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  • Chris King’s Visit to Grovemade

    Chris King recently featured us on Cielo Cycle’s Buzz blog, in a post titled, “Like-Minded: A Tour of Grovemade”. Cielo Cycles is a fellow Portland manufacturer working in world-class handmade bicycle fabrication. An arm of Chris King Precision Components, Cielo Cycles creates handmade, small-batch bicycle frames of the absolute highest quality. Chris King began manufacturing frames and bicycle components in 1978, and the company prides itself on integrity, precision, design, and reliability.   We enjoyed having their team visit our workshop. Sharing our processes and space with a company we hold in high regard is a great experience. They took some gorgeous photos and made some wonderful comments on the way we do things here. It’s definitely a blog post worth checking out! Here are some highlights from the post:   Image source: http://cielo.chrisking.com/2014/06/18/like-minded-a-tour-of-grovemade/     "Out of this fertile community companies have risen that address the party line that 'manufacturing is dead in the US,' head-on with an explicit show-don’t-tell attitude. One such business is Portland manufacturer Grovemade, makers of modern and sophisticated wood based office supplies and personal electronic accessories. Their products are designed and produced in their SE Portland facility where they maintain a strict focus on both the quality of their product and the environmental impact of their production."   Image source: http://cielo.chrisking.com/2014/06/18/like-minded-a-tour-of-grovemade/   “[...]Grovemade has continued to expand their offerings,” states Cielo, “drawing design inspiration from Alvar Aalto sparse wood textures and Dieter Ram’s functional fineness of line.”   "Currently Grovemade has 19 employees and they continue to assess, tweak, and improve every aspect of their company from their product offerings to their production process. 'We don’t really have a direct competitor, no one out there is doing wood products like us, the tolerances and fit that we maintain doesn’t exist anywhere else in our market,' says Ken. And they are not interested in changing that by devaluing their process to increase their profit margin.[...]We know they will continue to grow and we hope that they will add many more annual rings to their business. Be sure to check out their site for more insight into their products and process."   Image source: http://cielo.chrisking.com/2014/06/18/like-minded-a-tour-of-grovemade/   We not only share Chris King’s enthusiasm for making things the hard way and the best way, but also we share that company’s enthusiasm for meeting like-minded designers and sharing stories. See more photos of our space by Chris King, and read the rest of their rad blog post here.     Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.  
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  • Happy 4th of July! We're Proud to be Makers in the USA!

    We’re proud of making almost all of our products right here in Oregon. Made-in-the-USA is a tag we love to attach to the products we create here. Our business philosophy is pretty simple: we like crafting the best quality goods out of the best quality of materials, so that’s what we do! (Even if it may be the hard way.)   All hands on deck at our weekly team meeting!   Cheaper material and labor costs drive businesses overseas constantly, and it makes sense. It’s expensive to run a company that manufactures in the US. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of wonderful goods being made all around the world. But, our hats are off to the other companies here in the United States that make it work and create American-made products and jobs on our side of the grass. Here are some Made-in-the-USA websites that feature Grovemade alongside other companies making stuff at home: Brand New USA - http://www.brandnewusa.com/ USA Love List - http://www.usalovelist.com/gifts-for-him/ Made in USA Trader - http://classifieds.madeinusatrader.com/hsx/   To celebrate the upcoming 4th of July weekend, we simply wanted to share some photos and videos we’ve compiled of our talented team working here in our Portland workshop.   Sean pulling a piece of bamboo wood from the stack in our woodshop.   One of our favorite pictures of Danielle and Dashia sanding iPhone cases.     We love this video showing the making of our SkateCase!   Here’s Ginger working the machines.   And, here’s our video showing the making of our new Wood Watch!   We hope everyone has a happy, fun, and safe Independence Day! Thank you for supporting us!     Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.    
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  • Sapphire and LiquidMetal Display Likely for iPhone 6

      Signs continue to point to Apple pursuing a sapphire screen for the iPhone 6, along with a patented use of LiquidMetal, an exotic amorphous metal alloy, in a fused bezel protecting the phone’s predicted larger screen. (Above photo via http://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/apple-iphone-6-concept.png?w=704&h=352.)   Regarding the iPhone screen size, as we discussed in last month’s roundup of iPhone 6 rumors:   “...the iPhone 6 will also allegedly be increasing screen resolution, possibly at 1704 x 906, a pixel-tripled resolution. This would mean a 4.7 inch model would have a pixel density of 416, the 5.5-inch version a pixel density of 365. It’s likely this high resolution screen will be a durable sapphire display. Rumors also paint a picture of a thinner iPhone for 2014, one that slims the 5’s 7.6mm thickness down to 6 to 7mm. To match the thinness of the iPhone itself, a thinner chassis and bezels are also predicted.”   https://idroid.us/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/iphone-6-ultra-thin-design-concept.jpg   According to Forbes, Apple is successfully pursuing ways to seamlessly embed the glass screen - or, more accurately, sapphire screen - within LiquidMetal bezels. Forbes’ contributor Anthony Wing Kosner writes, “[...]Apple has been ramping up sapphire production through its partner GT Advanced Technologies GTAT +2.3% and 9to5Mac reports that sapphire ingots from GTAT have started shipping to one of Apple’s Chinese manufacturing partners.” It’s also reported that Apple renewed its contract to utilize LiquidMetal for consumer products until 2016. AppleInsider explains that, until now, LiquidMetal has been considered an exotic material, used for little else aside from a SIM card ejector tool. The material is classified as a bulk amorphous alloy. The “little else” consisted of some medical equipment, sporting goods, and military applications back in 2003.     http://cdn.gottabemobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/iPhone-6-3.jpg Apple's U.S. Patent No. 8,738,104 to use LiquidMetal is specifically for "Methods and systems for integrally trapping a glass insert in a metal bezel". AppleInsider writes: “Instead of plastic, the material traditionally associated with injection molding, the patent uses metal in liquid form. Chief among alloy candidates is LiquidMetal, which behaves like a plastic and carries thermal properties advantageous to the MIM process. In some cases the thermal properties of select glass and metal materials can be matched to aid in production.”   http://www.todaysviral.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/iphone6-concept-pics-4.jpg According to Digital Trends, the LiquidMetal will be used in Apple’s patented process to help stabilize the sapphire screen and protect it against drops. In its current phones, Apple uses plastic gaskets and a rubberized bezel to protect the iPhone’s screen from the inevitable tumble. Apple could go on using plastic, but the goal with LiquidMetal is likely a stronger bond between the screen and device, and therefore a more durable structure. This could be a key aspect in helping the company achieve a larger iPhone 6 size without destabilizing the screen. Nothing is for sure until the Apple iPhone 6 is officially revealed, but that’s never stopped the rumor mill. Read more about Apple’s screen and LiquidMetal patent on, DigitalTrends, AppleInsider, and Forbes.   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup. http://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/apple-iphone-6-concept.png?w=704&h=352
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  • A Modern Wood Watch Designed by Us

      We set out to make a wood watch that we’d like to use ourselves, one that adds a new element to time telling in the age of connectedness. We know that the exact time, along with a whole universe of facts, is right there in our pockets. But, we like the freedom a watch gives of living in the moment and keeping our phones out of it once and a while. The Wood Watch is contemporary in that it’s made with modern circular hands that revolve through 12 circular windows, forming eclipse-like shapes to peacefully communicate the hours and minutes as they pass.     We worked with designer Stefan Andrén to create this modern timepiece. Instead of taking a typical watch and replacing the metal and plastic components with wood, we designed the Wood Watch from the ground up, choosing each material for its unique strengths. We started with a Japanese movement for precision timekeeping. And, for the highest quality, our custom internal timekeeping module, which holds the movement, is built by an experienced overseas watch manufacturer. Next, a stainless steel casing is machined by our friends here in Portland, Oregon.      Finally, at our own workshop, our team assembles and finishes each piece. We use our signature American, vegetable-tanned leather for the strap, available in three different shades. The leather strap is unisex and fits petite women to large men, and it softens with use and age, for a smooth feel. We also offer a silicone strap option in black, as a leather alternative. We mill, hand sand, and hand oil each hardwood watch face in gorgeous domestic maple or walnut. We put the wood element of the watch out front, instead of hiding it behind glass, as many other wooden watches do.     We’ve announced the Wood Watch months in advance of shipment, because we need your support and patience to make this project a reality. With early funding we’re able to afford the set-up costs this type of manufacturing requires. We’re excited to share our progress with the watch’s funders via monthly updates, as we start the manufacturing journey. We’re thrilled to bring this to fruition, and can’t wait to ship the watch to customers in late 2014 / early 2015.     Pre-order the watch here, or, if you’d prefer to wait, sign up to get a mailing list notification when the watch is available for immediate purchase.   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup. 
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  • Meet the New Grovemade Desk Collection

      We know first-hand how great it is to feel amped to be at your desk, which is why we decided to make the Desk Collection with products that we’d want to use on our own desks. Your desk is a sanctuary speaking to your personality, creativity, and organizational skills. Upgrading your workspace can do wonders for your ergonomic comfort, productivity, and happiness, not to mention your bragging rights with co-workers.      We think these beautiful and beneficial items, like the Monitor Stand, add order, beauty, and inspiration to the work area. Most monitors are too short, causing slouching. We decided to make premium wooden stands to replace the stacks of books under our own monitors. The Monitor Stand raises your monitor four inches from your desk, helping you straighten out your back and neck while you work, whether you’re at a sitting or standing desk. And, with the space you gain underneath your raised monitor, the stand helps you save space as well as your posture.     Along with the Monitor Stand, you can mix and match these handcrafted products to create your ideal workspace. The Keyboard Tray with storage space works well with the Wrist Pad and Mouse Pad, both with supple premium leather for comfort. The Pen Cup and Paperclip Holder keep your workspace neat, and our matching Succulent Planters add greenery to your environment. Complete the collection with a Desk Lamp with your choice of attention-grabbing bulb.     The continuity of the design and the high quality materials help your desk remain cohesive, even when your mind is going in all directions. Everyday, you can surround yourself with the warmth and distinction of natural hand-sanded wood and vegetable-tanned leather: in happy, bright maple or dark, rich black walnut, your choice.     We believe that when you work hard, you deserve a little workplace beautification.     Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • Father's Day Gift Guide: Made in Portland

    It’s Father’s Day! We love getting our dads unique, made-in-Portland gifts, so we decided to put together a list of some winning present ideas that accurately represent the great Pacific Northwest. We did sprinkle in a few Grovemade products, but can you blame us? Our dads love the stuff we make, so it’s only fair that we include it. Piranha 2, by Leatherman, $25.00 http://www.leatherman.com/831680.html Dad will treasure this special little tool -- a single-piece, multi-purpose pocket savior fit for McGuyver himself. The Piranha 2 is 100% stainless steel, with a built-in rubber bit holder that holds a Leatherman bit. With this go-go-gadget, Dad can tighten screws, loosen bolts, pry things open, open beverages, and more. He can take it with him everywhere, everyday. It’s even TSA-compliant, so it’s plane safe! Walnut iPhone Case, by Grovemade (that’s us!), $99.00 http://grovemade.com/product/walnut-iphone-case/?initial=15 Dad deserves the classiest iPhone case of them all, and we’ve got it right here. Our wood iPhone 5/5S case in walnut is the king of the jungle, when it comes to iPhone accessories. It’s handcrafted, timeless, elegant, and handsome, just like your father (yes, he’s handcrafted, too). The all-natural Black Walnut wood we use is dark, rich, sturdy, and respectable. You know Dad loves putting cases on things, so give him the best. Travel Cribbage Board, by Walnut Studio, $45.00 http://walnutstudiolo.com/collections/home/products/travel-cribbage-board If your dad knows what cribbage is, this is the ultimate gift. Walnut Studio designed this travel board to emulate the pocket games soldiers in WWII used to carry. It’s maybe the smallest cribbage board available, which is cool. Your pops can pop this out at any social function to score instant cool points. “Hey wanna play some cribbs?” he’ll ask. “We don’t have a board!” his bud will say. “Yah! I got one right here in my pocket!” your Dad’ll say! This cribbage board has an antique brass snap closure, laser engraved board with 60-point loop, a removable brass tube to hold its solid copper pegs, and a premium cork plug. Maggie photo frame, by Plywerk, $49 and up http://www.plywerk.com/order/product/maggie Dads are rarely described as the most sentimental bunch, but that’s even more reason why you should do him a favor and showcase one of his favorite photos for him. This frame is a work of art in itself, and it holds the photo in place using extremely strong magnets! Everyone loves magnets! Plywerk crafts their pieces from high-quality, eco-friendly bamboo. This frame comes with a beautiful bamboo stand, which can be fit into two different keyholes in the back, for dual orientation. Walnut iPad Sleeve, by Grovemade, $89 http://grovemade.com/product/walnut-ipad-sleeve/?initial=59 Our Walnut iPad Sleeve makes a great gift for dads that are up on their tablet game. Made from all-natural Black Walnut veneer with wool lining, this sleeve has a convenient leather and brass pull strap that makes it easy to pull out the iPad when it’s time to use the NPR app or check the weather. This sleeve is a sure-fire conversation piece, and Dad will never tire of bragging about his awesome son/daughter who’s great at gift-giving. Portland Area Brewery Tour, by YOU http://oregoncraftbeer.org/breweries/portland-area/ Deschutes Brewery in NW Portland Did you know that there are over 100 Oregon craft beer brewery locations in the Portland area alone? A great gift for Father’s Day would be a custom beer tour around Portland, curated by yours truly. Find a handful of brewery locations in convenient spots, commit to being the old man’s DD, and get ready for a fun afternoon! This list by Oregon Craft Beer can help get you started with planning your beer-tasting escapade. The GriGri Satin Grey Growler, Portland Growler Co, $65.00 http://portlandgrowlercompany.com/products/the-grigri-satin-grey If you want to upgrade Dad’s portland brewery tour, you can order one of these 64-ounce babies, and present it before you head out to try your first beer. He can take his favorite craft brew home with him. Portland Growler Company makes growlers that are slip cast by hand with the tightest lid fit possible. This growler is cast thick, and the wide mouth ceramic flip top lid with rubber gasket will keep his beverage cold and crisp for days. Limited Edition Dock in Brass + Walnut, by Grovemade, $149 http://grovemade.com/product/limited-edition-dock-brass-walnut/?initial=51 The iPhone Dock is a major life upgrade for work or home, and dads are no exception to this fact. A perfect match, and the classiest of our iPhone Dock models, this Black Walnut wood and solid brass limited edition dock goes wonderfully with the iPhone case in Walnut. Dad will never lose his charging cord, and it weighs a heavy 3 lbs, so he can plug and unplug his phone easily using just one hand. We won’t go so far as to say, “you can’t go wrong with this gift guide,” but, we suspect that there’s something in here that your dad will like a whole lot. From beer to tech products, Portland is home to the making of some pretty neat products. Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.  
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  • New iPhone Case Collaboration with Blaine Fontana and Forest For The Trees

    We’re happy to announce a new limited edition case on our site! This iPhone 5/5S case is a collaboration with artist Blaine Fontana and Portland non-profit mural project Forest for the Trees. A limited edition of only 25 pieces, each case combines colorful direct printing, laser engraving, and spray painting done by hand on domestic Eastern hardrock maple.   Our hand-sanded Maple Case becomes a colorful, engraved piece of art with a one-of-a-kind, personalized white splash spray painted by the artist himself. For each Blaine Fontana case for sale on our site, another was donated to Forest for the Trees to support their 2014 mural projects.   ABOUT BLAINE FONTANA Blaine Fontana is an artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. In the words of his studio site, he “fuses multiple visual strategies to forge an aesthetic language entirely of his own making” and straddles “the physical and metaphysical, organic and architectural, painterly and graphic sensibilities.” Read more about him and see his work here.   Fontana completing a mural at The Hop & Vine, Portland, Oregon.   ABOUT FOREST FOR THE TREES Forest for the Trees is a public mural project adding city-enriching murals throughout Portland each year. Last year, FFTT added 10 murals to our visual landscape, and they plan to add a whole new batch of murals this year with the help of supporters and 20 participating artists. Read more about Forest for the Trees here and support them here.   Fontana’s 2013 contribution to the Forest for the Trees mural project, Alberta St, Portland, Oregon.   It was so exciting to work with Blaine Fontana and Forest For the Trees; he’s among wonderful artists committed to making Portland a more beautiful place to live. We love his vision on the iPhone Case, and are proud to sport this design on our site.     Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.            
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  • iPhone 6 Rumors and News

    With the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) approaching on June 2nd, news and speculation about the new iPhone 6 release abound. Some sources even predict the new model of iPhone will be introduced at the WWDC, instead of the typical fall release date for 2014. This phone, allegedly too awesome to keep under wraps for much longer, is rumored to have a larger display, higher pixel resolution, and a thinner shape. http://www.ciccaresedesign.com/2014/02/07/iphone-6-larger-screen/ Here’s a rundown of the most popular iPhone 6 rumors: Screen size is increasing from 4 inches to a suggested 4.7 to 5.5 inches There will be two different phones released, one at 4.7 and one at 5.5 inches The iPhone 6 may not be called “iPhone 6” at all; iPhone Air and iPhone Mini are options for a two-size release Resolution is increasing to a rumored 1704 x 906 pixels iPhone 6 will have a durable Sapphire display The phone’s thickness will decrease from 7.6 mm to 6 to 7mm The bezels and chassis will be thinner The iPhone 6 will be introduced in June at the WWDC   One of the most important changes being speculated is the increase of the iPhone 6’s screen from 4 inches on the iPhone 5/5S to a rumored 4.7 to 5.5 inches. This would place the Apple iPhone among the Android and Windows smartphones that have sparked the larger display trend. Thanks to MacRumors, we already know that Apple knows consumers want larger and cheaper phones. The smartphone giant already addressed cost with the introduction of the iPhone 5C, and perhaps they’ll be making moves on the larger phone market this year with the next iPhone generation. http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/iphone-6/ To go along with a larger display, the iPhone 6 will also allegedly be increasing screen resolution, possibly at 1704 x 906, a pixel-tripled resolution. This would mean a 4.7 inch model would have a pixel density of 416, the 5.5-inch version a pixel density of 365. It’s likely this high resolution screen will be a durable sapphire display. Rumors also paint a picture of a thinner iPhone for 2014, one that slims the 5’s 7.6mm thickness down to 6 to 7mm. To match the thinness of the iPhone itself, a thinner chassis and bezels are also predicted. Furthermore, if Apple does release two versions, one at 4.7 inches and one at 5.5 inches, the iPhone’s naming convention may go out the window. iPhone Air and iPhone Mini are options, with naming modeled after the iPad Air and iPad Mini. Yet, there are complications to the company’s rumored larger new iPhone model, which conjures the term “phablet”. Tech Radar reported that Apple was having trouble figuring out how to get a battery powerful enough to run the larger screen inside such a thin phone shape. We’ll see how it all panned out once the phone, or phones, are released. http://www.ciccaresedesign.com/2014/02/07/iphone-6-larger-screen/ Typically, Apple waits until after summer to reveal its latest iPhone design. However, several industry insiders are chattering about a potential WWDC iPhone 6 introduction, which would reveal the phone the week of June 2nd. Digital Trends reported on Eldar Murtazin’s recent tweet which stated that Apple is eyeing a June release in order to better compete against new Android phones from Samsung and HTC. Jeffries analyst Peter Misek agrees that a June release is entirely possible. http://www.ciccaresedesign.com/2014/02/07/iphone-6-larger-screen/ The above rumors circulating about the iPhone 6 are among other speculations, including curved screens, a better camera, iOS8, and even solar charging. Some of these updates are very likely, while others may truly be rumors, gossip, tidbits stretched from unreliable sources. The rumor mill will keep chugging along, as always, until we can finally glimpse the new iPhone 6. You can bet we’ll be hard at work here at Grovemade, once we get the specs on Apple’s new creation, along with the rest of the world. It’ll be time to design our exciting new wood iPhone 6 case. iPhone 6 or bust! Until then, read more about the iPhone 6 at: MacRumors: http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/iphone-6/ Digital Trends: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/iphone-6-air-features-release-rumors/?tru=PkFse#/1 TUAW: http://www.tuaw.com/2014/05/15/rumor-roundup-iphone-6-leak/ Tech Radar: http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/without-a-thin-and-powerful-battery-the-5-5-inch-iphone-6-may-be-delayed-until-2015-1244684 Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.  
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  • Grovemade Gets Inspired In Japan

    Last month, our co-founders, Joe and Ken, and our programmer, Yuji, traveled to Japan with a small group of Portland crafters to take part in POP UP PDX. The event included two pop-up shops of small Portland companies, one in Tokyo and one in Kyoto, which showcased the work of Grovemade and other similar companies, like our friends and neighbors at QuarterTwenty and Woodblock Chocolate. Portland, as a brand, is really trending these days in Japan, and the goal of POP UP PDX was to expose nine Portland companies to the Japanese market. The best part of the trip was cementing friendships with our fellow Portland craftspeople as well as creating new friendships with the incredibly talented Japanese craftspeople Ken, Joe, and Yuji met, which were all 2nd to 5th generation in their trades. Read about some of the Japanese craftspeople they met below:     Yuki Yokoyama, from Kyoto, a master bamboo craftsman   Yokoyama San’s company [http://www.yokotake.co.jp/] resides in an old residential area of Kyoto, supplying various bamboo materials and also doing custom bamboo craftwork. His warehouse is packed with hundreds of different species of bamboo, from $10,000/stick rarities to squiggly bamboo and bamboo grown into a square shape. Ken, Joe, and Yuji were amazed at the large selection at this bamboo wonderland! Woven bamboo   Squiggly bamboo     Kenji Takenaka, from Kyoto, 2nd generation master print maker One of Takenaka San's apprentices working, photo credit: Walnut Studio (WalnutStudiolo.com) Kenji Takenaka operates a print shop [http://takezasado.com/] in Kyoto in the second story of an old house. The print shop ceiling is only 5 feet tall, so the apprentices have to squat down while they work. It’s quite a tightly packed space, like many of the Japanese workshops visited. The low ceiling was made from ropes loaded with prints hung to dry. Kenji’s print shop does original contemporary work as well as reprints of traditional Japanese works. They also refurbish ancient printing blocks. Printing blocks, photo credit: Walnut Studio (WalnutStudiolo.com)     Tomita-san, from Kyoto, 2nd generation master wood carver   Tomita-san’s wood carving studio creates and repairs intricate wood sculptures, mostly for Buddhist temples and memorials. He was a typical Japanese businessman for a while, before returning home to continue the family’s traditional business of carving. His father carved the memorial statues for the previous Japanese Emperor, Emperor Shōwa. And, Tomita-san himself carved the statues for the current Emperor’s memorial, Emperor "Kinjō"s. Tomita-san showed us some of his incredible techniques, including gold leafing by hand (which leads to prices upwards of $50,000 for a sculpture like the one pictured here). Our Grovemade "ambassadors" were very impressed by this traditional craft! Some of Tomita-san’s carving tools     Wataru Hara, from Nagano, master furniture designer and architect   Master furniture designer Wataru Hara [http://studiohara.sakura.ne.jp/index.html] was trained in architecture, but also designs and makes unique furniture pieces -- often for use inside the homes he designs. He’s designed several restaurants and cafes, which were visited on the trip. Ken, Joe, and Yuji were also able to stay at his beautiful guest home in the mountains, which was loaded with gorgeous custom furniture. A view from Hara San's studio   Typically, Hara San will design the home, have it built by a team of builders, and then commence creating the perfect custom furniture pieces to be used inside the home. Ken, Joe, and Yuji were most impressed by his incredible patience. Hara San will only use a slab of wood after it’s had ten years to dry in his workshop. Yuji and Hara San near a table and chairs he designed and made     Mitsu Nakajima, from Kyoto, 2nd generation photographer   Another new friend from Japan is Mitsu Nakajima, who specializes in traditional photography, such as photos of temples and old architecture. Nakajima San also does contemporary and commercial photography. He shoots on medium and large format film, and recently had a book [http://www.sandome-kyoto.jp/] published of photos of temples and other important places in Kyoto.   An image from Nakajima San's photography book on Kyoto     All in all, it was an amazing trip for Ken, Joe, and Yuji. They solidified lasting friendships with local craftspeople and formed new ones with the amazing Japanese craftspeople mentioned here, and others! Check out one last picture of Ken, Joe, and Yuji standing with a deer in Nara, a city known for the friendly and sacred deer that wander freely through the town.     Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.   Nakajima San
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  • Mother's Day Gift Guide 2014

    Chances are, you think your mom is the best, or you love a mom who is the best to her little ones. Even if you think she is maybe only second or third best, you probably feel she deserves the best, because you are so full of appreciation. We’ve compiled a short Mother’s Day gift guide of Grovemade products we know mothers love, along with some other high quality, handcrafted items made right here in Portland, Oregon. Scribble Hanging Planter, Pigeon Toe ceramics Everyone knows moms love to hang things from the ceiling, especially plants. She’ll hang her plants in style with this hand-thrown porcelain hanging planter, a modern update on the macrame planters you grew up with. Give her a plant already potted in this elegant vessel, and it’s a gift better than flowers, because it will keep on growing! Pigeon Toe has gift certificates, great for time-sensitive occasions. Maple iPad Sleeve, Grovemade Moms and their iPads, right? She’ll love protecting hers in our contoured, flexible wood and wool sleeve that keeps the iPad safe from impacts and scratches. It’s shown here in maple but is also available in rich walnut or in larger versions for MacBook Air. The sleeve has a warm, organic feel and is surprisingly soft to the touch for a wood veneer product. It’s got a leather and solid brass pull tab to help mom get her iPad out of the sleeve without grabbing or tugging. Sullivan Table Lamp in White + Walnut, Caravan Pacific Light up Mom’s life with this classy table lamp made by hand in Portland. The clean white and wood design brightens any room and goes with virtually all decor. This lamp has a white matte stoneware base, walnut wood neck and finial, a white linen shade, and a side rocker switch. Maple iPhone Dock, Grovemade Our iPhone Dock makes a wonderful gift for anyone. But, we’ve heard its praises directly from the mouths of moms. This wood and solid steel iPhone Dock gives your mom a dependable spot to charge her phone, while also classing up her nightstand, desktop, or wherever she places it. And, in case you haven’t heard, it weighs a heavy 3 lbs, so she can plug and unplug her phone easily using just one hand. Matchsticks Tote Bag, Nell & Mary Make Mom’s shopping and errands 400% more pleasant (scientifically proven) with this spacious canvas carryall. It’s made from organic cotton canvas and hand printed with this playful Matchsticks design in charcoal gray. The straps are vegetable tanned leather with antique brass rivets. Three interior canvas pockets help Mom keep things organized.   You can’t go wrong with any of these mother-loving gifts. Of course, we stand by our Grovemade products as wonderful surprises for your loved ones. And, we adore any products made here in our Pacific Northwest paradise, especially products that are made to stand out and last long. So, let’s hear it for the moms! Let’s give those moms a hand!   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.  
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  • Meet the Wood Sleeve for MacBook Air and iPad

    If you’re like us, you want an iPad cover or MacBook sleeve that’s a step up from the typical leather or neoprene pouch design. Our new Wood Sleeve for iPad Air, iPad Mini, and MacBook Air 13 inch is a treat to look at, with its modern organic shape and high quality natural materials. The new Sleeve offers smart, natural protection for your iPad or Macbook. It’s a definite upgrade for your daily tech toting. Thick premium German wool is the perfect cushion to protect your hardware from bumps and scratches on the go, and hardwood veneer with geometric contouring catches the eye, creating an instant conversation piece, while providing impact resistance.   A leather and brass pull strap lets you remove your device without grabbing or tugging; domestic vegetable tanned leather is wrapped around a solid brass rod, providing an excellent grip. You’ll want to hang onto this made-in-Oregon sleeve, with its hand sanded and hand oiled wood, available in Eastern hardrock maple or Eastern black walnut. To ensure you can hang onto it for years to come, the wool is sewn with durability in mind.   The Wood Sleeve is compatible with iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad Mini with Retina Display, and 13" MacBook Air. It starts at the introductory price of $79 for iPad Mini, $89 for iPad Air, and $99 for 13” MacBook Air. (You can get 20% off on April 29th only with code: GrovemadeSleeve20) Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • Bumper for iPhone is One of Our Most Earth Friendly Products Yet

    We’re very excited about our Bumper for iPhone. We were happy to launch it, because we love the look, affordability, and functionality of the product. However, in addition to that, it’s arguably our most sustainable product when it comes to manufacturing waste. Green manufacturing and reducing waste in manufacturing have always been goals here at the workshop. Similar to proper cookie cutting technique, when the Bumper is milled from maple or walnut wood, we are able to use nearly all of the material that we procure. In other words, a very high number of Bumpers for customers’ iPhones can be made from an impressively small amount of material. Co-owner Joe Mansfield explains why this is one of his favorite products to-date: “It’s designed to utilize the strength of the material but none of the weaknesses. The bumper is perfect for the minimalist. Our revolutionary production process allows us to utilize nearly 95% of the material. Very little waste is created. I’m really proud of how little waste material is left over.”     Reducing material waste not only gives our company more resource efficiency and helps us keep doing what we do, it also reduces pollution and is friendlier on the planet. It’s a win-win-win situation for us, the consumers, and our environment. We strive to make as little material waste as possible with all our accessories, and the Bumper is certainly a victory in that regard. We are proud to contribute to the earth friendly products out there for consumers. We’re hoping our customers continue to enjoy the feel of the product, as much as we enjoy the production of it. Co-owner Ken Tomita comments, “The engineering behind this product is amazing; we’ve been able to make something so thin and small out of wood that’s so strong, we’re pushing the limits.” Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.  
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  • Meet the Brass Dock for iPhone and Walnut Back for iPad + MacBook

    We thought, “how can we make our iPhone Dock exceed its current level of badassery?” The answer was to machine it out of radiant solid brass. As with our solid steel model, it’s manufactured right here in Oregon and includes a new and improved iPhone 4, 4S, iPhone 5, 5S, + iPhone 5C cord adapter. A limited edition of 175 individually serialized pieces, the Brass and Walnut Dock is the culmination of our efforts to create a luxurious place for your Apple iPhone with even more distinction than steel. Crafted from solid brass with an Oregon black walnut cap, it’s heavier than our 3 lbs solid steel Dock. Procuring and milling solid brass was a challenge, but the juice was worth the squeeze. High-end furniture inspired us for this special edition Dock for iPhone (all editions). This piece won’t budge; it’s even heavier than our solid steel dock. Plug and unplug your phone one-handed and keep your charger cable in its place. Along with the new Limited Edition wood iPhone Dock in Brass and Walnut, we also launched a walnut version of our Bamboo Back. Now you can also spruce up your Macbook and iPad with gorgeous, locally sourced Oregon black walnut. Like our Bamboo Backs, each one is made in the Grovemade workshop and hand sanded and oiled for a smooth feel. The Walnut Back adheres with a 3M adhesive that does not leave a permanent residue and is compatible with Macbook Air and Pro 13”, Macbook Pro 15”,  iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Mini with Retina Display. Get 20% off the Walnut Back today only (April 15, 2014) using the code: WalnutBack20. Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.  
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  • Grovemade.com Praised for Great Web Design

    Design has always been central to what we are about, and that extends from our products all the way to good website design. And, great websites are a valuable thing. This winter, we worked hard on a complete rebrand and redesign with some very talented friends and contributors in order to bring the new Grovemade.com to life. We are very happy with our new site in terms of visual appeal, user experience, and how it tells our story. Luckily, we’re not alone; there’s been public praise on blogs that feature the best website designs, and customers have been telling us good things. “When the collaboration is humming along well, you can get to a magical place no one can get to alone. The best creatives can listen to our feedback and work together with us to help us fulfill our vision. This experience has truly been a victory of team over individual.”  - Co-founder Ken Tomita     We were lucky enough to be able to assemble a team with designer and art director Peter Baston, photographer Chris Mueller, our in-house designer and photographer Max Brown, our in-house writer Mary Yajko, copywriting consultant Thomas McCracken, and our developer extraordinaire Yuji Tomita. Peter’s eye for style and his design guidelines are invaluable to us. Chris’s stunning photography helps us keep a gorgeous record of our workshop culture and our team. Max’s clean product photography and content design is the sustenance of our rebrand. Keen web copy does our story justice. And, Yuji makes it all possible with his custom backend web programming that keeps Grovemade.com not only handsome but also hard working.     Here are some links to website design blogs that have mentioned our site as an example of great website design:   Awwwards Average Score: 7.61 Quote from Site: “Very beautiful and clean website. I love the use of the pictures, spaces and typo. Fast and clean, easy to understand the navigation and very well coded.” Description: Honors the talent of the best web designers and developers and offers inspiration for great website design.   CSSDsgn Average Score: N/A Quote from Site: Grovemade tagged as “Ecommerce, Minimalist” Description: Web design inspiration blog.   French Design Index Average Score: 8.50 Quote from Site: N/A Description: “Webdesign, inspiration, graphic design, showcase... The best webdesign by French!”   The Best Designs Average Score: N/A Quote from Site: N/A Description: “Recognizes the best of web design from around the world[...]The Best Designs currently receives more than 1 million page views each month from designers, agencies, web professionals, business owners and design enthusiasts who visit to see the new websites that are added each day.” Don’t forget to check out the personal websites of our design and development team to read more about their talents: art director Peter Baston, photographer Chris Mueller, designer and photographer Max Brown, and developer Yuji Tomita. It was a wonderful experience to work together with this team of creative minds and see our new website and branding come to life.   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.  
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  • Introducing the Bumper for iPhone 5/5S/5C

    Compatible with iPhone 5, 5S, and 5C, the clean design of the Bumper compliments the look and feel of the naked iPhone and is a perfect solution for the minimalist seeking style and protection. This unique all-wood bumper is handcrafted in our workshop in Portland from local black Walnut or domestically sourced Eastern Hardrock Maple.   The Bumper’s one-piece design utilizes the strong direction of the wood grain and Grovemade’s signature joint design for sturdy corners. The lustrous black, silver, or gold metal of the iPhone 5/5S and the vibrant color of the 5C are in full view with this accessory. Wooden actuated buttons provide a satisfying user experience, and the edge of the frame keeps the phone safely raised up from flat surfaces.   The Bumper is sustainably crafted in the Grovemade workshop in Portland, creating almost no material waste. This product is compatible with the Dock for iPhone and all front and back screen protectors. Enjoy hand-sanded, hand-oiled wood for the introductory price of $39 on Grovemade.com.   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.  
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  • Creative Uses for our Packaging

    We put thought into developing the perfect packaging for our products, packaging that serves its purpose well without being wasteful. We truly enjoy our packaging for our iPhone cases, and we’ve found it can be super fun and useful even after you take your case out and get it onto your phone. Here are some ways we use the cardboard frame:   Dock and Stand: Slip the case onto your phone and pop the whole thing back into the cardboard frame for a versatile and stripped down version of a dock. Stick a pencil or stick in it and stand it up however you’d like!   Video Game Controller: Pull out the pencil and you’ve got an easy way to get a good grip on your phone while you play your favorite racing game. Vrooooom, vroooom, errrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeesch, vroooooom!   Picture Frame: Are you a repeat customer? White wash a bunch of frames or just leave ‘em bare, and you’ve got a whole crop of easy-to-hang picture frames. The pencil or stick as a stand trick works here too -- or just push it onto a small nail to hang.   Horseshoe Game: Maybe our favorite way to use old frames here at the workshop is to toss them like a frisbee at various targets. A peg makes this an indoor, (relatively) safe-for-work version of horseshoes! Forget having a great iPhone case; heck, we think the cardboard frame is motivation enough to place an order. Good thing we’re rich in cardboard here at the workshop! (Evil laughter). Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • We're Lucky Because...

    It’s St. Paddy’s Day, and at the Grovemade workshop, a lot of us are wearing green and feeling lucky. For us, it’s important to “live green” everyday -- biking, recycling, composting, being careful about waste. But today, “green living” means feeling lucky, enjoying each others’ creative spirits, pulling up our lime colored socks, counting our “Irish Blessings,” and yes, maybe enjoying a pint or two of a fine brew. Here are some reasons we’re lucky:   Sylvia: I'm lucky because I can sleep anytime and anywhere! Joe: I'm lucky to call this beautiful city home; there's no shortage of good people, microbrews, bespoke goods, affordable food, and adventures. Danielle: I'm lucky because I get to ride by the Belmont Goats when I bike to work. Barrett: I'm lucky because I get to work with all my friends! Ken: I’m lucky because I have someone who will scratch my back. Teryn: I'm lucky because I am surrounded by the best friends, family and dog anyone could ever ask for! Scott: I'm lucky that i love to eat but i also love to run. Yuji: I'm lucky because there's always a tape ball, water balloon or nerf bullet flying through the air. Galen: I’m lucky because ramyun is cheap and delicious.   Whether or not you’ll be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, we hope you enjoy your week and stay safe! It’s time for the team to go rehearse our choreographed Irish jig.   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • Limited Edition Case in Collaboration with YACHT

    A limited edition of only 100 pieces, each case comes with a cassette single of "Plastic Soul", including a free digital download.    A collaboration with Los Angeles based music group YACHT, this case for iPhone 5/5S features the playful work of illustrator Tim Lahan. Created for the band’s new single, Plastic Soul, the design is direct printed onto hand-finished, domestic Eastern Hardrock Maple.   YACHT is a conceptual pop group based in Los Angeles, California. The core duo is Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, whose wide-ranging interests cause YACHT to frequently metamorphose: from band to belief system, from disco infiltrators to punk rockers, from performance artists to graphic designers, publishers, sculptors, or philosophers. YACHT has released five full-length records and has toured with LCD Soundsystem, Vampire Weekend, and the Postal Service.    The Plastic Soul design featured on the case was created by Tim Lahan: artist, illustrator, and friend of YACHT, living and working in New York City. See more of his work on TimLahan.com or trademark-trademark.com. Lahan divides his time between The New York Times, Jack Spade, Nike, and McSweeney’s and draws a semi-weekly comic called Today or Tomorrow.   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.    
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  • Digital Trends’ Write-up and Video Profile of Grovemade

    “These guys can’t sit still,” writes Digital Trends about our team here at Grovemade.  Earlier this winter, the popular technology news site wrote a profile on our company highlighting our spontaneity and innovation in product design. Watch the wonderful video they made to accompany the article, below:     The article focuses on our development of the Wood Smart Case for iPad Air and iPad Mini in one week, around the time of the iPad Mini 2 launch. We’re very grateful to have been featured on Digital Trends in an article that acknowledges the passion behind our crafting.   Digital trends writes, “Part of that seat-of-the-pants building process plays to their personalities. ‘Both me and Joe are more like spontaneous guys,’ Tomita says. ‘We’re good at just being thrown in there and just doing things on the fly. I’m used to doing project work for festivals and stuff. You only have like a week, you just have to make stuff up and go with it.’”   Descriptions of our workspace show off our penchant for hands-on development: “The detritus from this unconstrained creative process litters Grove’s office: whimsical laser cuttings of bears and gears, pennant lamps made from bamboo, a tiny ball-in-maze game made from laminated plywood.”     “Ultimately, the challenge suits them. ‘If we were just making belts or something, we would just design it once and it would be around for decades,’ Mansfield explains. ‘We have this opportunity – we’re forced to constantly innovate. It puts a lot of pressure on us, but I think in the end it’s a good pressure. It’s a good stress.’”   Read the full article and see more photos on Digital Trends!   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • New Walnut + Maple Products and a Whole New Website

        Meet the new Grovemade.com! Our new website highlights the story and innovation behind our products and introduces the people behind it all. Reflecting the Grovemade design approach, this new digital experience also provides cutting edge performance in speed and touch usability.   Walnut Collection A special edition series, our Walnut Collection represents woodworking at its finest and includes our Case for iPhone 5/5S, our Walnut Dock for iPhone, and our Walnut Smart Case for iPad Air and iPad Mini. Grovemade Walnut items are milled and sanded from local Oregon black walnut and celebrate the natural richness of this luxurious wood. We love working with dark, gorgeous walnut and creating finished products as distinguished as the material itself.   Maple Collection The Maple Collection shows off the bright, clean beauty of domestically sourced Eastern Hardrock Maple and includes our Case for iPhone 5/5S and our Maple Dock for iPhone. The Maple Case for iPhone was our first ever case milled from solid hardwood, integrating our sturdy inner core design to enhance the natural strength of the wood. Each Maple piece is hand-sanded and finished with natural oil and wax. Use discount code Walnut+Maple2014 for 20% off our new collections for one week only.   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • Meet Grove’s One and Only Brodie!

        Brodie is an Oregon native who grew up in Forest Grove.   At work he lasers things with his eyes. Brodie is the laser master. He lasers and prints products and oversees the shipping of orders. He’s the one that makes sure all products get made to order as customers’ place orders online.     Outside work he is hiking and discovering new hiking adventures and ideal camping spots. Brodie also might be working on his car, if it has broken down recently. And, he tries to find new places to eat in Portland that are interesting and outside the radar.   Brodie’s good at multitasking and being appropriately OCD about lean manufacturing, making sure everything gets done efficiently -- both at work and at home.     He enjoys traveling and experiencing different people’s beliefs and perspectives on life. Of the 12 countries he’s been to, two of his favorite places are Ethiopia and Palau. Brodie also enjoys spending time with friends and family and having bouts of ridiculous laughter. He's had a lot of experience teaching, but he doesn’t have a teaching degree. He’s taught English and been a substitute teacher from nursery school to grade 12, and he’s taught kids with special needs in both middle and high school.   You might not guess that Brodie was a child model for Nike, Adidas, and Columbia sportswear. He used to have pictures in the Oregonian that his classmates would cut out and tease him with at school.   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.  
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  • Solid Chocolate Case for iPhone 5/5S: Melts in your hand, and on your phone.

    For your sweetie with a sweet tooth, we’ve crafted a functional Grovemade iPhone case made from solid dark chocolate. It’s completely edible! With the mission to make the best chocolate case, we teamed up with local chocolate maker Charley Wheelock of Woodblock Chocolate. Woodblock Chocolate is a family run, bean to bar chocolate manufactory here in Portland -- the result of years of hard work from wife and husband team Jessica and Charley Wheelock. They start from scratch with the cacao bean and are proud to be part of the American craft chocolate revolution. Check out the special features of the Chocolate Case: Delicious, thin, and sleek Made from premium single origin, bean-to-bar chocolate optimized for CNC milling Special collaboration with our friends at Woodblock Chocolate No emulsifiers, like soy lecithin, means more concentrated flavors and a higher melting temp Made entirely in the Grovemade workshop in Portland Ergonomic button openings with full access to all ports Precision-milled from a solid block of deliciousness Hand finished to be velvety smooth to the touch Alright, so THESE ARE NOT ACTUALLY FOR SALE. We can’t keep making them without gunking up our machines with that sweet stuff. They are pretty fun to play with though!   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • Grove Rebranding Sale: Get 20% Off With Code

    We have some big news: we’re rebranding and redesigning our entire look, from our logo to our website. We’re rebranding in 2014 to shift the focus of our company from mostly cases to more than just cases. As always, we’re developing some new products, which means the inevitable update to our product line in addition to changes in the style of our brand.     When the new site is launched next month, we’ll be discontinuing both our Artist Series laser engravings for the Bamboo Case for iPhone 5/5S and iPhone 4/4S and our Custom WoodPrint Case. We’ll also be discontinuing our Artist Series for the Grove Notebook leather covers for Moleskine.   We’re offering a 20% discount code on the above mentioned items: RebrandingSale_2014. The code will expire at the end of Feb. 3rd, so get them while you still can at this special price!     We hope you’ll like our fresh new style. The website will feature gorgeous new photography of our products, studio, and team. We’re looking forward to telling the Grovemade story in an updated way and introducing the improved user experience of our online store.     If you’ve been waiting to do it, now is the time to get an Artist Series case, WoodPrint Case, or artist series Grove Notebook leather cover for Moleskines, especially if you’d like to take advantage of our discount by using this code at checkout: “RebrandingSale_2014” (Expires 11:59pm Feb. 3rd).   We're so excited about our re-branding project, we can't stop chair-dancing! We'll announce the launch of the new website on our Facebook, blog, and newsletter, so stay tuned!   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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  • The Top 5 Grove Stories from 2013

    We’ve had quite a year at Grove; so much has happened. We can’t believe the year has come to an end, and we wanted to reminisce on some of our favorite things that happened this year. From 10-foot-tall Christmas trees to tubing on the river, from re-designing products in one week to some of the most exciting announcements, 2013 was one remarkable year.   Moving Our Entire Workshop This year, we moved our entire workshop from two floors of the Town Storage Building, which we shared with several other small Portland businesses and creatives, to a new location in Southeast Portland all our own. It was great to move from having our operation shared between two floors to having everyone on the same level. It’s also pretty sweet having our own building. We’ve had a good time slowly renovating and redecorating: we’ve even got an indoor mural by Japanese artist Mhak and an outdoor mural by Brazilian artist Marcelo Macedo! Summer River picnic and Waterfall Hike This summer was full of sunshine and good times. We made it a point to do some summer group activities. Our waterfall hike at Oneonta Gorge was a real adventure; the hike involved scaling a giant pileup of logs and wading in freezing cold water up to our chins! We also had an amazing cookout at the Sandy River. We set up a little food tent and made ourselves at home all afternoon. Highlights included intense games of frisbee, naps in hammocks, and tying all our inner tubes together to try to float on the river in tandem.   iPad Cases Re-Designed We decided to bring back the Grove iPad case this year with the new Wood Smart Case for iPad Air and iPad Mini. The development process was fast-paced and exciting. Read about that here! The case features a new construction method and three versatile standing positions. Eastern Hardrock Maple creates a sturdy frame and a flexible bamboo cover gives you standing options, while strong rare-earth magnets hold the tablet in place. This is one of our most unique cases yet.   The Giant Christmas Tree Joe surprised us this Christmas season when he showed up at the workshop with a huge Christmas tree that was at least 12 feet tall. We were all giddy like little children when the behemoth first graced us with its presence. The best part was that when Joe and his girlfriend Rachel picked up the tree, it was too big for the machine that compresses and ties up the tree, so they tied it to the roof of their little Subaru with its massive width almost enveloping the entire car and turning heads all the way down the highway. What to Expect When Grove’s Expecting For the first time in Grove history, we’ve got little baby team members on the way! This year, two team members are each expecting their first new additions to their families. Can you guess who the two parents-to-be are?   There you have it. What could 2014 have in store that could top this? I guess we’ll find out!   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.
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