Creative Director & Founder, Little Bay Root
Hi! It’s me, Brian. Greetings from the 2,800-square-foot studios of Little Bay Root. We’re located in a hip area of famously weird Portland, Oregon, but you can find our merchandise in shops all over Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska. Not to mention, we ship t-shirts across the country every single day.
I grew up with lots of frogs, leaf peepers & a set of encyclopedias. My Northwest-loving story actually begins in New England. I played around in a small town surrounded by epic, emerald forests, noisy frog ponds and crowds of fall tourists eager to “peep” at the autumn foliage. One winter, my dad bought the family a set of New World Encyclopedias. Volume “O” stopped me in my tracks. “Moss hangs from the trees in Oregon? Wait, there’s another Portland?!” My fascination with the Northwest started percolating.
It made sense that I would end up living here in Oregon. The independent spirit of the West called. I answered. I took a publishing job in San Francisco, then moved to Oregon. Along the way, I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, then became a graphic designer and later a creative director. I’ve worked for Forbes magazine, won design awards at a Fortune-500 company and paid my dues at a mail-order retailer that sold adjustable-waist pants. I learned how to design layouts, write text, balance budgets and keep fussy models happy. It was all part of the magic elixir needed to grow Little Bay Root.
Our first “I heart Portland T-Shirt” sent just the right message. And we were off! What started as a part-time gig selling shirts at street fairs became a fully incorporated business by 2009. Racks of tees, bookshelves of magnets and drawers of stickers soon lined the walls in every room of our house.
Today, Little Bay Root offers locals and visitors alike artful treasures, not just meaningless, mass-produced trinkets. Like the famous guy’s quote above says: “we do what we love.” That means everything we create for you comes from the heart.
Assistant Art Director
Hey, I’m Brenden. After living in rainy Oregon for the past 15 years, I’ve soaked up Northwest culture like a local. My very first design, the “Sasquatch Hunting Permit” decal, became a Little Bay Root bestseller. More important, it gave me artistic license to explore the creative current that makes this region so unique.
Painting a school bus, cool T-shirts & an obsession with typography. Art was always my thing. I remember my parents taking me to an interactive museum where they let kids paint an entire school bus. Suddenly, everything in front of me was literally a blank canvas! I was 6 years old and hooked on art.
That feeling of creative freedom carried me through school and ultimately earned me an associate’s degree in applied science, with an emphasis on computer and visual arts. Soon I was screen-printing T-shirts for everyone I knew and experimenting like a mad scientist with cool typefaces.
Brenden meets Brian; Little Bay Root booms. I worked at the custom screen-printing shop that produced most of Little Bay Root’s early shirts. The quality, humor and amazing variety of Brian’s work were like nothing I’d seen. We talked about ink choices…then design ideas…then we realized our artistic visions meshed.
Business partners, Northwest pride & Chloe the Pug. Right now, there are two missions in my life: working with Brian to grow Little Bay Root and helping my girlfriend keep our puppy from chewing up the house. At Little Bay Root, I love when a new idea resonates with our customers! We aren’t just creating uniforms for status seekers. This is lifestyle apparel for true individuals.
As for Chloe the Pug, I’m just trying to sleep through her snoring.