Kristen França

Overheard at the Built Oregon Festival

Back in October, a few of us at Drawn were given the opportunity to spend our Friday in Portland at the third annual Built Oregon Festival. It was a day full of inspiring fireside conversations on a wide range of topics, all focused around the consumer product ecosystem of Oregon. Here are some of the most inspiring takeaways from the day:

“History is powerful.” McMenamins on maintaining the history of their buildings and communities.

“Lean into uncomfortable conversations. You want to hire someone who will fight for your beliefs. You will be able to find diamonds in the rough if you go into those uncomfortable conversations and get over yourself.” Dave’s Killer Bread on second-chance employment.

“Have a North Star. Be collaborative. Build bridges between teams in your company.” Fishpeople on running a mission-driven business.

“Commitment and trust are important. You should be able to stick with it even as your company changes.” Brazi Bites on riding out the many different waves that rock startups.

“I find balance by finding joy in what I do. You find your way through each battle and micro challenge that come up every day.” Schmidt’s Naturals on navigating challenges as an entrepreneur.


L: The Built Oregon Festival stage, set for impactful fireside chats. R: Emcee Jordan Hayles with Jack Harris (Fort George Brewing) and Renee Rank Ignacio (McMenamins). And, of course, Drawn with the epic, front-row photobomb. Photos: Courtesy of Built Oregon


“Know your ‘why.’ For me, I got to have my brother as a business partner, and even though we live in different countries, we get to talk on the phone every day. So even if we fail, at least I got to spend that time with my brother.” Showers Pass on the importance of values.

“Take a gulp and take the step. Also, make friends with other crazy people. Having a community of other founders will help encourage you and support you, even when your friends and family think you have gone crazy.” Slumberkins on how to push through the hard times when building a business.


“Have a North Star. Be collaborative. Build bridges between teams in your company.” — Kipp Baratoff, Fishpeople

“Use your economic power for good. If you are truly value-driven, it has to start at the top and has to be reflected in everything you do.” Keen on establishing a value-driven company.

“Everyone in your organization has to know where you stand on things, and that means that you have to define what your values are.” Columbia Sportswear on being conscious of your brand goals.