Situated in a nondescript, reclaimed warehouse in the Old Chinatown neighbourhood of downtown Portland is footwear design academy Pensole. Inside, along the foyer is a huge, striking mural of over 300 shoe boxes stamped with brand logos—each one representing a job filled, a career started, from within Pensole—over a large map of the world, with pegs to track the worldwide origins of Pensole’s alumni of designers.