Marco Murillo invited us into The Good Flock’s HQ to check out where all the magic happens. Two years ago we both fell in love with the Aurora Lamp installation at Content at the Ace Hotel, ever since then The Good Flock has been on our list of studios to check out. Marco’s goal in creating The Good Flock was to create products he saw a need for that weren’t being designed well. He began with technology cases because at the time he felt there was a void in the design and quality. Since the brand has grown into producing personal and home accessories. Murillo also wanted to surround himself with other talented and thoughtful creatives, this was such a priority that it is where the “flock” of the brand’s name comes from. What stands out the most about The Good Flock is the focus on domestic production and craftsmanship, from the initial thought that goes into the design to the detail of the production process. The brand’s philosophy is one we admire and stand behind, “the products we make can be buried in your backyard. They're made of wholesome things that won't hurt the earth or trees or worms, even the mean ones”. Enjoy the interview with founder Marco Murillo and photos of The Good Flock’s studio.
1. Why Portland? What was it that drew you to Portland or has kept you here?
I’ve had a long on-again, off-again relationship with Portland.
My most recent return to the city was from Amsterdam where I was working for Nike.
By chance I came back to Portland for another job with Nike. I started TGF when I moved back (this time) and found it to be the perfect city for what I wanted to do.
Portland continues to get better with each passing year.
2. What are your favorite things happening in Portland (design or otherwise)?
I think this city is filled with and attracts interesting creatives.
Because of that, new innovative companies constantly spring up (from brewers to new digital agencies).
It’s a city that is constantly evolving and that keeps me inspired.
3. How did your brand start?
Before it had a name, the company was an idea I had been thinking about for a while. The idea originated from my personal needs/desires.
Why couldn’t I find products that were thoughtfully designed, crafted by skilled artisans and made with wholesome materials?
What I could find at that time (5 years ago) would meet one or two of my needs, but never all of them.
The Good Flock was born from that idea.
Since launch, we have expanded our product range to include both personal and home accessories.
4. What has been your biggest obstacle?
I think I’ve faced very different obstacles each year.
Initially finding people that had the same quality standards/design vision was my biggest challenge (I’m a bit particular).
Luckily we have found great local partners that hold themselves to the same standards.
I’ve found that with each new challenge I’ve learned something new.
That constant learning is something that I’m appreciative of.
5. What or who inspires your design?
I get most of my inspiration from doing/learning different things.
Traveling to new places, eating new foods, learning new languages, trying new things, meeting interesting people.
I see good design as thoughtful problem solving and that’s where our best products have originated from.
6.What are your favorite things about Portland?
Summer, great food, creative people, amazing yoga, floating down the river with friends and BBQ’s.
7. What is your favorite part of your studio?
If I had to choose, the work table. It’s 8ft x 8ft and it has tons of scars from cutting/spilling/drawing/taping/creating.
I feel most inspired when I can spread everything out and begin working on an idea from scratch on the table. I love the process.
8. Your favorite thing about your workspace?
Most people tell me that our studio inspires making and stirs creativity.
That feeling is probably my favorite thing about the studio. It radiates from everyone who works in the space as well as the organization/design of the space.
It’s very minimally designed but it has almost everything you need to bring an idea to life; tools, 6 different types of sewing machines, a wood lathe, threads of every color and weight, materials for days, clicker press, a flame thrower (yes a flame thrower), etc.
9. Tell us two truths and a lie!
My favorite food is Japanese
My favorite food is Lebanese
My favorite food is Chinese
10. 5 things you can’t live without.
3. Good food
4. My passport
5. Game of Thrones