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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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  • Grove Blog Exclusive: Behind the Scenes With the Skatecase!

    We’re really excited about our new Skatecase product for the iPhone, and today we wanted to share some of the behind-the-scenes production with you. The Skatecase comes from a collaboration with Lindsay Jo Holmes of MapleXO, who uses recycled skateboard material to make jewelry. (We love her work-- what a great way for an avid skateboarder to make a living!) Originally we teamed up with Lindsay to make the Skateback for the iPhone, and so naturally it evolved into a case. Using a material that would otherwise be a waste product is not only a good way to reduce manufacturing excess, but it’s a fun challenge to make it all work well! From the get go, it was a test of the skills of our engineers, designers, and woodshop production crew to fabricate an iPhone case from recycled skateboard material. Our engineers worked around the clock for months to find the best way to mill and produce our Skatecase. (Is sleep for wimps? We can’t say. But a sleep deprived Barrett did make a CNC jig called The Millenium Falcon for just this product!) Once our crew dialed in our large CNC machines to get the milling just right and we were happy with the fit of the cases, it was go, team, go!     After the Skatecases come off the mill they go through a rigorous quality control check where each one is inspected by hand at several work stations. If they do not pass the tests they are fed to the beast. Once inspected they are cleaned up by resident edge sanding genius Sean, and readied for the woodshop production team to knock them out one by one. Our woodshop team now knows the process backwards and forwards. We hand sand each case to make them look as pretty as we can. We oil them and clean them up and let them cure until they are just right. When they are ready we do the final procedure of installing the bamboo buttons and inner materials that keep our iPhones snug as a bug in our cases. In the end each case goes through another series of quality control tests so we deliver you the best product possible! After that they are processed and shipped out to you by our team. goGrove! Written by Mike Schultz. Mike 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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  • How Many Countries has Team Grove Visited?

    It may be hard to believe that the members of team Grove have had lives and times outside of the realm of bamboo iPhone cases, but it’s true! The approaching summer has got us daydreaming about potential travel plans and reminiscing about our past ones. If you could add all our individual travel experiences together, we’re quite the globetrotters, having visited Canada, Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, England, France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Poland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Czech Republic, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Pohnpei, Macau, Palau, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, The Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia, Morocco, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Ethiopia! Check out our official Grove travel map below: We’ve compiled some of our favorite parts of our international experiences. Maybe it’ll spark some future journeys! Some of our favorite things about Some of our Favorite Countries: Canada Galen - The yummy Chinese food Brodie - The clean cities and friendly people   Mexico Max - Cobblestone streets of Oaxaca; warm rain; roasted grasshoppers; shopping for Christmas presents at the hectic, fantastical market. Brodie - Warm water, great food, and the people   Thailand Mike S. - The delicious food and my amazing experience working with Burmese migrants and refugees at The Puzzlebox Art Studio! Brodie - The food, the people, the diving, and the history   Australia Mary - Sailing and surfing, rock climbing in the outskirts of the city, sleeping in the desert near Alice Springs, and colorful birds and giant lizards everywhere. Oh yeah, and making friends from other countries! Mike D. - Holding a Koala, taking a trip to Nimbin, beautiful beaches   Japan Jim - Biking through bamboo forest, eating home cooked dinners, cold Kirin, and Toto toilet technology! Sean - Proposing to my wife, Priscilla!!! Spending time with Priscilla and her Grandparents. RAMEN! I had so many favorite parts, I can't list them all. All of my trips there have culminated in some of the best experiences I have ever had.   China Brodie - The food, history, people, and the temples contrasted against buildings being built for the Olympics Ken - Attempting to play cards with an old Chinese couple on a train when I spoke no Chinese and they spoke no English   Belize Barrett - Drinking rum, eating lobster, and singing while Hurricane Igor passed by us.   The UK Mike D. - (in London) What was supposed to be a week turned into almost 3 months, working at concert venues, seeing Daft Punk play in Hyde Park, meeting lots of Aussies, seeing the sites, and drinking some drinks. Ken - (outside Dublin) Our material for a large bamboo sculpture got stuck in customs, so we went into the forest, cut down some trees, and made a different sculpture designed on the fly   France Mary - Walking through Montmartre, drinking Orangina at outdoor cafes, and meeting people who were very different from the people I grew up around.   Italy Max - Drinking milkshakes with legs overhanging the canal, every day of our stay; Venice lives up to the postcard 100%.   Costa Rica Mike D. - Traveling with no set plans, hanging out on beautiful beaches, sketchy bungee jumping, and surfing Jim - Playing soccer on the beach. In a matter of minutes of pulling out the soccer ball, we had a full 10 on 10 game with locals that appeared out of seemingly nowhere.     Well, we won’t bore you with the rest, but we’ll be thinking wistfully of our trips and dreaming up more for the rest of the day. And, even if, like some of us, you aren’t leaving the US anytime soon, it doesn’t hurt to daydream about this beautiful world of ours! 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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  • What You Didn't Know About Sylvia from Customer Relations!

    Here at Grove we are fortunate to rub elbows with some pretty incredible and talented folks-- and Sylvia is one such person! She keeps a busy schedule between helping her mom’s business out in the mornings and lending her skills to our customer relations department. If you’ve had questions about products like our new Skatecase-- it’s likely that Sylvia was the one who kindly answered you. But one thing that many people don’t know about Sylvia is that she is also a fierce fighter for global human rights. Specifically, she volunteers for groups working to stop human trafficking-- and we wanted to share a little bit about her volunteer work with you. “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein Sylvia has always wanted to become a voice for the voiceless. However, a few years ago during a difficult period in her life this became a reality after she stumbled upon the horrific issue of human trafficking. She chose to channel her indignation and empathy for those who've faced injustice and exploitation and hasn’t looked back since. One simple way to lend a hand is through campaigns like this: Currently, LiNK (Liberty in North Korea) is running a campaign through Sevenly where if you simply SHARE the post from their website (http://www.sevenly.org/LiNK) you can help them reach 7,000 shares which unlocks a $10,000 donation to the cause! LiNK is one of the three non-profits that Sylvia is most directly involved with. It is an organization that is working to end the North Korean human rights crisis through raising awareness about the atrocities happening inside the country. They are lobbying for the legalization of adoption for abandoned orphans born to North Korean mothers and Chinese fathers (but are unrecognized by China and therefore don't qualify for any federal documents or aid), and help by aiding and rescuing refugees who have escaped from North Korea and are in hiding for fear of being repatriated or being trafficked. Please visit the Portland chapter of LiNK here. Compassion First is a passionate and dedicated group here in Portland that has a house in Indonesia-- one of the largest trafficking hubs in the world. CF rescues, advocates for, and rehabilitates young women and girls who are survivors of human trafficking. They are doing great things by changing the legal landscape of Indonesia, and by working with Indonesian courts and law enforcement through a partnership with the Portland Human Trafficking Unit.   With Chika one of our Indonesian Case Workers who was recovering from heart surgery, and Bickey the Director of CF’s Operations. Freedom and Fashion is an amazing platform that brings non-profits and ethical clothing companies together to raise awareness, while promoting smart consumerism. They are making fighting slavery fun, easy, and fashionable! Current estimates report that up to 27 million people are being trafficked or are the victims of human trafficking (the majority of these people are women and children). Sylvia admits that these problems can seem overwhelming, but as she says, “I like to remind people to focus on just doing their part, whether that be a weekend a month, an hour a day, or once every year. If you can help just one person, even a little, isn't it worth it?” We’re lucky to have someone like Sylvia on our team! goGrove! Written by Mike Schultz. Mike 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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  • 7 Facts About Apple's New iOS 7

    On Monday, Apple announced iOS 7 Beta, a new operating system for its mobile devices. Here at Grove, we’re looking forward to getting the new system installed on our iPhones and iPads this coming autumn. The main theme of the new system is improved design and simplicity in user experience. To quote Apple: “Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them. It’s about bringing order to complexity. And it’s about making something that always seems to “just work.” When you pick something up for the first time and already know how to do the things you want to do, that’s simplicity.” A big draw of iOS 7 is its sleek new appearance. With each aesthetic aspect redesigned, including all icons and countless Apps, the operating system is looking quite fit indeed. Apple chalks up the good looks to good design, stating, “When something is designed to work beautifully, it tends to look that way too.” Here are seven facts about the new iOS 7 that we found especially interesting (find more facts on MacRumors): Parallax Attacks! - The interface shifts slightly as the phone is moved, giving depth to the screen, which includes wallpaper, alerts, notifications, etc. Dynamic, Panoramic Wallpaper-amic - The two provided wallpaper options are dynamic and animated, or users can upload their own panoramic image instead and watch their screen pan around the image as they shift their phone. Your Time in the Spotlight - Access Spotlight through the home screen by swiping down from the middle of the screen and manually change settings for the result categories that will show up. Please, Sir, Can I Have Some More [data]? - Track and ration out your cellular data usage manually from App to App. Take Control of Your Land[scape] - You can now access the App switcher and Control Center in landscape mode as well as manually quitting Apps by swiping up and closing multiple Apps at once. The Right to Free Skips - Each hour, skip 6 annoying songs per station in iTunes Radio, whether or not you are a paying user. Hold Your Horses! - Experts say to be patient and remember that iOS 7 is still in Beta, recommending that users wait instead of purchasing a developers account for $99 or paying someone online to register your UDID for you. One of our favorite things about the new beta is the sense of dimension it can bring to the iPhone 5, iPad, or iPod Touch while still retaining its signature simplicity.  “Distinct and functional layers help create depth and establish hierarchy[...]The use of translucency provides a sense of context and place,” says Apple on their site. “And new approaches to animation and motion make even the simplest tasks more engaging.” Very profound, indeed Read some designers’ reactions to iOS 7 on TUAW and check out the video on Apple.com. Did we already say we’re excited!? 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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  • Meet Jim- Grove's new Operations Manager!

    As Grove’s new Operations Manager, Jim sees to the day to day running of the company. He’s a dynamic thinker and is quickly becoming an integral member of team Grove. For his first five months he familiarized himself with how we use lean manufacturing to make our products.  He spent a lot of time getting to know the behind the scenes at Grove and is especially interested in inter-departmental communication, process, and flow.  Jim is also a project manager, primarily for product launches - the most recent being for our new Skatecase! Jim hails from Romeoville, IL, a place he describes as “an industrial nexus in the ever expanding Chigolandland beast with lots of options for good Italian beef.” He came out to Portland in 2001, where he now lives with his wife Sarah Toor-- a photographer who also does marketing for Portland’s White Bird Dance Company. Outside of work Jim loves to get his exercise playing soccer at Portland’s longest running pick up game in West Moreland Park. He practices yin yoga-- a very slow, gentle, restorative yoga which takes place largely on the mat.  Yin wards off those pesky soccer injuries and also helps him stay grounded and chill. He’s also addicted to Blitz chess-- a chess game where each player gets a grand total of three minutes for the entirety of their moves. Jim also likes to paint and draw (currently his favorite things to draw are sumo wrestlers in yoga poses!) He and his wife Sarah host two annual events-- The ShortShort Film Fest and The Blacklight Audio Fest. The ShorotShort attracts between 50-60 people and shows 10-12 film submissions usually ranging 3-5 minutes in duration. The Blacklight Audio Fest features found sounds, spoken word poetry, and longer sound pieces similar to our favorite NPR shows This American Life and Radiolab. Fun! These events are in their sixth year running!  You can learn more about these at yumilife.com. goGrove! Written by Mike Schultz. Mike 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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  • Introducing the SkateCase for iPhone 5!

    You’ve been asking for it, and we listened! Check out our new SkateCase for iPhone 5; It’s a full case made from post-industrial skateboard waste! The first 100 customers to order get a free limited edition keychain made from recycled skateboard by MapleXO. Take a look at this video if you want to know more about how the SkateCase is made: The Making of the SkateCase for iPhone 5 from Grove on Vimeo. PS Stix makes more than 4,000 skateboards a day, 200 per hour, three per minute! Each week, the factory throws away one city-bus load of scrap wood material. Together with MapleXO, we’re rescuing the waste from the dumpster and giving this vibrant wood a second life. The SkateCase for iPhone 5 is crafted from recycled skateboard veneers here in our workshop. Each case is hand-sanded and rubbed with citrus oil to bring out its unique color combination. • A special collaboration with jewelry and accessories designer Maple XO Made from upcycled skateboard material at the Grove workshop in Portland, OR • Colors vary because the sheets of skateboard material are formed into a solid block by hand • Re-enforced with a solid surface material core and topped with an actuated wooden power button • Hand-sanded and finished with citrus oil to make the vibrant colors really stand out The unique SkateCase is made using a dual material design, which combines a solid surface material core and an outer shell of recycled skateboard. We design and make the case here at our workshop in Portland, Oregon through a combination of precision milling and good old-fashioned handiwork. We take pride in finishing each of our pieces by hand to guarantee a smooth feel, an accurate fit, and artisan character. After pioneering the original SkateCase two years ago, we're bringing it back due to popular demand with the new and strengthened design. Our cases are crafted with care here in the USA. Each Grove iPhone case journeys through several days of hard work: milling, filing, gluing, sanding, soaking, oiling, lining, laser engraving, quality control, and packaging, before finally shipping directly to the customer. The SkateCase for iPhone 5 is now available on Grovemade.com for $149! (Don’t forget: the first 100 customers to order get a free limited edition keychain made from recycled skateboard by MapleXO!) 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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