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What's in a name? The story behind Portland Paper Co...

What’s in a name?

Since Portland Paper Company launched at the beginning of October, one question has popped up quite a few times… where does the name come from?

In my mind, the name Portland Paper Company conjures something full of sunshine – warm days, the shade of palm trees, a calm sea breeze. The blue that I’ve chosen for the logo comes straight from the sea too – it’s no secret that swimming in the sea is one of my absolute favourite things!

Tropical Fish of the Great Barrier Reef San Francisco sketch

Last summer I was lucky enough to travel to California and Australia with my sketchbook (see above!) and the way that the light falls on the water, the colour palettes of the coast and the sense of freedom that comes with a San Francisco or Sydney lifestyle has really stuck with me. The name of Portland Paper Co. is the coming together of this inspiration – plus, who can resist a bit of alliteration? 

I’ve also been told that there’s a touch of the west country in the name. I confess I’d not thought of this before I settled on the name, but it’s music to my ears – being a wannabe west country girl, I’ll take it!

But really, the truth… the truth is that I live off a main round in south east London called Portland Road. It’s a little gritty, to say the least, with plenty of takeaways, the odd boarded up shop and a bit of an identity crisis. I love it – we have everything on our doorstep – and it’s also home to lots of local creative people who are being increasingly supported through arts schemes and initiatives.

It’s exciting to be a part of that, and I love that the company will always have its roots here – wherever it may go in the future. It’s pretty sneaky that Portland Paper Company sounds more like it comes from California than Croydon, don’t you think? (… I realise that the city of Portland is in Oregon… but we’re going with a touch of California!)

Now I'm off to Malaysia, for a spot of winter sun on these chilly bones - and armed with my sketchbook, in search of plenty of inspiration to see me through the winter... 

See you soon!


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