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Teri Geier-Brindell, who co-founded the Milwaukie Environmental Stewards Group, praises local business

Retirement wasn't an enjoyable option for this rare humanitarian, Craig Adams, who truly loves both working and helping people. An entrepreneur most of his life, he decided to launch a small, philanthropic manufacturing company in Portland called NewSolutions LLC. From there, Adams' company expanded here to Milwaukie when he says he was lucky enough to meet Exceed Enterprises. They offered him "a very symbiotic and synergistic business relationship." In exchange for a small area of their facility to expand his business, he would provide money-making opportunities for Exceed's clients. It was a perfect fit!

To sustain its philanthropic course, the company makes and sells responsible Oki Doki brand high-quality, beautiful and useful bags made from strong, durable and super lightweight material reclaimed from billboards and banners that would normally end up in the landfill. Adams explains how the company was designed to develop opportunities and to empower local people who are financially disadvantaged, and want to work and be self-supporting, but for various reasons have challenges finding and keeping adequate employment. Others find traditional employment outside the home does not work well for them.

When these people partner with New Solutions, they will be given the materials and equipment they need (i.e. sewing machine), without cost, so they can work independently from home. If they make Oki Doki products like totes, the company will buy them. Otherwise, they can use the company's material and equipment to make their own products or work with other businesses without financial obligation to NewSolutions. In fact, the company strongly encourages this and only helps as needed.

Craig explains: "NewSolutions is not a very normal company. We don't have employees. People hear about us and contact us. We set people up as independent contractors. They really work for themselves. When we can, we contract our production with them, and we also connect them with other business opportunities as well. We assist and mentor them. In working with us this way, they learn while they earn." He continues, "The goal with NewSolutions is not to make money for ownership. All income is reinvested back into the business. My plan is to make the company self-sustaining and then give it to the people who worked to build it."  

The company standardizes some of their materials and methods for high quality because they guarantee them for life. Craig explains, "As important as the material is, it is really the thread and the construction that determine the life of the bag. To save cost, most bag makers will use cheap thread and minimal construction, because very few consumers will know the difference. All Oki Doki bags are sewn with thread that is made in North Carolina. This thread is a tex-70 bonded nylon thread. It is very strong and very durable, and it is not inexpensive. But relatively little thread is used in making a bag, so we reason the uptick in cost is well worth the value to you." For the bags, NewSolutions rescues, cleans and recycles or repurposes billboards and banners from Pacific Outdoor in Portland, OSU, and Providence. Other green-minded organizations are also asking NewSolutions to take their retired banners.

Craig says, "When you get your Oki Doki bag, you will notice two things. First, it is actually signed by the person who made it. This brings 'ownership' and pride of work to our people. You may also note how carefully your Oki Doki bag is constructed. There are no raw material edges, all buckles and hardware are premium grade, and all Handles and Straps are reinforced stitched. There are cheaper ways to make a bag, but none are better. Unlike most bags, your Oki Doki bag will not fail, and that is why it comes to you with a lifetime guarantee."

COURTESY PHOTO - Donna Erickson and Craig Adams stand inside the container at Exceed Enterprises in Milwaukie where the styrofoam is being collected for recycling at Agilyx. Erickson is the seamstress who is sewing Oki Doki reusable bags, and Adams (Oki Doki company founder) is also holding one of the bags.Craig is grateful to be able to offer this enterprise to empower people and help clean up the environment. When you buy Oki Doki you get more than just a local, handmade, high quality, one-of-a-kind product. You also get the satisfaction of knowing that your money goes directly to these people and their families and that you are also improving the quality of your environment.  

To support this awesome business, go to okidoki.world. They don't accept donations, because they are not a charity. They are self-funded through designing, making and selling these great Oki Doki products and your purchase makes it all possible. It is good for us, for the people who make the bags and good for the environment!

Craig is making a difference in our town and in our world. By supporting his cause, we can all make a difference!

Teri Geier-BrindellTeri Geier-Brindell co-founded the Milwaukie Environmental Stewards Group about two years ago. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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