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  • Grove and Plywerk: BFF's

    We’d like to make a shout-out to one of our BFF companies here in Portland, Oregon: Plywerk! Plywerk mounts your digital photos onto beautiful, sustainable plywerk (bamboo plywood panels). The panels are a gorgeous thing on their own, with visible cross-layers of bamboo grain, and the careful application of a print truly creates a keepsake. You can upload your Facebook, Instagram, or other digital photos directly to the site, and your Plywerk print will ship to your door once it’s finished. Plywerk... because your memories matter. from Plywerk on Vimeo. Bamboo + photography + ethical manufacturing! How could Grove not love Plywerk? The company prides itself on sustainability and a positive business model. Bamboo is an incredibly sustainable material to work with; since it grows so quickly, it’s highly renewable. But the happy team over at Plywerk values not only sustainable materials but also a local economy working toward self-sufficiency: “The vast majority of today's economy revolves around cheap overseas manufacturing. As a consequence, the local economy in which we all thrive is often forgotten. We pride ourselves on bucking this trend. [...] Every piece of Plywerk is handmade by real humans in Portland Oregon, our materials are sourced from local suppliers with a similar business ethos whenever possible[…]” -Plywerk.com/About Photo credit: PLYWERK The possibilities for your own Plywerk are as endless as your online photo galleries! The results are exciting - whether you’re documenting your solo adventures, showcasing family memories, or outdoing yourself with some remarkable office decor. Plywerk takes a photo and turns it into a substantial piece of art for treasuring, hanging, or displaying in a number of ways. And, it almost goes without saying that we are big fans of the natural look of bamboo. So are Kim Oanh Nguyen-van Zoen and Kjell van Zoen, who started Plywerk in their basement after mounting their first photo to a piece of discarded plywood. Photo credit: PLYWERK Check out Plywerk’s products and get your first 5x5 photo panel for just $19 at Plywerk.com! (Also, be SURE to check out the Goo Goo Gaga special at the bottom of their website.) I highly recommend following them on Instagram as well, @Plywerk.  
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  • WeMake - Put A Bird In It!

    We are really excited about WeMake, a proactive group of creatives that works to foster art and design in the community by providing a platform for fun, interactive events like the sketchXchange and this month’s “Put A Bird In It”. The event, Put A Bird In It (a pun off of a Portlandlia sketch called Put A Bird On It!) is a benefit for arts and music education in the Portland Metro area. All of the artists, designers, and makers who participated were asked to build birdhouses to be sold at auction. Representing us this year, Grove co-founder Joe Mansfield designed and built a truly beautiful piece of art to donate to the fundraiser. Born and raised on the rugged Oregon coast, Joe Mansfield attended the University of Oregon, where he majored in Digital Arts. He started a custom laser business right out of college and has collaborated with a variety of artists, architects, and designers.  Check out Joe’s collaborative work with engrave! He put his digital design skills to use creating this multi-layered birdhouse, constructed entirely of precisely cut slats of plexi-glass which are simply held together by two well placed dowels. One of the concepts behind this piece was that the cut plexi-glass holds within the center of the birdhouse a spherical shaped empty space, or nest. This space also connects the front and the back of the house with two entry points leading into the hollowed core. The birdhouse was cut out using our lasers-- yes, the very same workhorse lasers that cut out our Bamboo Backs and delicately engrave our bamboo artists series iPhone cases. The piece also contains a cascading spiral of fauna imagery, printed with our state of the art printer (the one and the same that we use for our new WoodPrint cases). The hues of the fauna imagery, reminiscent of tree branches or the veins of an anatomical heart, shift slowly from pane to pane through a spectrum of colors from light blue to red. The visual effect is really fun, and we had a great time trying to get a good photo of it, which Ken finally got! We are so excited to have this piece represent Grove, and look forward to the rest of the show which includes work from some of our favorite local artists and designers like Amy Ruppel, Emily Katz, Tom O’Toole, Terrazign, and Ryan Bubnis. Joe has worked with WeMake in the past, and even hosted a laser bamboo workshop last summer!  Make it out to the benefit show Saturday, October 12, 2013, and help to promote arts and music education in Portland & Multnomah County Schools! goGrove!
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  • Grove in the Headlines

    We certainly like to write about ourselves, but we do try to let other people get a word in edgewise. We’re pumped Cool Material, CultofMac, and DFRAGG wrote some pieces on our newest products! Below are some highlights hot from the press.   Cool Material writes about the uniqueness factor of the WoodPrint case: “Cases with batteries, wallets, multitools and stands, made of everything from rubber, to wood, to steel. Few of them end up being as uniquely sexy as Grove’s new WoodPrint iPhone 5 (and 5S) Cases.”   CultofMac raves about the sweet look of the WoodPrint case… and Knight Rider: “It’s hard to argue with the awesomeness of Grove’s Wood Print case, a maple shell for your iPhone 5 with one of your own Instagrams printed on the back. Who wouldn’t want that?[...] You can even pick two or three photos depending on the layout design you choose. I of course picked from my extensive Instagram collection of Knight Rider related-pictures, but you can do what you like.” CultofMac also eloquently summarizes the benefits of the new Grove Dock for iPhone: “The Grove Dock for iPhone is a gorgeous new wood dock for the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5c and 5s that allows you to sync and charge your iPhone one-handed in a heavy bamboo base that not only looks great, but is guaranteed to not tip over. [...]How guaranteed? The base is made of three pounds of solid steel, over which some solidly carved bamboo has been overlaid. It’s an absolute beauty, and since you can thread both a 30-pin or Lightning connector through the base, it’ll work with any iPhone you care to throw at it.” DFRAGG crafts words like “organic-esque” in its praise of our “tiny titan” dock: “The organic-esque bamboo Grove Dock lets you charge and sync your iPhone in style. Available for iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S and 5C, the Grove dock also accepts the fit of most cases for the iPhone. Since the base of the Grove dock weighs a surprising 3 pounds for its size due to a solid steel design and grippy rubber feet bumpers to prevent sliding, you can expect this tiny titan to stay put no matter how cluttered your desk may be.” We don’t mind it when people gossip about us - especially when it’s rad PR from even radder blogs. A look at the daily headlines on Cool Material, CultofMac, and DFRAGG is always a good idea. Keep it coming, Internet!
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  • Artist Interview: MHAK

    Tokyo based artist Mhak (aka Masahiro Akutagawa) recently came to Portland, Oregon to exhibit his artwork and participate in a public mural project. He ended up painting a mural for Grove, at the end of which he graciously granted us an interview. His show was at the Hellion Gallery, run by Matt Wagner. The Hellion Gallery specializes in international artists, and exporting Portland artists to France and Japan. Recently, Matt curated and helped to organize a city wide mural project called Forest for the Trees, in which Mhak participated. As part of the project, there was a mural painted by Brazilian artist Marcelo Macedo on the outside of Grove’s building. After completing his mural down the street from us, Mhak also spent a few days painting a beautiful, twisting mural in our production shop, completely transforming the feel of the entire space! Check out: 1. Forest for the Trees - Video 2. Video Featuring Mhak Working! Mhak hails from Fukushima prefecture, and now lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. These days, he’s been painting on the road a lot, traveling around the world to places like Buenos Aires, Milan, New York City, Copenhagen and more! He’s a night owl whose favorite place to work is inside someone’s house in their living room. He responds to the environment, the decor, furniture, and the room’s color palette to create a mural that accentuates the feel of the space.   When working on his mural at the Hellion Gallery for his show, Mhak stayed up all night to complete his installation! His show at the Hellion Gallery is up until the end of the month- hope you can check it out! For all of you high rollers with deep pockets and good taste in art, don’t hesitate to dig deep and fly Mhak out to your Villa for a fresh new mural in your living room! Thanks, Mhak!
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  • The Best of the Best #Grovemade Pics from Instagrammers!

    It’s time, once again, to proclaim: “We love Instagram!” Here comes another monthly installment of stylish Instagrams from our fans and followers. This time they are tagged with #Grovemade or #WoodPrintCase. Follow us at Grovemade. From purplegreenstadtamazone: “#WOODPRINTCASE” From Shoez: “my #woodprintcase from #grove is here! photos taken in korea last june” From Georg90: “Neues #grovemade #bamboo Back! Love it ❤️ #skatecase” From Nici201: “My beautiful #bambooback finally arrived   From Otthobot: “New phone case :)” From lettucebreath: “These are bamboo cases from a company called #grovemade based out of here in Portland, OR. I love them! Grovemade.com” From iammazin: “Taking a break from TIFF - #toronto #tiff #grovemade #bamboo #2014mazda6 #almondleather” From steevend: “Moleskine cover came in!!  Thanks @grovemade #grovemade #moleskine #moleskinecover #leather #sketchbook” From carmensd2: “Opposite sides #nailart #gradient #essie #pinkaboo #modsquare #orly #frenchtip #colorclub #silver #cina #topcoat #nails #naildesign #groovemade #seethrough #iphone5case” From adamagostino: “Never posted an #outfitgrid before so yea. Here it is. #21Men #Vans #Supreme #Bullhead #iPhone5 #Grovemade #Klipsch” Thank you so much to all our Instagram followers for your awesome photos! Keep ‘em coming by tagging your Grove photos with #Grovemade, #WoodPrintCase, #SkateCase, or #BambooBack. And, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
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  • Max Brown's Killer Aesthetic

    Max Brown is Grove’s art director and lead designer. His aesthetic is embedded in everything we do from package design to videos of our new products. Today we wanted to share a little more about Max and his artwork for and outside of Grove!   Max hails from the seaside town of Astoria, Oregon, where his parents own and run the historic Columbian Theater. Check out their website-- can you recognize the killer aesthetic behind that imagery and tight lettering?  Here’s a recent shirt design that Max made for the theater. Besides taking most of the beautiful shots of our products, Max also worked extensively to bring us our favorite new videos plugging Grove’s new WoodPrint case and the Grove Dock.  (Both of which we are super excited about!) Here are two of Max’s recent videos. -The prettiest video for the WoodPrint Case. (Check out his use of stop motion!) -The funniest video for the Grove Dock. (How many times did we watch this one?) We love his work! It was a lot of fun seeing these two videos come together over the weeks prior to the product launches. Here are some other of our favorite highlights of his artwork for Grove (and beyond) this past year. Illustrated versions of Team Grove, and he couldn’t have captured us better.   Max’s illustration for our collaborative products (Skatecase and Skatebacks for iPhone) with Maple XO.   An illustration of a David Cronenberg film in an ongoing series.   Tour poster for Holiday Friends! goGrove!  
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  • Introducing the New Grove Dock for iPhone!

    Exciting news! We’re launching our most unique product yet! If this is you, it will definitely help: your desk or nightstand is cluttered with a tangle of cords. You only have one hand free, and when you reach for your phone, your charging cable or dangling dock knocks everything over. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and do something about it! Down with those danglers! The new Grove Dock can finally give you a solid spot for your phone at home or at work. It’s super dense and heavy for its small size, allowing one-handed operation. Plug your phone in and pull it out with grace and without the dock coming along for the ride. Did we mention it’s crafted with care and looks good too? Check out these rock-solid features: Weighs a whopping three pounds (other things that weigh three pounds: a box of wine, a human brain, three adult guinea pigs, two newborn polar bears) Crafted from a solid steel core and natural bamboo outer shell, right here in Oregon Stabilized by squishy rubber bumpers on the bottom that keep it from sliding No tools or fasteners are needed and no installation is necessary - the dock is freestanding Works with iPhones 4/4S + 5/5S/5C and adjusts to work with most cases A hidden channel directs ringtone and other audio freely through the front of the dock Available in powder-coated white, powder-coated black, or plated silver The simple, sleek design upgrades your desk or nightstand from “meh” to “man-look-at-this-hip-cat!” Keep your phone in check and in style with this modern dock made right here in Oregon. The hand-sanded upper shell is made of our signature bamboo and the inner core is made from solid steel. Three times heavier than aluminum, the solid steel Grove Dock won’t throw any tantrums when you grab your phone one-handed and continue on with your day. The Grove Dock is a loyal companion for your phone, for real. It’s available now on Grovemade.com in powder-coated white, powder-coated black, or plated silver at just $99. [Carefully] pick one up now!
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  • The Grove WoodPrint Case!

    We are so excited to introduce our brand new product, the Grove WoodPrint case! It’s a customizable wood case for the iPhone 5 and 5s milled from solid blocks of hardwood maple. This means the woodgrains on each case are unique and pretty and look fantastic peeking through your own custom photos. So, if you are creative and photo savvy (we know you are!) we think you’ll love this case as much as we do. Maybe you’d like to remember your vacation with your best paradise sunset shot straight off your instagram feed? Or perhaps it’s your sister’s birthday, and you want to surprise her with a custom case adorned with her at age 3 and cake all over her face (whatever, we know you do). Maybe you are fond of your cat? Maybe you are really, really fond of your cat? You can put her furry little mug on a case-- the possibilities are endless and fun! 1) Create your own custom iPhone case using Instagram photos in less than a minute 2) Enjoy a lasting photo printed on wood with the natural wood grain peeking through 3) Know your high quality case was crafted with care by us in Portland, Oregon In less than a minute, customize a case using your own stunning Instagram photos. We employ an advanced custom wood printing method using durable UV inks, producing a high quality image that lasts. Like a signature fingerprint the beautiful maple wood grain of your case peeks through the printed image creating a unique look which can’t be achieved with manufactured materials, such as silicone or plastic. As always, each case is milled with care and then hand-sanded and finished with a natural oil and wax blend in our workshop in Portland, Oregon. Show off your eye for beauty on a premium WoodPrint case-- now available at just $99! goGrove!
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  • Grove's Take On The New iPhone 5s

    On the 10th, Apple announced the upcoming release of its new iPhone 5s, as planned, and we’re stoked on the new features. Apple says the 5s is "the most forward-thinking phone” they've ever created. It’s true; the iPhone 5s is sleek, sexy, and full of advanced features and functionality. Here’s a quick rundown of features: Contains a 64-bit A7 chip Camera has a new Apple-designed lens with an f/2.2 aperture Camera has slow motion capabilities and True Tone flash Has a fingerprint sensor known as Touch ID Has a motion co-processor dubbed the M7 that measures motion data Has a longer battery life Available in gold, silver, or space gray Available on Sept. 20th in 16GB for US$199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399 Here at Grove, we’re pretty giddy about all the features, but the Touch ID feature, amazing new camera, and 64-bit A7 chip have been the focus of conversation. The touch ID sensor is located inside the home button and is made from a laser cut sapphire crystal! Read more about that from Apple’s press release: “Built into the home button, Touch ID uses a laser cut sapphire crystal, together with the capacitive touch sensor, to take a high-resolution image of your fingerprint and intelligently analyze it to provide accurate readings from any angle. Setting up Touch ID to recognize your fingerprint is easy, and every time you use it, it gets better. The Touch ID sensor recognizes the touch of a finger so the sensor is only activated when needed, preserving battery life. All fingerprint information is encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Enclave inside the A7 chip on the iPhone 5s; it’s never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud. Touch ID can also be used as a secure way to approve purchases from the iTunes Store®, App Store or iBooks Store.” For photography buffs, the rear camera on the new 5s features a 5-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture and sensor 15% bigger than the current one. A special duel-LED flash, True Tone, adapts to existing light providing better color. In addition, the camera will be able to capture 10 pictures per second and automatically choose the best one, and the 720p video will be able to capture slow motion video at 120 frames per second. Watch Apple’s 5s camera video below: The new iPhone 5s is certainly a well-oiled piece of hardware, with its 64-bit A7 chip running 40-times faster than the original iPhone. All in all, the 5s should be able to operate twice as fast as the previous model. This phone is a stunner too. The flashy gold, silver, or space gray will be hard to cover up with a Grove case (but not too hard!). Maybe a Grove case is the only case worthy of covering such a beautiful piece of technology? Check out our new WoodPrint cases to see what I mean. And, read more about the iPhone 5s, available to purchase on Apple.com on Sept. 20, on MacRumors and TUAW.
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  • Take a Hike in Oneonta Gorge!

    Summertime in Oregon is a beautiful thing. About once month we Grovers like to take an afternoon break from making our products and get out into nature as a team to go hiking in the forests and breath some clean air. This past month we went to Oneonta Gorge located about 35 miles outside of Portland, Oregon in the Columbia River Gorge. With snacks on our backs and pockets full of nuts and berries for sustenance we hiked into the wilderness. Oneonta Gorge really is a special place, and feels a bit like you are stepping into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The small path follows a rocky, winding stream up a very narrow gorge with steep moss and fern covered cliffs, eventually ending at a pretty little waterfall. However, to get to the end of the hike, there also is a comically sketchy and enormous pile of driftwood (aka entire fallen trees) blocking the way which you must carefully scramble over. When we were there it was swarming with native Oregonian children, who seemed entirely unfazed by the large pile of natural debris. You must also wade chest deep through the stream which is made of melted ice flow from Mt. Hood. It was cold, cold, cold, but worth the beautiful sight at the end of the hike. Afterward we cruised down the old historic Columbia River highway to Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon. Here we “gorged” ourselves on ice cream and cookies, and basked in the weirdness of Oregon tourists milling about Multnomah Falls lodge and the gift shop where we were tempted to buy fools gold paper weights and decks of cards with decorated with edible plants. Thankfully, sometimes we have self restraint in gift shops!  But only sometimes. It was another great outing in the woods for team Grove! goGrove!
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  • Danielle: Grove’s (Inter)Stellar Production Team Member!

    Around here Danielle is known as “the anomaly” because the day she walked into our shop she picked up all of the required woodshop skills quick! (Like, suspiciously quick. Hmmm... who is she, really?) She is Grove’s newest production team member and we are happy to have her on board. Her days at Grove are spent sanding iPhones and Bamboo Backs to her heart’s content while listening to podcasts. Danielle hails from Tacoma, Washington, but has already seamlessly slipped into a bike riding, good food loving, fun-friend finding life here in Portland, Oregon. She’s basically a walking encyclopedia of all things cool-- and by cool, I mean the good stuff in life: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Edward Gorey, and anything by Andre Norton.  She read The Lord of the Rings when she was in the 5th grade, with The Silmarillion and The Smith of Wooton Major being her favorite of Tolkien’s books. Maybe when C.G.I. Blockbuster loving Hollywood decides to make some more artful versions of Tolkien’s works we can get into the good stuff… (Who would cut out a character like Tom Bombadil? The Man! That’s who.) Danielle is an artist and a maker, a huge fan and avid reader of fun fiction (like Girl Genius-- created and written by people from the Puget Sound!), and a sci-fi aficionado. Every Tuesday night she meets her pals at The Tardis Room in North Portland for Dr. Who Trivia night.  Dr. Who you ask? Yup, Dr. Who. Stargate, Star Trek, and all movies campy are her favorite too.  She went to Trek in the Park three times this summer! Recently, when she is not sanding on Bamboo Backs in our shop, Danielle is busy writing scripts. She did a lot of theater and tech work and someday hopes to have a production theater called Windswept Table Productions, inspired by Edward Gorey. So good!   goGrove!  
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  • The Precarious Situations of #FridayCatTrap

    Product designer and production manager Sean Kelly usually gets to work incredibly early - he’s the first one here. That’s how our Instagram hashtag #FridayCatTrap began. I walked up to my desk one Friday morning to find my little plastic Desk Kitty held over a cup of coffee by a Green Thing (our breffo Spiderpodium phone stand, to be more clear). The rest was history.   Week after week, Sean creeped up to my desk in the wee morning, before I got to work, to help the Green Thing one-up himself with ways to defeat Desk Kitty. Talk about creativity! Here’s a quick overview of our #FridayCatTraps so far: Stapler Monster! Hot coffee lava! Feeding the water bottle beast!   Hanging over flaming pencil spikes... An offering the internet Gods   Scotty’s blade-focused revenge Watch the laser blaze near Kitty’s precious head in this video! She doesn’t see that fall coming... Can you spot the trap here? If Desk Kitty dies while trapped in Green Thing’s dream, does she die in real life too? Thank you for checking out some of Desk Kitty’s dangerous past. We’ll be sure to keep posting updates on the Green Thing’s devious plans as the year goes on. Once we get into the rainy Portland autumn, I’m sure Sean will have plenty of time to sit and scheme.  Follow Team Grove on Instagram, our username is @Grovemade!
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  • Sean's Kickstarter Project: Circle

    What if there was a way to easily control every web connected device in your home directly from your smartphone? Grove’s production manager Sean Kelly and a group of Portland, Oregon based designers and innovators asked themselves that very question. Well, if you’re a parent with web savvy children, you’re in luck! Circle is a new product designed to assist us in developing a healthier relationship to the Internet, our computers, and our smartphones. Support Circle’s kickstarter campaign here!        What does Circle do? Circle connects wirelessly to your router and devices and acts as a filter, time management tool, and informs and notifies you of your family’s networks activity. It offers smart filters to make sure only age appropriate content reaches your children. Have you ever lost track of time and gone spiraling down the black hole of youtube? Circle can help! Imagine every device powering down simultaneously (in effect, pausing the Internet) for your set dinner hour or dedicated family time.       These web devices we use are relatively new and many of us are unknowingly addicted to the Internet. Further still, young children are native to this new digital landscape. The Internet is a tool and we want to teach our children how to use it in a way that is enriching to their lives, not detrimental to development. We love our technology, but sometimes we all need a reminder to go outside and climb a tree!   We Grovers are a busy bunch and Sean is no exception. He works full time as our production manager helping to produce mountains of bamboo iPhone cases, and yet... somehow he still finds the time to design on the side and sleep a little here and there. How does he do it? We wish them luck! Support Sean and the Circle team here!  
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  • 10 Sweet Photos From Our Even Sweeter Instagram Followers

    We’re shouting it from the mountain tops again: “We love Instagram!” Check out another installment of nifty Instagrams from our fans and followers, which they tagged with #Grovemade, #SkateCase, or #BambooBack. Follow us; our handle is Grovemade.From Rafaisalive: “Love my Grove #skatecase because reasons. Also, need to put it back on my phone ASAP #instagrove”From Simran_Matharu: “My new iPhone 5 with my new Grovemade MapleXO SkateCase case #grovemade #grove #maplexo #skatecase #iphone5”And another one (!) from Simran_Matharu: “#grovemade #grove #skatecase #maplexo #iphone5 #white #woop”From JoelyPopelly: “#grovemade arrived in germany #love #your #products #oldschool #and #cool #iphone #skate #case #back #skateback”From TakenbyTom: “Possibly the best #iphone case, bar none. #awesome #birds #wigs #bamboo #grovemade”From Twillyon: “Happy to see my #grovemade lappy cover greeting me this morning.”From T_Stales: “The case comes home! #bamboo #bambooforest #grovemade #instagrove #nofilter #instagood #iphonesia #instadaily #instagramhub #iphoneonly #instaphoto”From Melcc59: “#grovemade I love my wave case thanks grove!”From Oleg_Pavlov: “[Translated from Russian] #vscocam # grovemade from Portland, Oregon, Masha swam with the whales on a new iPhone case”From Spaded: “New iPhone case #sexy #grovemade #grovemadeiphone”Thank you so much to all our Instagram followers for your fun and fantabulous photos! Keep ‘em coming by tagging your Grove photos with #Grovemade, #SkateCase, or #BambooBack. And, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
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  • Grove’s Favorite iPhone Apps!

    Sean and Max using ChineseFingerApp, the premier finger trap app.I don’t think Team Grove is alone in the fact that we spend a lot of time on our iPhones. What makes the iOS and similar systems so special, are the apps. From the outside, we’re all using (basically) the same devices, but what we do on them each day is our business. Haven’t found your soulmate app yet? Take a look at some of our faves:Al JazeeraIf you like to stay in the know regarding current events, news apps can help you with that. Mike Schultz likes to find out what’s happening on an international level by streaming world news through the Al Jazeera app.FeedlyFor more specialized content and all your blog-reading needs, Feedly is a great app to use as an RSS reader. Ken loves using Feedly to read about all the latest news and trends, especially in the business and design realms.PodcastsBarrett prefers to digest knowledge and content of the audial variety. You can access all your favorite free audio and video podcasts and discover new ones through the app Podcasts. Barrett says, “...it’s tons of free amazing content that stimulates my mind!”MyFitnessPalSo we know how to keep our mind in shape, but what about our bodies? Dashia swears by MyFitnessPal to help keep her mind on her health. She likes how you can scan the barcodes of different food products with your phone, and the app will tell you about the calorie count in that product and how it relates to your overall diet.VenmoWhen it’s time to put away MyFitnessPal for the night and go out feasting, Mike Dowty uses Venmo to pay his buddy back for those chili cheese fries and that double scoop brownie sundae. Venmo makes it easy to pay friends back quickly, so you don’t have to sweat it when the bill comes to your party of five.SpotifyYes, it requires a subscription for unlimited mobile use, but Spotify is an essential for the music lover. If Max wants to check out the new Kanye West album while he’s engraving some Bamboo Backs, bam, he can do that! Maybe he’s wondering what Barrett would think of it; with a couple clicks, he can send it to Barrett’s Spotify inbox. Musical exploration made easy!Deluxe Moon ProIf you’re ever sitting around listening to folk music and wondering what phase the moon is in, Deluxe Moon is your new best friend. In fact, it tells you everything you’d ever want to know about the moon at that very moment. Mike Schultz says he uses this rad app way more than you might think a person should.Dark SkyWhen it's time to head home after a long night of chatting about moon phases with friends, check out the app Dark Sky, which gives you a nearly real-time assessment of the current sky. Joe checks it before riding so he hop on his bike during a break in the rain and stay drive. It's "freakishly accurate," he said. Screenshots from the iPhone app Deluxe Moon ProThere you have it: news, blogs, foods, cash, tunes, moons. There’s an app to manage just about everything in your life! We’re excited for the likely updates to our favorite apps with the upcoming iOS7 release from Apple.What’s your favorite app? Written by Mary Yajko. She is a Grove customer support rep and crazed blogger 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’s Favorite Press Coverage of our Products from 2013

    They say your ears burn when people are talking about you. Well, we’ve heard it from multiple sources and can attest to it ourselves: your nose tickles when someone writes a blog article about you. Team Grove has definitely had its share of tickling noses this year! Here’s a couple of our favorite blog posts about our company from this summer:   TechCrunch TechCrunch wrote about our iPhone 5 SkateCase on June 3rd, and product reviewer Jordan Crook definitely had some great things to say about it! He wrote about the process of reclaiming the skateboard material from the factory, working with MapleXO to turn it into the signature recycled laminate, and hand sanding and finishing the case to bring out those beautiful stripes:   “Each Skate Case is made from recycled skateboard material and rubbed with citrus oil to bring out the unique coloring of the wood. This means that if you buy a Skate Case, no one in the world will ever have the same case as you. Pretty cool, right?”     Digital Trends Digital Trends followed suit later this summer and published a July 22 piece on our SkateCase by writer and reviewer Nick Mokey. Mokey stressed the care that goes into each Grovemade iPhone case that we make here, a sentiment that gave us the straight-up warm fuzzies:   “These cases are art, and radiate all the care that went into their precise construction. They feel nice in the hand, and unlike any scratch-collecting shard of injection-molded plastic, get nicer the more you handle them. I’ve toured Grove’s factory here in Portland,tried earlier iterations of its bamboo cases, and can vouch that the SkateCases are the pinnacle of a process two very talented guys have spent a long, long time perfecting.”   AppAdvice On July 1st, AppAdvice’s Brent Dirks wrote about our re-launched Bamboo Backs for MacBook Air 11” and MacBook Air and Pro 13” and 15”, along with new Bamboo Backs for iPad and iPad Mini. A Bamboo Back fan for sure, Dirks wrote about how each one is made from hand sanded and oiled bamboo veneer here in our workshop:   “[...]to help add a unique touch of style, customers can choose from more than 50 special cutouts, including a peace sign, the famous Apple “Command” symbol, and even a mustache[...]Last year, I reviewed the company’s Skateback, and can attest firsthand to the high-quality accessories that Grove creates. And for just $29, I think the Bamboo Back is a great bargain.”     Has all our press been praise and pats on the back this year? No way! We definitely value some constructive criticism. Both Digital Trends and TechCrunch mentioned that the price was a bit startling on our SkateCase. While we priced the case as low as possible to sustain the labor intensive process and special reclaimed skateboard material, we understand that our cases are not priced like the plastic ones. Since these reviews were published, we've been working hard alongside our partners and vendors to reduce our costs, and we were able to lower the price of our SkateCase by $30! Hooray for blogs and handiwork!   Don’t forget to check the above reviews as well as all of our products available on Grovemade.com, including the newly priced SkateCase!   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a Grove customer support rep and crazed blogger 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 our Instagrove Sweepstakes!

    The #Instagrove Sweepstakes is here! Are you on Instagram? Show us why you love Grove for a chance to win a product of your choice! We love Instagram around here, and are pumped to see what photos our fans and followers submit.   Enter in Three Simple Steps:   1) Take an Instagram video or picture of a Grove product and tell us what you love most about it in the caption.   3) Post to Instagram using the #Instagrove hashtag. A video is worth three entries, a picture is worth 1 entry (videos are awesome)!   4) Enter your email in the box on the contest page here, and you’re done!   We’ll announce the winners on August 15th.   We cannot wait to see what you come up with! Don’t forget to check out our Instagram stream @Grovemade to see what silly things the team is up to on a daily basis.   Oh! And, happy Instagramming!   Written by Mary Yajko. She is a Grove customer support rep and crazed blogger 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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  • Busy with Bamboo DNA at Coachella!

    Bamboo, our primary material, has been used for centuries around the world and has proved to be an amazing and durable building material. It is flexible, strong, and relatively lightweight-- not to mention beautiful and rapidly renewable. There are a few amazing designer/artisans building with it nowadays who are pushing the limits of the material. Today we wanted to feature a stunning bamboo sculpture made by Bamboo DNA for the 2008 Coachella music festival.       Bamboo DNA is the brainchild of Gerard Minakawa, a native New Yorker and graduate of the Rhode Island School Design. Minakawa employs a team of experienced, hard working bamboo artisans including Grove co-founder Ken Tomita back in the day. He designs work on a massive scale, building structures at events all around the country including Burning Man, Cochella Music Festival, and the Electric Daisy Carnival. The sculptures are wild, innovative, and often employ intricate mathematics into their forms. (We love the way they look at night all lit up with fluorescents!)     This particular sculpture was built over 3 weeks time with an army of 30+ volunteers who worked through the day and night to complete the project. First, a giant bamboo mesh was woven on the ground. Bundles of giant guadua bamboo poles were lashed together using traditional binding techniques with rope and pins to form super-columns over 80ft tall!  Modern rigging techniques were used to erect the sculpture using 4 cranes and 2 reach-forks.       It was beautiful to look at, but the sculpture also had the deeper purpose of acting as a place of rest and rejuvenation for festival goers. Today Bamboo DNA continues to push the envelope of using bamboo for sculpture. Ken is grateful he had the chance to work with and learn about bamboo from Minakawa, and so are we! goGrove!   Written by Mike Schultz. He is an oil painter from Ithaca, New York. When he is not working for Grove, he’s painting and drawing to his heart’s content. You can see his work on his blog and his website.
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  • Apple Rumors: Could the iWatch be on the way?

    Do you wear your heart on your sleeve? What about your iPhone on your wrist? People do seem to adore their iOS devices (especially with iOS 7 on the horizon) - but, do they love them enough to wear them in constant view on their arms? Yes, probably! Image via: VentureBeat Mac Rumors points to Apple’s serious pursuit of a stylish and wearable device - the iWatch. Financial Times is reporting that Apple has been on quite a hiring spree of sorts to build a team of experts for the smart watch’s development. Along with more than 100 designers, in early July, Apple hired Paul Deneve, the former CEO of fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. Hired to work on “special projects,” it’s assumed style expert Deneve will be an integral cog in designing wearable computing devices, like the “smart watch.” Image via: Investor Bistro Furthering the rumors, Apple has been filing trademark applications in a number of countries for the “iWatch.” However, TUAW is playing devil’s advocate. It’s not the first time we’ve heard of Apple “aggressively hiring” for an anticipated new product that never came to be. TUAW asks, “[...]if Apple had never released the watch-like fifth-gen iPod nano, would we be buried under a mountain of stupid "iWatch" articles all these years later?” Image from Cult of Mac Cult of Mac takes a glass-half-full outlook on the implications, and goes one step further, suggesting the iWatch is in fact in development and that it may be made from Liquidmetal alloy. “Theoretically, Liquidmetal could allow Apple to realize thinner, lighter, more resilient devices… but the Liquidmetal fabrication process is hard to work with, which is why, so far, we’ve only seen one actual Liquidmetal Apple product: the SIM removal tool that ships with every iPhone!” If you’re not quite ready for “Liquidmetal wearables,” no worries. Some other new designs are surely  around the corner. According to Mac Rumors, the iPad Mini is reportedly getting an “almost bezel free” wave-one redesign coming later this year, with a second-wave redesign shortly after to introduce a Retina Display version of the Mini. Grove is hoping to keep our Bamboo Backs aligned for all re-designs of the Mini, so stay tuned! In the meantime, gaze at your naked wrist in unbridled anticipation for Apple’s smart watch... Written by Mary Yajko. She is a Grove customer support rep and crazed blogger 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 is Excited to Introduce the Jeremy Fish Case for the iPhone 5 Artist Series!

    We’re excited to announce a new Artist Series case for the iPhone 5 Bamboo case designed by artist and illustrator Jeremy Fish. Maybe nothing could introduce him more fittingly than this description of Fish’s work by hip hop artist Aesop Rock: “I would like to think that somewhere between full-blown, howling death and a basket of newborn kittens exists a climate where the malice and the mirth can mingle. A couple of daisies on your grave, a little venom in your cocoa, some broken glass in your bouncy castle. This type of polar mixer can serve as an intriguing, endlessly entertaining, true-to-life foundation from which a smidgen of lore can grow. Exaggerate the extremes even a little, and the stories, characters, and places that emerge warp accordingly. It is the recognition and exploitation of this tension that immediately drew me to the work of upstate New York-born, San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Fish.” Aesop goes on to express that Fish’s images are never without backstory and meaning, and due to his practically locked-in-his-studio devotion, always executed with discipline and his best technique. While the world turns, Fish is holed up in his creative space, making prolific amounts of new work. “The guy is an art machine fueled by coffee, beer, and the occasional well-done burger [...] he makes pictures, he makes a lot of them, he makes them for himself, he makes them for the people, and he makes them from the heart. I am proud to say that I look up to him. You should too.”   Fish’s work includes globally exhibited fine art fueled by his education in painting and screenprinting. He also has his hands in commercial illustration, skateboard and vinyl toy design, t-shirts and sneakers, murals and album covers, periodicals, and more. Playful and just a bit sinister, his images are never lacking in symbolism, characters, or story. See more of his work and background on his site Silly Pink Bunnies. Mon-Owl-Cle by Jeremy Fish is available now for the Bamboo iPhone 5 Case on Grovemade.com - get the case for $79 this week only ($99 normally)! Written by Mary Yajko. She is a Grove customer support rep and crazed blogger 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 Secret Behind Prototyping New Grove Products

    Here at Grove when we say we do everything ourselves, we mean that we do everything ourselves. When we make a product we do the whole process from A to Z -- meaning we prototype (design it), test it, make it, sell it, ship it, and do our best to communicate with our customers and respond to feedback. Today we’d like to share with you a little bit about the design process and what prototyping is all about. As Grove co-founder Ken Tomita is fond of saying, “The design gods make it so you have to go through a lot of failure before you finally succeed.”  We believe there are a certain amount of mistakes that must be made (no matter what) before you finally get there-- and the best way forward is to put your head down and work through them until you do. Grove boasts some dynamic thinkers in our crew and so there are abundant ideas that come and go. We end up designing a lot of products that are shelved for later (or for never) as we are intentionally keeping our company small and have a limited capacity for production. So it is almost as important choosing what not to do as it is choosing what to focus on. The reason for staying small is simple-- we like what we do and want to keep it as manageable and enjoyable as possible. Prototyping for us is a group effort as there isn’t just one designer. We get feedback throughout the whole system from everybody here at Grove. When it works well we can do things things that we could never do alone by weeding out the ideas that aren’t so great and taking the best from the total of our team. We believe that prototyping and production go hand in hand. Ken learned with his furniture business that when you are pushing the limits of a material like we do with bamboo-- you need to design it and test it with the actual material. Something might look good on a computer screen, but it’s a whole other ball game when you make it in real life. We also value feedback from our customers! Through customer emails we heard that our old iPhone 4 cases were too fragile, so we figured out a way to reinforce them for the new iPhone 5 and the redesigned iPhone 4. Thank you for your help and encouragement! goGrove! Written by Mike Schultz. He is an oil painter from Ithaca, New York. When he is not working for Grove, he’s painting and drawing to his heart’s content.  You can see his work on his blog and his website.
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  • Grove’s Favorite (Baby Boomer) Artists

    Here at Grove, we are definitely of the mind that “art fills the void.” Much what we do with our products is in the name of art and of supporting the artist community. Since our first Bamboo iPhone Case for the 3g, we’ve been running our Artist Series of available engravings, which has now spanned into the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 cases and our selection of leather Notebook covers for Moleskines. We cherish providing modern illustrators from around the world the opportunity to see their works as engravings, and it’s exciting to help our customers bring a bit of art into their everyday lives through these common objects. Most of us on the team consider ourselves creative in some capacity, and we can definitely count some talented artists among our ranks. That’s why we’d like to start celebrating some of our favorite artists on our blog.   Here are a few of the artists that we admire of the Baby-Boomer variety: From La Cité Feu, 1984, a collaboration between Geof Darrow and French artist Moebius Geof Darrow, American comic book artist, born 1955 Darrow is known best for Hard Boiled;The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, which was adapted into an animated television series; and,Shaolin Cowboy. Grove lead designer Max describes Darrow’s work when he says, “It's Heavy Metal meets Where's Waldo and it was love at first sight. Darrow's method of filling every possible inch of his work has inspired Max’s own illustrations, such as this poster for the band Holiday Friends. Excerpt from My Neighbor Totoro, 1993, Hayao Miyazaki Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese animator, director, and artist, born 1941 Miyazaki’s career has lasted more than 50 years, and he’s gained international praise for his anime feature films. Miyazaki co-founded film and animation studio Studio Ghibli, known for such films as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. A fan since he was a child, Grove Production Manager Sean says of Miyazaki:   “Every one of his stories inspires thought about the deep connections we all have with each other and with the world around us. I love his work, because it always transports me to another place and allows me to reflect on parts of myself that I sometimes forget about - helping me to always view the world with a childlike wonder.”   Photograph of Within Without, skyspace exhibit at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), 2010, James Turrell James Turrell, American artist, born 1943 Turrell is an artist concerned with the creation of indoor and outdoor exhibits utilizing light and space. He was a MacArthur Fellow in 1984, and is acclaimed for his work in progress,Roden Crater, a natural cinder cone crater located outside Flagstaff, AZ that will become a massive naked-eye observatory. Turrell currently has exhibitions at the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Guggenheim. Grove CNC Programmer Barrett says, “I am attracted to his creativity [in] coupling architecture and nature to create inspiring spaces, as well as the importance and attention he gives to the viewers experience of light (both natural and artificial) in his pieces.”   Screenshot of Felix in Exile, DVD projection with sound, 1994, William Kentridge William Kentridge, South African artist and animator, born 1955 Kentridge’s eclectic body of work includes prints, paintings, drawings, tapestries, sculpture, animations, and Opera productions. He is known for his unique animation style in which he uses a single drawing that is altered and filmed continuously until the end of a scene. He then displays the drawings used along with the films as a finished piece of art. Watch this full-length documentary on him here. Production assistant at Grove Mike Schultz says, “I really appreciate how inventive William Kentridge is.  He draws, makes animations, writes plays -- he basically  takes his art wherever it wants to go.”   Thank you for taking the time to learn about some of our favorite artists. We hope some of this work was able to spark a bit of inspiration for your day, week, or year to come! In the future, we’d like to feature more of our favorite art right here. Happy creating! Written by Mary Yajko. She is a Grove customer support rep and crazed blogger 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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  • Behind the Scenes with Grove's Big Move!

    We are very excited to report that Grove has just moved into our brand new shop in a great location! Since 2009 we have occupied two different spaces in the same building in SE Portland, OR. Our 5th floor office space had an incredible view of the Willamette river and Portland’s downtown, but the woodshop needed to be on the ground floor because of the weight of our mighty CNC machines that do our milling. We made it work in two different spaces, produced tons of iPhone cases, and got really good at climbing stairs! But we are thrilled to now have a unified shop and wanted to share some of our enthusiasm and highlights of our move! The building we are now in needed some work! Ken’s back to his carpenter roots building walls and installing doors, while others like Galen, Scott and Sean have been working around the clock to get our new space in order. At one point a mysterious gigantic robot even showed up to lend a hand... We are excited about our new view of the hills, all of the big windows and wonderful natural light, but mostly, we are psyched to finally be together for the first time. We’ve designed the new shop so that there is a distinct production flow snaking through the space-- our raw material is delivered in one door and goes out the other to the delivery trucks and into your hands! We are putting the principles of lean manufacturing to the ultimate test to design a unique space that lends to as little waste as possible. The one piece flow from handwork to shipping. Lastly, we are enthusiastic about our new neighborhood! Still located in SE Portland, we are looking forward to all of the new neighborhood eats like the Sweetpea Baking Co. and the Gonzo Falafel and Hummus cart attached to hip brewery Basecamp! Thanks for letting us share some of our new shop with you!  It was a long weekend, but production is already up and running again!  Go team and goGrove! Written by Mike Schultz. He is an oil painter from Ithaca, New York.  When he is not working for Grove, he’s painting and drawing to his heart’s content.  You can see his work on his blog and his website.
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  • Bamboo Backs are Back by Popular Demand (and Now for iPad and iPad Mini Too!)

    We’re pretty psyched to bring back the beloved Bamboo Backs for MacBook, and we’ve added some for iPad 2, 3, 4, and iPad Mini as well! Turn your MacBook or iPad into an instant conversation piece by decorating it in smooth, all-natural bamboo. Check out the sweet video below of them in action!   Back by popular demand, our Bamboo Backs come with one of 50+ unique and quirky cutouts. Express yourself the moment you open your MacBook display or pull out your iPad. It’s a fun and affordable way to stand out from the crowd, even when you’re hiding behind that Apple logo for most of the day, like so many of us do. About the Bamboo Back: Compatible with the MacBook Air 11” and 13”, MacBook Pro 13” and 15”, iPad 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation, and iPad Mini Made with all-natural bamboo veneer Hand sanded and finished with natural oils for a smooth feel Choose from one of 50+ fun cutouts Adheres with a 3M adhesive that does not leave a permanent residue Barely altering the size of your device or your wallet, Bamboo Backs instantly add style and smile to your everyday gear. When your MacBook is turned on, the Bamboo Back cutouts illuminate just like the original Apple logo! Bamboo Backs for MacBook, iPad, and iPad Mini are now available on Grovemade.com at just $29! Written by Mary Yajko. Mary is a Grove customer support rep and crazed blogger 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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