Lisa Grove, Stephen Becker, and Tim Tracy have a dream. Actually, the trio has a couple of dreams. For starters, they'd like to see their new Portland-based furniture company, IF Green, make its mark as a manufacturer of sustainable furniture. Designed by Becker, built by Tracy, and marketed by Grove, the IF Green furniture line is breaking into the local market with the basics: six chair designs that can be customized by mixing and matching fabric patterns with sustainable wood varities such as palm and reclaimed fir, a unique platform sleigh bed design, and a chest of drawers.
For now, each piece of IF Green funiture is made to order, so items are only available online at the company's website, ifgreen.typepad.com, or by appointment. But Grove says that she and her partners are already talking to a few local retailers about carrying the furniture in their stores. Eventually, Grove, Tracy, and Becker would like to achieve dream number two: having a larger manufacturing facility with practices and processes firmly rooted in their commitment to the green scene.
And that, Grove says, would dovetail with the trio's third dream, of a day when other parts of the country view Oregon-- especially the Portland area-- as the front from which all green knowledge flows. "I have been talking to elected officials about this whole (green) movement being Oregon's next big thing," says Grove, who also works as a political pollster. "I think Oregon is on the cusp of something big, but just isn't quite there yet. We're known for green buildings and I think we're known for progressive government facilitating that industry. The next step is what happens inside those buildings."
Grove admits that there is still a lot of work to be done before sustainability beyond buildings becomes a financial mainstay of Oregon. Not content to start that trend one chair and dining room table at a time, the IF Green founders also offer a blog on their company's website, a cyber meeting place of sorts. "We feel we're trying to create this green industry," Grove says. "The purpose of the blog is to find everybody we can, even if they're direct competition. It's being written for people participating in the industry, but also for consumers."