Trillium Artisans is an innovative, green, nonprofit community economic development program that empowers artisans and actively connects them to markets.
Trillium was founded on John McKnight's principles of asset-based community development, which finds a way out of the tangled web of poverty by focusing on talents and capacities, rather than what is lacking. In 1994, we conducted an asset inventory of extremely low-income neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon, and found talented residents wanting to sell their handmade goods and build their own businesses.
To facilitate this, the Eco-Biz program was established and later renamed Trillium Artisans. The Trillium name was chosen because the three-pointed trillium flower reflects the triple bottom line principles (people, planet, and profit) of the sustainability movement.