• 4G iPhone Case... YES!

    Yes, yes, yes fans!  We are releasing a 4G iPhone case.  We have been working on a design for several weeks based on all the leaks there have been.  Lucky for us, and unlucky for "Mr Apple Engineer Who Forgot it in a Bar", there is little mystery this time as to what it will look like.    We got some good feedback from our facebook page from our fans as to what people care about.  In my mind there were 2 general directions to go in: A) follow the curved form of the 3g case and adapt it B) follow the more squared form of the 4G iPhone.  While the 3G's graceful curves felt really good in your hand, the 4G is able to be 30% thinner partly due to its flatness.  Fans were concerned about sharp corners and some really liked the "energy" of rounded shapes vs sharp.  Many wanted the case to parallel the design direction of Apple on their 4G iPhone.  Others were concerned about the image... they wanted people to recognize that they had a 4G phone and thus wanted the case to show that!   I kept all the fan feedback in mind as I designed our new case.  While we went with the design direction of the 4G iPhone and went with square sides, I really wanted to make it feel not boxy and comfortable.  Further and further design renditions struck a nice compromise between form and function.  I took design cues form the 4G and also the iPad and added chamfers which make the case more comfortable and sleeker.  Here is a pic from our first night of physical prototyping on our CNC.  This is the hard part! 
  • Collaboration with Quavondo part2

    Shazam- our collaboration with superstar photographer Quavondo took us to the Bamboo Garden.  What a wonderful place, a playground of bamboo.  They have over 300 varieties on 16 acres of land, know everything about bamboo AND they are super nice people- which goes a long ways with me.  If you like bamboo, go see them.   So the last post focused on our female model Lisa Kuhnhausen.  We also had my main man Shay Sosanya get some photos taken with the case.  This isn't a model posing with our case, this is the guy who helps MAKE your cases.  Shay works for me for TomitaDesigns and also for Grove.   Shay has a background in mechanical engineering and hopes to be a product designer someday.  His education, positive attitude, and high skill level of craftsmanship make him ideal for Grove. Were certainly lucky to have him!   What a fun day playing in bamboo!  We didnt see any pandas but other than that, couldn't have been better.  
  • Grove Road Trip Part2

    As we drove on towards middle America, Grove couldn't resist stopping by the Grand Canyon.  To get away from the tourist crowds we had to do a little dangerous trekking!  Yes, I risked my life to take a picture of a cell phone case- not very smart- but memorable.   Certain death on both sides... Was it worth it?  If I get the "thats fake" reaction even once, yah- it was worth it!   If I were an iPhone case, I would want this view.   
  • Grove Road Trip Part1

    Grove just went on an epic road trip from the pacific ocean through the American Southwest.  What do road trips have to do with bamboo iPhone cases?  Not much, besides the spirit of fun and excitement that is our foundation.   Beginning at Venice Beach in Los Angeles, we take advantage of the warm California sunshine.   We headed east into Arizona where yes, bamboo is hard to find.  Surprisingly, Birdland looked right at home in the desert.   Sven would be proud.   To be continued....
  • "Birdland" Laser Engraved

    Here is a neato timelapse of "Birdland" by Sven Palmowski of Barcelona, Spain being laser engraved at Grove Headquarters.  *The timelapse speeds things up quite a bit * "birdland" by Sven Palmowski from Joe Mansfield on Vimeo.
  • Grove on Apartment Therapy

    We were lucky enough to be featured on Apartment Therapy on Friday.  We really appreciate that they sent Molly Anderson out in person to find out what we are all about.   She wrote a very thoughtful article about what we do and also took some great pics of our product and headquarters.   You can see the laser in the back/right.  To the left is the steel bridge.  Also notice the bamboo plant from bamboo garden and the ever important porch swing.  All we need to do is to photoshop in a blue Portland sky!   Bloggers/Press people- please contact us // if you want to write about us.  We would love to talk to you about what GroveMade means to us.  Thanks for taking the time Molly!
  • Grove Launch Parta~y!

    Thank you to everyone who came to our launch party this past Saturday! We had a wonderful turnout and a great time unveiling our inaugural product, the Grove iPhone case. We appreciate the enthusiasm that you all have for what we do and how we do it. Those feelings keep us going on our Grove journey. People really enjoyed being able to touch, feel, and get up close to our cases. Only in person can you FEEL the natural qualities of our product. There is no way to substitute for a hand rubbed finish. No plastic! This party was a good reminder that we as individuals are a product of our relationships and the inspiration and support they provide. Yay for people!
  • Collaboration with Quavondo part1

    We recently had the pleasure of working with fashion photographer Quavondo on a photo series for Grove. Q focuses on fashion and celebrity photography. Shooting at the fabulous Bamboo Garden in North Plains, we had Quavondo take over with his artistic vision. Special thanks to our model Lisa Kuhnhausen. Lisa is an interior designer with a great sense in fashion herself. Check out Quavondo below in action. He is not afraid to get in some spectacular poses himself to get the shot he wants! What a fun day for the Grove team seeing a pro at work with his team and getting to enjoy a beautiful day playing in bamboo! Q was amazing to work with because of his ability to spontaneously react to the situation and create. See his work here. Thanks Q!
  • Grove Presents at AIGA Shift

    Ken recently represented Grove at AIGA Portland’s SHIFT: A Green Salon event. Ten presenters from various industries spoke about their ideas on sustainable design. The title of our presentation was “A journey in sustainable product and packaging design”. Here is the transcript: Ken Tomita: Hello. My name is Ken Tomita. I’m a furniture designer, and I’ve been doing this for about 5 years. Recently I started a new company called Grove with my business partner Joe Mansfield, but I’d like to talk about the new product. First of all, how many of you have iPhones? Could you do a favor for me and take them out of your pockets and show them to me? If you look around my business partner and I noticed that there’s a void of natural materials. They’re often made of silicone, rubber, plastic, etc. So we saw that niche as an opportunity to make a new company specializing in sustainable electronic cases. [read the entire transcript]


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