Like One Giant Creative Agency
We are seasoned consultants that connect our network of creative talent from Portland, Oregon with aspiring Japanese businesses. We leverage years of professional and creative experience to provide complete support for Japanese companies tapping into the US market. Beyond business connections, we aim to create an expansive cross-cultural network that bridges Portland and Japan.
Brandon and Benjamin maintain a strong connection with Portland’s vibrant music scene and are interested in fostering musical and cultural connections with Uplift.
They understand that the universal language of music knows no boundaries and are always excited about finding ways that music can communicate and enhance any experience.
Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel
Portland Garment Factory is a full-scale prototyping and creative partner, working on diverse projects, from large-scale, one-of-a-kind installations, to soft goods line production for companies big and small. PGF is committed to redefining what it means to be a factory through environmental sustainability initiatives, ethical labor practices, and positive community impact. As a zero waste facility, PGF is proud to be Silver Certified by the City of Portland's Sustainability at Work Program.
Instrument was founded in 2003. The Partners are Vince LaVecchia (Chief Operations Officer), Justin Lewis (Chief Executive Officer) and JD Hooge (Chief Creative Officer). With over 120 employees at their headquarters in Portland, Instrument builds digital brands, products and campaigns for global companies and institutions including Nike, Google, Levi’s, Patagonia, eBay and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Evolve Collaborative is a design, strategy and innovation agency who partners with brands to deliver relevant products, services and experiences that make a difference. Evolve was founded in 2014 upon the idea that the best design always arises from collaboration and working with the partners directly.
She currently operates O/Department, a boutique brand consultancy based in Los Angeles, California and is also the founder of INIMINI, a unisex baby apparel brand.
Burn & Broad's clients include Nike, Budweiser, Pepsi, Warner Music Group, Labrewatory, and more. The B&B team believes in the true power of design, and anchor everything in the belief that imagination and creativity have the power to move and inspire us.
The process of creating something from nothing excites him every day. The development of the Case of Bass brand has been equally thrilling and challenging, making it spread to almost every continent with customer loyalty and pride. Growing to a national, scalable brand is on the horizon, but he will always find his strengths in making the special, one-of-a kind creation that tells a story while making you smile.
The team at OMFGCO understands that a brand is much more than a logo. They love digging deep, finding meaningful insights and figuring out the best and most beautiful possible way to express them. Regardless of the type of client or problem to be solved, they apply the same principles, strategy and heart to all they do. They have worked in hospitality, retail design, packaging, and product design, and are ready to tackle whatever branding problem you need solved.
Fritz Mesenbrink & Jeremy Pelley
As a self-professed Maximalist, he strives to guide his teams through a process that embraces possibility, then reduces through strategy to guide highly focused design thinking. His studio’s design ethos of “Technical Craft” then looks to blur the lines between a love of precision and a passion for creating a human connection through art. The results are highly ownable moments that amplify the brand’s story to build authentic long-term relationships.
Nike, Dell, Starbucks and Lego are just a few of the brands that he and his studio have been honored to collaborate with to tell their amazing stories. Because Big-Giant’s philosophy is founded in the art of storytelling, their work is naturally wide ranging and includes brand strategy, branding, film, motion graphics, Events, branded environments, retail environments, print and packaging.
Midori, a native of Tokyo Japan, brings a unique combination of modern aesthetic and Japanese cultural sensibilities to her design. Having lived in the US and Europe along with extensive travel to Latin America, her creative vision and inspiration are influenced by those global experiences, enabling her to bring design ideas and solutions that are distinct and extraordinary. Her Tokyo upbringing also brings a cosmopolitan, modern pop sensibility with a minimalistic approach to design founded on the motto “less is more``.
Maki has always found a sense of zen in perfecting the details. She has put the finishing touches on wardrobe in tv, movie, and commercial production, and has added delicate details to sets, food, and props during her four years at Swift Agency. The fulfillment of the big picture depends on the small stuff and she has a passion for bringing a vision to life by making sure every element is right.
Bryan is also an avid supporter of community-based activities and Portland’s art and culture scene. He is on the board of directors of the non-profits Design Week Portland and the Portland Indie Game Squad, and volunteers his time helping small businesses and artists through the Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Lewis & Clark Law School’s Small Business Legal Clinic.
Currently, Butch operates a boutique advisory firm called Frances focused on the global active lifestyle market. The firm offers business development services associated with strategic growth and business development initiatives including; licensing, joint ventures, mergers and acquisition. Partners include; Retail Prodigy Group (Nike’s retail partner in Australia / New Zealand), Lempriere Capital Partners, The Merino Company, Little Island Creamery, New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industry, Proud Mary Coffee, House of Antique Hardware and a number of consumer focused middle market private equity funds.
As Partner at Portland's Meriwether Group, Butch played an integral role with the sale of KLIM to Polaris, Bike Gallery to a large national Trek retailer, a partial sale of Dave's Killer Bread to Goode Partners and the sale of yogitoes to Manduka.
He is a minority shareholder in a number of businesses including, venture backed batterii, Curious Beast and Sadie Golf.
Their brokerage experience and expertise continues to transform the retail landscape of Portland’s close-in neighborhoods. From multi-block mixed-use projects, such as the Brewery Blocks, to single tenant adaptive re-use properties, and everything in between. They represent numerous active landlords, developers, restaurateurs, and retailers, including top local, national, and international retailers.
Tenants they represent include, Nike, Arc’teryx, J.Crew, Madewell, G-Star Raw, Frye Boots, Roche Bobois, Aesop, Le Labo, Whole Foods, Café Company, Rachel's Ginger Beer, Jasmine Pearl, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Salt & Straw, and many others.
Kathleen Healy & Ashley Heichelbech
With expertise and strong connections with basketball world, Iwano also manages basketball players as a certified International Basketball Federation (FIBA) agent. Running as an agent for APAA Sports Group who has numerous clients including NBA players, he currently represents 11 Japanese players, of which 2 players play for Japan national team, and 10 US players in order to help their contractual negotiations with teams.
Parker & James Fitzgerald
The seed of the business began at Huffman’s first cooking class, when he was 10 years old. Four years later, he was working as a dishwasher and grill cook at Fat City Café in Multnomah Village. He would go on to study at UC Berkeley, but at 25 he found himself in Scotland, balancing rugby and a good amount of beer drinking with a master's degree in law from the University of Glasgow. He had beer in mind when a French friend asked him to collaborate on a business in Lyon, France. They settled on a brewery, “because it’s such an obvious thing to do at 25.” It turned into a gastropub called Ninkasi. By the time Huffman left France, there were five locations.
He returned to his hometown of Portland and founded ChefStable in 2008, with the mission to open culinary concepts geared toward the vision of individual chefs. From there the business has grown mostly by word of mouth and continues to get bigger everyday.
In 2014, she opened the gathering space, Elder Hall, with the intent of connecting people around a table while breaking bread, sharing stories, and cooking up new ideas. Then in 2015, she launched Stockpot Collective, a community of creative thinkers and professional storytellers. In October 2017 she launches The Nightwood Society which is a women-owned and operated event space and creative studio. The goal is to present the intersection of food and design, to activate every sense, and immerse people in each experience.
Each of these endeavors circles back to her desire to bring together the right mix of people and ideas for inspired collaborations. While food may seem like an unusual move for someone who went to fashion school and built marketing strategies for big brands, she feels right at home in this space.
Since then, Givens has also established the first 'urban' seed-to-plate catering company and supper club in the Portland area where she uses Side Yard produce, and sources from other urban farms.
Spirit Alive! is a 60 to 90 minute moving meditation set to a specific playlist of recorded music or to a live accompaniment of African based drumming, improvised rhythm instruments and guitar. Part of the Spirit Alive! philosophy is that the ancestry of the musician's training and the spirituality of the instrument itself are present for the dancer to interact with as well as to facilitate a meditative state. Spirit Alive! is meant to inspire a flexible spine, articulated pelvis, and the development of poly-rhythmic movements. It is movement super-food.
At the heart of Spirit Alive! is Brenda's belief that if a person moves the same way too repetitively, then the body doesn't get the movement nutrients it needs. Thus, through presenting unfamiliar movements, and brain/body teasers, Spirit Alive! offers participants an opportunity to stimulate their brain and nervous system and expand their neuropathways.
After teaching and presenting for a decade, Jill founded Elevate Yoga Trainings. These programs support existing and aspiring teachers to be the very best, most impactful and most real versions of themselves.
Web: Kiriko Made, Compound Gallery
Languages: Japanese and English
Born in Japan, Katsu Tanaka started his career as a Vintage Apparel and Sneaker Dealer while he was in college. He expanded his operation to export mid-century furniture, vintage American toys, and housewares. After his graduation, he founded a retail/gallery space, Compound, in 2004 in Portland’s Old Town district. In 2012, he created Kiriko, an original lifestyle brand specializing in vintage Japanese fabrics. Kiriko has been distributed over 50 different retail businesses worldwide and has collaborated with nationally-renowned brands such as J.Crew, Free People, and Filson. Through his 23 years of experience in Portland, and his connections in the creative field, Tanaka founded Uplift PDX to create a portal that provides complete support for Japanese companies tapping into the US market.
Languages: Japanese and English