Chase Jarvis

Well this is a no-brainer. Seattle-based Chase Jarvis is pretty much the reason photographers started blogging, at least as far as I can tell. His blog is known not for showing off his work, but rather for offering advice and guidance to other photographers. Themes like risk and challenge are common, and he talks very openly with his audience, always offering encouraging words to help you step outside of your comfort zone. Chase is also one of the founders of CreativeLive, an amazing online learning resource for photographers of all skill levels.

Ami Vitale

In her career as a photojournalist, Ami Vitale has traveled to some 85 countries, covering war, poverty, disease, and the strength of the human spirit in overcoming these tragedies. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and she is a name any aspiring photojournalist should know. Her blog covers her assignments on a personal level; the entries are short, but impactful, windows into a world few us experience or can even comprehend. She also has a great post on the Top 10 Rules of Travel Photography. Read it before your next big trip.

The Plywerk Blog

Coming in at number three on our list, it’s our own Plywerk Blog! A great resource not just on photography, but on life in general, and—oh, okay, we’re just kidding… Carry on.

David duChemin

Photographer, world explorer, writer, educator—David duChemin is a little bit of everything. He’s written several books on photography, including a must-read for any aspiring professional, Visionmongers (which, coincidentally, may be where I first heard of some of the other names on this list). He does a lot of work for NGOs abroad, and he’s not afraid to talk candidly on the difficulty of this type of work—budgets, living conditions, logistics, gear, everything. Add his blog to your bookmarks, follow him on Twitter/Facebook, and buy his books. You won’t be disappointed.

Chris + Lynn

If you’re an aspiring wedding photographer, take a deep breath, then visit the blog of husband and wife wedding team, Chirs + Lynn. Now breathe. It’s okay. Yes, they are incredibly good at what they do, and maybe your first thought is, “Holy cow I will never be that good.” Nonsense. Their blog is a collection of inspiration, use it as such. As one of the most renowned wedding photo businesses in the world, they have traveled internationally to capture the most special day of couples everywhere. Even if you are not into wedding photography, you should check out their work.

Trey RatcliffTrey Ratcliff is pretty much the Internet mascot of travel photography (I don’t know how travel became such a recurring theme in this article). Self-described as “a warm-hearted, old-school gentleman explorer with really cool toys,” you can’t help but want to be his friend. His blog, Stuck in Customs, is updated on the daily, and he has a huge social media presence. He also offers a unique perspective on his process, and is a proponent of small, “mirrorless” cameras, being one of the first pros to almost completely witch from shooting DSLRs. His blog is a lot of fun, and his photographs are beautiful. The only reason he’s last on this list is because, well, it’s a list and somebody has to be last.

Alright folks, that about wraps it up. Check out these blogs. Get inspired. Send us your images. We can’t wait to see how great your pictures look on Plywerk! I left a lot of great photographers off this list, so also feel free to chime in in the comments with your own recommendations!

Posted in Beyond Plywerk, Photography | Leave a comment

Fall Colors for Family Pictures

Do you have your mug of hot chocolate ready? Because this post is all about the start of hot chocolate season, otherwise known as fall. Fall is one of the happiest times here in the Pacific Northwest. That annoying sunshine is finally fading away behind a welcoming blanket of gray, and the smell of rain is in the air. (If this sounds crazy to you, you must not be from around here—that’s okay, we’re not here to judge.) In fact, fall is one of the best times to get outside and experience the beauty of the changing seasons. Whether at your local park or along a muddy trail in the Columbia River Gorge, the treasure of changing color is everywhere.

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Snap some fun family fall images and showcase them with Stanley until the next holiday! Image by Kim Nguyen

But fall isn’t just about color. Thematically, it is about change. Green to red, yes, but also lager to porter, bike shorts to bike pants, coffee to more coffee. And there is opportunity for storytelling everywhere—kids returning to school, family outings to the pumpkin patch, gatherings of friends around the dinner table, Halloween hijinks (within reason, please), Thanksgiving, and the list just goes on. It’s the perfect time to throw on some rain boots, grab the ol’ camera, and go stomp through some puddles on your way to capture all those great moments. The fact that you’ll have a backdrop of fall colors for your family pictures is really just the marshmallow in your hot chocolate.

Like it or not, it’s also a great time to start thinking about gifts for the holidays. Actually, the time for thinking is quickly turning into the time for doing, and luckily we make gift giving easy here at Plywerk. In fact, two of our photo display products are a perfect compliment to fall and the theme of change: Maggie and Stanley. Both are sustainably made, both feature superpower-strength neodymium magnets, and both welcome change by making it easy to switch out pictures to, say, document the growing up of a child, or simply to display a new family portrait every holiday season.

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Get a photo of your little cutie in fall colors and mount it to our Custom Print on Plywerk!

So don’t let a little rain get between you and some great photographs this fall. Put down that hot chocolate (or transfer it to a to-go mug), get outside, and keep those shutters clicking—and we’ll keep the saws and sanders spinning.

Posted in Eco-Conscious, Photo Mounting | Leave a comment

How to Hang Plywerk without Putting a Nail or Screw in Your Wall

When we set out to make a beautiful, eco-conscious picture frame, we knew it also had to be easy to hang. For anyone who has tried to frame and hang your work before, you know how challenging it can be to get it just right. That’s why all our bamboo and maple art panels come ready-made with a nifty keyhole slot on the back for easy hanging on your wall. All you need is a nail or screw, and you’re good to go. Unless, of course, the idea of hammering another hole in the wall doesn’t sit so well with your landlord, gallery director, mom, or other authority figure.

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Here are the pieces that you need to hang a Plywerk without putting a nail or screw directly into the wall…bolt, washer, two nuts, and an “s” hook.

While we designed Plywerk to be as easy to set up as possible, we also realize that many people might not be able to hang it as we intended. We put our best wall-art engineers to the task of figuring out how to hang Plywerk without putting a hole in the wall, and the solution they’ve come up with pushes the boundaries of photo-mounting science. What’s more, they did it entirely with materials scavenged from dusty closet shelves, forsaken bottom drawers, and old pants pockets, eventually coming up with a bolt, a large washer, a couple of nuts, and an S hook. You might be wondering how any of these items can help hang a picture on the wall without putting a hole in it, but it will be easier to show you rather than tell you. Head over to our Flickr page to see how some basic household hardware items can become an elegant, wall-preserving hanging solution for your Plywerk.

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Here is what it looks like when you put the pieces together! Now all you need it wire, string, fishing line or whatever you want to use!

 

Turns out, our engineers aren’t so easily stumped, and you can rest easy knowing that your Plywerk can hang beautifully without upsetting your mom.

Posted in Photo Mounting, Photo Panels | Leave a comment

Permaculture Principles in Business with Mulysa of Resilience Design

What is permaculture—something to do with plants, maybe? Well, yes, but it’s much more than that. It’s an integral part of our “more than just green” philosophy, for one. In fact, our CEO, Kjell, just spoke on the topic at the annual Go Green conference. The word is actually a portmanteau of “permanent” and  “agriculture” which has since become recognized more simply as just “permanent culture.” For a business, permaculture principles are important to sustainability, not just ecologically, but socially.

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Mulysa Melco in her garden. Photo by Kim Nguyen

In his Go Green presentation, Kjell incorporated the work of Mulysa Melco, a local permaculture expert, to talk about the place of permaculture in business. Mulysa, who founded Resilience Design here in Portland, had previously worked with our co-founders Kjell and Kim on their personal garden and is the one behind all the amazing verdure found in the Plywerk office. She has been a real asset to our eco-conscious efforts. Her passion for gardening, landscape design, and ecological living has taken her on an international journey of education and practice, eventually landing her in Portland (for which we feel very lucky!) It’s easy for anyone to appreciate the decorative beauty of plants, but Mulysa’s work goes much further than that. Her work didn’t just bring fresh life into our building, but helped establish an environment that promotes creativity and working in harmony with nature.

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One of Mulysa’s amazing designs. Photo by Kim Nguyen

Sustainable harvesting, local printing, recyclable packaging, local sourcing of materials whenever possible, and smart resource management all go into each art panel, photo display stand, and custom picture frame you order at Plywerk. But we know that these things are only as valuable as our commitment to them, and that’s where permaculture comes in, offering guiding principles for setting business standards that supports our people and our planet.We couldn’t be nearly as effective in this regard without the help of experts like Mulysa, so be sure to check out her website and read about the great work she is doing!

Posted in Eco-Conscious, More Than Just Green | Leave a comment