Plywerk as a B Corp

Plywerk is striving for a B. But before you tell us to buckle down and work harder, you should know that it’s a good thing. This isn’t like trying to get a B in 11th grade American History. We’re not underachievers here at Plywerk. You see, we’re shooting for a B that will designate us as a B Corporation. If you’ve never heard of a B Corporation, you might be scratching your head right about now. Stop! Don’t muss up your hair! What is a B Corp? We can explain.

Plywerk is striving to be a B-Corporation.

To give you a tasty little analogy, B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. Does that help? Wait a minute. Now we’re doing analogies? This is starting to feel suspiciously like high school. But stick with me here and I’ll save you a spot at a good lunch table.

B Corp certification is issued by B Lab. This United States-based non-profit organization judges for-profit businesses on social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. In order to get certified, businesses have to obtain a minimum score on an online assessment for high social and environmental performance. This all sounds good to us at Plywerk. That’s why we’re in the business of selling eco-friendly products made in the United States.

Being a B Corporation means being one of the good guys. It means that your business cares about the environment and about people too. B Corps are businesses that don’t just care about business. As a B Corp, a business has the ability to create higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life in the community. And, as the movement grows, it becomes an increasingly powerful agent of change. Which means we all get to sit at the cool table. It’s hip to be B.

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Mother’s Day Photo Contest

As you people with calendars probably know, Mother’s Day is coming up soon. Maybe you’ve thought about it and maybe you haven’t. But now that you’re definitely thinking about it, it seems like a good time to mention that Plywerk is holding a Mother’s Day Photo Contest. That means it’s time to take a trip down memory lane!


Now, we don’t know all of your moms personally, but we still think that this is a contest your mom would approve of. Of course, we can’t be sure. But we think she’ll like this contest more than the ones you had as a kid because it doesn’t involve loud yelling or throwing objects at the dog.

No, this is just a safe, quiet photo contest. All you really need is a photo and a can-do attitude. In order to enter, we simply ask that you share and comment on an image of your mom. Just find a frame-worthy memory of your mama and give it a whirl. It’s simple. It’s pain-free. And you can submit your entry via Facebook or Instagram. Just remember to use the hashtag #plymomsday to enter.

And don’t dilly dally because the deadline to enter the contest is May 11th. So give it a shot. There’s nothing to lose and plenty to gain. Specifically, the lucky winner will walk away with our Maggie magnetic photo frame. And that’s the large size. And of course, they’ll also get a printed version of that winning photo.

But even if you don’t win our Mother’s Day Photo Contest, you can still be a winner. You’ll almost certainly feel pretty victorious when you buy a Maggie for mom. Or perhaps you’ll consider ordering a Print on Plywerk so that you can put that beautiful memory on bamboo.

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Enna Grazier Photography

We see a lot of lovely photos here at Plywerk. But we don’t always know the full story behind those photos. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, we say let’s hear some of those words every now and again! When you see a powerful image, wouldn’t you like to know the story behind it? Of course you would! So we’re going to give the people what they want! Now let’s all gather round for a little Plywerk storytime.


A basket of eggs and a beautiful pear shot at the Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner.
Images by Grazier Photography

Today we’re featuring the work of photographer and Plywerk customer Enna Grazier. Enna makes up half the team at Grazier Photography, which she runs with her husband. They offer artistic photography for wedding and portrait clients throughout New England.


Images by Grazier Photography.

These shots by Enna Grazier capture details from the Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner, an event produced by local farmers and chefs who collaborate to create a wonderful locally grown meal. It benefits the Heirloom Harvest Project. the mission of which is to promote regional heritage foods and agricultural diversity. It also works to strengthen the important connections between farmers, chefs, and consumers in the community.


Heads of garlic and Famer Chuck Cox displaying his Gilfeather Turnips.
Images by Grazier Photography.

Farmer Chuck Cox is considered to be the granddaddy of organic farming in New Hampshire. He and his family have developed and practiced sustainable farming methods since the 70s, and they’ve helped countless other farmers establish sustainable farming practices. Chuck Cox is an innovative farmer, and he has been instrumental in resurrecting many heirloom seed varieties thought to be lost. He’s shown holding a bunch of the beloved Gilfeather Turnips.

If you have a story of your own that you’d like to tell, order a Print on Plywerk. Put your best images on our best materials. We’ll help you tell a tale with beautiful prints on wood. It’s a story that never gets old, don’t you think?

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Plywerk Picks the Best Hikes in Portland Area

Folks in Portland, Oregon can’t resist a good hike. We’ve all got our favorites, so today we’re going to share some of ours. We present to you a Plywerk guide to the best hikes in Portland, Oregon. (Or around Portland, Oregon.) So take a hike. And when you take that hike, also take some pictures. Make that view at the summit all worthwhile. And later, you can order a print on Plywerk to prove what you did!

Angels Rest is your standard uphill climb with a very worthwhile scene at the top. And you know when you reach the top because it’s a truly breathtaking view of the Columbia River Gorge. Bring a lunch or a snack because you’ll want to relax and take in that view before you go back down again.


Triples Falls Hike has spectacular scenery and is only a short drive from Portland.
Image by Nichole Alhadeff

Triple Falls is a lot of bang for your hiking buck. This trail is just over 4 miles, but delivers not one, not two, but three magnificent waterfalls. (The name probably gave it away.) This sort of scenery is what being in the Pacific Northwest is all about.


Tamanawas Falls is beautiful in the summer but far less crowded and just as picturesque in the winter.
Image by Nichole Alhadeff

Tamanawas Falls on Mt. Hood is a very popular hike for good reason. Located near the eastern base of Mt. Hood, it’s a pretty easy hike leading to a great broad waterfall, complete with a dry cave. This scenic path along Cold Spring Creek is also good for families.

Saddle Mountain is a five-mile round-trip hiking trail on the Oregon Coast that offers plenty of dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean. And the payoff is big. On a very clear day you might also get views of Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Astoria Oregon, and maybe even the Olympic mountain range in northwest Washington.

Pittock Mansion Hike is a great hike for you homebodies. It’s one that you can do without even leaving the city. Enjoy the creek, the lush forest, and when you arrive at the destination, a historic Victorian mansion. It’s one of the best views in the city, overlooking all of Portland, and depending on the weather, a spectacular showcase of Mt. Hood.

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Southeast Quadrant Tour

From time to time, we open our doors to welcome visitors for a tour of Plywerk headquarters. It’s not wholly unlike a tour of the Wonka Factory. Sure, we don’t have a chocolate room and our eccentric owner has a comparatively understated wardrobe. But on the plus side, members of Plywerk tours are not eliminated one by one, nor are they subjected to catchy morality songs. But, still, we like to think that in many ways, it’s just as magical. We’re always happy to meet members of the public and organizations interested in lean manufacturing and eco-friendly businesses.

lean business

Portland Development Commission members get a tour of the Plywerk min-factory to see how we use the urban space.

We recently hosted a tour of Plywerk headquarters, giving us a chance to educate more people about our company and the lean business process. This particular tour group included members of the Portland Development Commission. The PDC is collecting data as part of the city’s larger undertaking of developing a long term vision for the Central Eastside. Their aim is to look into the future to understand what the needs of the district’s industries will be by 2035.

We’ve got a good home here in the Southeast industrial district. Plywerk is proud to contribute to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit here in Portland’s Central Eastside. Close to both the waterfront and downtown Portland, our area is an increasingly important player in our city’s economy and industry.

The Portland Development Commission was created in 1958. They’re focused on investing in the job creation, innovation, and economic opportunity that will transform Portland into one of the world’s most desirable cities. Of course, we think it’s pretty desirable already. But we’re all a little biased.

Next time you’re in the neighborhood, feel free to pop in and say hello. You can check out the Plywerk Retail Store, and we might even be able to arrange a little behind the scenes tour for you as well. But remember, we deal mostly with wood, so don’t come expecting a chocolate waterfall.

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