Using Instagram to Grow a Clothing Brand with Marcus Harvey, Founder of Portland Gear

Marcus HarveyMarcus Harvey is the Founder of Portland Gear and Owner of the Instagram account, @portland. On Black Friday in 2014, he launched the Portland Gear brand with two iconic T-shirts and just two photos on the Portland IG account. That first day, he sold over 200 shirts to 4 countries and 10 states for around $5,000. Since then, he's spotted his products all over the world and has shipped a piece of Portland to every state in over 60 countries. 

Over the past 5 years, Marcus has been fortunate enough to do awesome local collaborations with the Trail Blazers, Timbers, and Thorns, the Oregon Health & Science University, the US Women's National Team, Water Avenue Coffee, Breakside Brewing, University of Portland, nonprofits, and more.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • How Marcus got started in apparel and entrepreneurship 
  • How Marcus used Instagram to grow his T-shirt business
  • The early days of starting Portland Gear and what led to the company’s success 
  • How the company has been impacted by COVID-19
  • The value of building an online customer experience
  • Marcus talks about the mistakes he's made in the last 5 years and the lessons learned
  • The Brand Camp internship program for high school and college kids
  • The mentors and local businesses that have inspired Marcus to grow his company
  • The growth strategies Marcus uses in his business and the marketers and business owners he respects in his industry 
  • Marcus' advice to aspiring and novice entrepreneurs
  • Where to learn more about Portland Gear and find their stores

In this episode…

After acquiring the Instagram account for the Portland area in 2013, Marcus Harvey started doing what anyone else would do: posting pictures of his city.

But in 2014, as he grew the community, he decided to use his graphic design and screen printing knowledge to make T-shirts that he could promote on the Instagram page. The first day of sales was such a big success that he decided to do more. And so, Portland Gear was born.

In this episode of the Relationship Commerce Podcast, Dean Dutro is joined by Marcus Harvey, Founder of Portland Gear, to talk about how Marcus grew his Portland-based company by maximizing Instagram. They also talk about Portland Gear’s internship program, how Marcus manages e-commerce sales, and how the company was impacted by COVID-19. Keep listening.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is sponsored by Worth eCommerce.

Worth eCommerce is a small mighty team of eCommerce email marketers who help businesses of all sizes dramatically grow revenue with lifecycle email marketing. It is made up of copywriters, designers, strategizers, and marketing extraordinaires who specialize in nurturing relationships and guiding sales through the sheer power of email.

Worth eCommerce's sole focus is creating a lasting relationship between eCommerce sellers and their customers through the most personable form of digital connection: email. Businesses that send personable, interesting, and helpful emails earn the trust and continued business from that same customer. 

Worth eCommerce’s mission is to help small medium sized e-commerce businesses generate more than a million dollars a year each in revenue using their own marketing channels.

To learn more about Worth eCommerce, visit

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