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Lauren Holman grows and forages ingredients for her Oddfellows Soap, channeling her woodsy Bainbridge Island childhood. Available via Solabee Flowers locations and oddfellowssoap.com
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For his Fangblade letter openers, local artist and designer Stephan Alexandr brings in bone from Florida gator-meat farms. stephanalexandr.com, $65
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Few ad campaigns cite the Great Depression as inspiration. But the creative agency North evokes the 1930s' civic-minded art with its push for Cover Oregon, our Obamacare health insurance marketplace launching in October. "Some people will be relieved, and some will be angry," says North's Mark Ray of the new health laws. "Music is unifying." The agency commissioned songs on the theme "Long Live Oregonians," drawing inspiration from the Works Progress Administration, Walker Evans's federally funded Depression photos, and Woody Guthrie's songs promoting Columbia dams. "We said, let's not choose work for marketing reasons," he says. 'Let's choose songs that can start a movement." The most heart-tugging lyric, from singer-songwriter Laura Gibson (pictured): "Each logger and lawyer and stay-at-home dad / Every baker and banker and indie rock band / Each student and teacher and neighbor and friend / will live long in Oregon." youtube.com/coveroregonvideo
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Escape Collective consulted 1970s manuals to design elegantly rough-hewn "Escapehatch" geodesic domes, with funding from Hand-Eye Supply's Industrious Minds Fellowship. They built 14 retro-futurist pods for Utah's Summit Series conferences this summer. escocollective.com
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The start-up SwapServe creates an incentive-based volunteer clearinghouse: nonprofits solicit volunteers, who in turn receive free goodies from local businesses. Based in Calfornia, the site launched in Portland because the founders' research showed high volunteerism rates here. swapserve.com
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