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  • Bon voyage, Arty! We’ll miss you!

    Let’s set the record straight-- Arthur “Arty” Johnstone’s mom makes all of his clothing, and he looks great!  He is like a handsome sasquatch, tall like a brontosaurus, and he loves bad movies like The Norseman (1978). He is also a painter who loves Die Antwoord-- check out his website here! Arthur is a light hearted sanding machine who keeps everybody happy while we work. He is known in the woodshop as The Beard of Zeus-- one who has perfected the art of sanding and shaping iPhone cases, skatebacks, and iPad cases. He excels at chamfer and backsanding! A few months ago, we wrote a post about Arty and his woodshop series of prisma color drawings that he made here in Grove’s shop! He keeps a painting studio in a space at the Recess Gallery, and has recently been working on a large volume of collaborative work, including a time lapse video of painting of a Portland’s Willamette River. Sadly, like a meandering and lonesome cowboy on the prairie, he is now leaving Grove to move on to greener pastures. He will first embark on a pilgrimage to the major art hubs of the United States. You may catch a glimpse of him on the Amtrack train or Greyhound bus trolling through your town. He’s destined for Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Boston, and New York City.  He wants to see how independent artists make a living outside of the corporate structure. Arty says more than anything he will miss working with this collection of well dressed people.  While drawing his coworkers on our breaks he says he imagines us wild stallions... Bon voyage, Arty!  We’ll miss you! 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 iPhone 5 Case is Available for Pre-order Now!

    The Grove team is delighted to announce that our new iPhone 5 case is available now for pre-order! We re-designed our case to be thinner, sleeker, more durable, and still made with all-natural bamboo. Give your new phone a case that’s modern, gorgeous, eco-friendly, and practical! Equal parts sustainability and eye-catching form, our smartest design yet involves combining two materials - a renewable bamboo exterior and a strong, solid surface material core. In signature Grove style, we design and make the case entirely here at our Portland workshop. Up until September 30th, you have the chance to pre-order the case for a special discounted price ($20 off) AND a secure place in line before those who don’t pre-order. Pre-order prices for the case start at just $59*. (For more information on the pre-order, please visit our iPhone 5 case FAQ). We don’t get any special insider information on the new iPhone, so we’ll be watching patiently when the new iPhone is released on September 12th - just like you! Once we have the new iPhone in our hands, we’ll finalize the case so it fits like a glove. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to reserve your iPhone 5 case! *Discounted pre-order prices : Plain Case ($59), Engraved Case ($79), Custom Case ($109) 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 Co-founders to Speak at First Annual Portland Digital eXperience (PDX) hosted by MusicFest Northwest!

    Grove’s co-owners, Ken and Joe, are honored and excited to speak on the panel at the inaugural Portland Digital eXperience (PDX), a part of MusicFest Northwest (MFNW)! Ken and Joe will be participating along with Lindsay Jo Holmes of MapleXO, our collaboration partner on our iPhone SkateBacks. Discussion will be framed around the ins and outs of running tech-inspired small businesses in the creative oasis of the Portland Metro Area. Check out this panel “Technology as Inspiration” on Friday, September 7th at 2:15pm; PDX activities will be ongoing September 6th through 8th.  Tickets and schedule are available online. Portland Digital eXperience is a thrilling addition to Time-magazine-lauded MFNW, giving Portland’s many tech-focused start-ups (aka the Silicon Forest) an outlet for discussion, celebration, and exploration! PDX was planned and organized by Rick Turoczy, co-founder of P.I.E. (Portland Incubator Experiment) and creator of Silicon Florist. Friday’s “Technology as Inspiration” panel will be moderated by Garrett Stenson. Garrett currently works for Ziba as a business developer and all around “dot connector”, and previously founded db clay. Check out Garrett’s blog, Twitter feed, and Linkedin profile for more information on this mover and shaker. Lookout South by Southwest (SXSW)! The Northwest is giving you a run for your money with MusicFestNW and its awesome new events, like PDX. Read more about Portland’s tech-savviness and “creative streak” on OregonLive and CNNMoney. And if you’re coming out for MFNW and PDX, be sure to stop by Friday’s panel with Ken, Joe, Lindsay, and Garrett to learn more about “Technology as Inspiration”!  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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  • Ups(tairs) and Downs(tairs): A Grove Process Interview

    We wanted to share a little about how Grove operates day to day in our work space. Because we share a building with several other creative businesses and individuals, our workshop is divided between two different floors. In this charming, brick, industrial building, our woodshop is on the very bottom level, and our laser studio is located on the very top floor. That’s five flights between the upstairs and downstairs teams. We only use the industrial lift when we have something heavy to carry, so we all have super strong legs. “Legs like trees,” we like to say! I asked our general manager Galen and our woodshop production manager Sean to add some insight into how they keep everything together, without being two places at once: How do you manage two production areas? Galen - “It used to be a challenge but like many of the hurdles we’ve faced over the life of Grove, we’ve adapted and we’re working as hard as we can to unify our production team.” Sean - “You have to constantly remind yourself to get in contact...we meet every morning...we levitate to each other out the windows too. And use cans with string. I use smoke signals as well...carrier pigeons. You know.” The downstairs woodshop, or “the shop” as we call it, is where we bring in our raw bamboo or skateboard material, mill it with our machinery, and sand and finish each case by hand. That’s also where we have our barbeques, manage our compost pile, and grow our fledgling patch of bamboo! Upstairs, or “laserland”, is where we have our lasers, sewing machines, and quality control areas, as well as our shipping, design, and customer service pods. Laserland also has arguably one of the best views of the Willamette River, downtown Portland, and all its bridges! Before our current building, the lasershop and woodshop used to be in two different locations entirely. Even though we’ve got Grove down to one building, we’re still moving toward eventually having one large workshop and more streamlined and unified processes. The production teams have been spending time lately cross-training in various tasks. Before our current location, Grove used to be in two different buildings. How has being in one building affected the company? Galen - “Going into one building - super game changer - now everyone knows each other. Now we have to run up five flights of stairs instead of running for 2 ½ miles.” Sean - “When I worked in the old wood shop we didn’t really see the laser shop people very often, so it’s been really great merging the two shops...Plus we’re not sharing a space with other woodworkers that have their own projects going on.” You’ve started cross-training the production team so everyone learns every task. What are the benefits of that? Galen - “It gives us ultimate flexibility if people are out on vacation or sick. We can shift them and still get production done.” Sean - “It makes our relationships with each other stronger, and it makes us understand how our actions can affect each other. You see the big picture, where before it was compartmentalized. I mean, we’re all BFFs, but now we’re even closer BFFs.” What’s the ideal Grove space? Galen - “The ideal would be one ginormous production space so that we can all be happy together forever.” [the end]. Sean - “Maybe we should get an elevator...to space. Or an underground mountain lair. In a volcano.” Grove probably won’t be moving into a ginormous underground volcano lair anytime soon, but we’re always working toward being the most unified and productive team we can be! 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 City of Green Roses

    This week we wanted to share a little more about the city where Grove is based-- Portland, OR. We are fortunate to have a proactive and forward thinking community that is investing in a better future for our city and its residents. Grove fits into this community by making our cases using bamboo- a renewable resource. Here is an informative video on Portland’s sustainability initiatives that was made by artist Andrew Dickson for the Portland Office of Sustainability.   Below is a small selection of the green initiatives that Portland is investing in. (Besides what Portland is known for- like an amazing network of bike lanes.) 1. Bioswales What’s a bioswale? Bioswales are elements designed into the landscape that help to reduce pollution in our waterways by removing silt and filtering out toxins from surface runoff water.  This helps to keep our rivers clean and make our city more beautiful by adding more greenery to boot. 2. Green Eco Roofs Green roofs are beneficial in many ways.  They help reduce carbon dioxide levels, reduce rainwater runoff, provide habitats for urban wildlife, filter the air and reduce air pollution, and significantly lower the overall temperature of a city. Check out the downtown Portland library’s eco roof!   3. Solar Energy Portland is a leader in installing and maintaining solar panels. Solar is the most reliable and renewable of all of our energy resources. By transitioning to solar energy we can reduce our dependence on costly and polluting fossil fuels. To learn more, here is a link to Solar Oregon. We love this town. Go Portland! 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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  • Dano the Machinist!

    To the laypeople of the world, Dano is a machinist.  But the real deal is that Dano (aka Jeano) helps in the design, prototyping, and manufacturing of the production of our products. This winter he was instrumental in redesigning the iPad case. More recently he’s been  focusing on developing the skateback, the major innovation of this product being the design and construction of a vacuum table that allows for speed of manufacture while simultaneously minimizing waste. Dano hails from Salem, Massachusetts, the Halloween capital of the universe! He graduated from Reed college in 2009 with a BA in Psychology. In school he was most interested in the neuroscience side of psychology and currently splits his time between Grove and a research lab at OHSU where he uses a gigantic MRI machine. Right now, he has a project with two other friends called The Humble Velocipede on Kickstarter. This project owes a lot of its success to Grove, as Dano used his design and machining experience from his work here and applied it to the Velocipede. When he’s not as Grove you can find him enjoying bike rides, kittens, hot coffee and listening to Mariah Carey. Songs like Fantasy and Emotions really power him through the day! 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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  • Introducing the new iPad Case from Lovely Mermaid Tasha Chapman

    We’re thrilled to announce our newest Bamboo iPad Case from Tasha Chapman, artist of our “Feathers” Bamboo iPhone Case! In our newest collaboration, we’re featuring Tasha’s design “Silent Night” on our premium leather and bamboo iPad case. Check out one of her many original pieces below: "Depths Below" original by Tasha Chapman “The diving whale invites you to follow him into his serene world below the waves. Even if it's stormy above, in his world sounds are muffled, the water flows slower, and chaos dissolves into liquid.”  - Tasha Chapman on “Depths Below” Tasha, a.k.a. Jewelwing, is a full-time artist and a lover of the ocean and its inhabitants. When she’s not in the water, she’s channeling her fascination with nature into beautiful illustrations. Tasha’s designs are now in a permanent collection on T-shirts.com and have also been sold at Urban Outfitters, Threadless, shirt.woot, Society6, and Goodjoe, among others. The Atlantic Ocean is Tasha’s Etsy store for all things sea-inspired. The best way to learn about her and her work is to explore her website, jewelwing.com. Tasha’s whimsical “Silent Night” Bamboo iPad Case will be $20 off this week! 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 Everyday-Carry: the Tools we Rely on Each Day in the Shop!

    We wanted to share some of the tools we use at Grove everyday to make our items, along with some of the Grove products we ourselves enjoy daily! Check out the product descriptions below if you’d like to learn a little more about shop life. From the top left going clockwise: Grove Notebook leather Moleskine Cover in “Elephant” by Jacob Escobedo - Here at Grove, we depend on our trusty personal Moleskine notebooks to organize our daily ideas, to-do lists, and inspirations. Joe’s Elephant cover has been through years of use and shows the graceful aging of the leather, which results in a smooth texture and deep honey hue. Copic Multiliner Pen - This is a great pen for the detailed technical drawings essential to product and production designing. The trusty no. 2 pencil - A good no. 2 pencil never fails you whether you’re sketching on the work table or working through some figures in your notebook. Olfa Safety Cutter - We entrust our various cutting jobs in this safe, sharp blade. It cuts leather, veneer, paper, and other materials with ease - it’s the sword of the workshop! Gingher Thread Nippers - This nifty scissor-like tool is used for trimming the thread after we sew our covers for Bamboo iPad Cases, Wool iPad Sleeves, or leather Moleskine covers. INSIZE Digital Calipers - We like to perfect the fit of our iPhone cases, and this digital caliper allows us to do just that. We bow down to its preciseness! Grove Wool iPad Sleeve and Apple iPad - We love DJing during our woodshop hours with the iPad, and the wool sleeve is great for protecting the tablet when we carry it from our woodshop to our laser studio and everywhere in between. Grove SkateBack and Apple iPhone 4s - We like to be uber cool with SkateBack-endowed iPhones; the SkateBack is also great for protecting our phones from being set down on various hard surfaces all day. Of course, we use our iPhones for just about everything from Instragramming to planning super serious business meetings. Shh! Assorted Dental Tools - We know it’s kind of creepy, but dental tools are great for picking the excess glue off of bezels on our Bamboo iPhone cases (and the food out of our teeth after lunch...) DEWALT Safety Glasses - Saving eyes (and making us look sexy in the workshop) since 1920! Custom Finishing Tongs - We crafted these tongs to be the ideal tool for our custom, hand-applied oil finishing process. We design and make many of our own tools! 3M Respirator - We use 3M respirators to add that post-apocalyptic vibe to the woodshop and to protect our lungs from the inevitable sandstorms created by sanding up all that lovely bamboo. Ahh - breath in that delicious wood smell - as long as you’ve got your respirator on! We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about our everyday tools of the trade. We love what we do, and we love finding the right tools for each job - even if that means we have to make them ourselves! 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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  • Mac Rumor Roundup: Summer Sales and a Fresh New iPad TV Ad!

    This August, Apple is trying to spread the love for some of its newest iOS devices. With Apple refurbishing programs and price-matching promotions, the opportunity to finally get the New iPad or an iPhone 4/4s has presented itself. Apple also premiered the following television commercial for the New iPad on August 7th, as reported by MacRumors: The ad states: “Read it. Tweet it. Be surprised. Be productive. Make a sale. Make some lunch. Make it movie night. Play a game. Or an old favorite. Do it all more beautifully, with the Retina display, on iPad.” It’s true that so much can be done on the New iPad, and the Retina display adds smoothness, seamlessness, and eye-catching sharpness to so many of our daily routines. For those without the new iPad, Apple has just begun selling a variety of refurbished New iPads on their online store. According to TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog), quantities of Apple refurbs are typically limited. Each refurb comes with a complete warranty, new outer shell, and new battery. Apple has also begun to price match certain retailers discounts on the iPhone. Historically, the Apple store sticks to its own price scale; however, MacRumors and TUAW reported that they will accept price matching for the iPhone 4 and 4s for Best Buy, Carriers, Radio Shack, Target, and Sprint. Allegedly, customers must cite the source of the price to receive price matching and can only use price matching in Apple stores, not through the online store. There you have it! It’s truly Apple August, and some of us on team Grove are especially excited to take part! Beating the heat with some indoor tech-time sounds good right about now... 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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  • Meet Tommy, One of Grove's Original Six!

    To customers, Tommy is probably best known for writing most of the thank you notes for our outgoing orders, but around here Tommyhawk is known for making sure every product gets finished and goes out on time. He’s worked at Grove for two years and when he joined the company it was just a baby beginner with six employees! He’s mastered every job in the laser shop, and now his main responsibilities include lasering all the artwork and processing all of the shipping orders. His favorite products are the Leather Notebook Covers for Moleskine. Have a peep! Tommy is a born-and-raised Portland native who grew up in the St John’s neighborhood. He attended the University of Oregon where he graduated in 2009 with Bachelors of Architecture. Out of all the Grovers who attended of the U of O, he is the reluctant Duck. Having grown up here, Tommy’s love of Portland fed into his desire to become a city planner. This year he’ll be returning to school at Portland State University for his Masters in Civil Engineering. He’s interested in using European models of city layout-- particularly transportation systems-- as a way to connect communities. The dude has lived in Denmark, speaks Swedish and he’s looks forward to returning to live and study in Copenhagen. Jealous! Outside of work, Tommy is an avid runner.  Recently, he’s been getting back into screen printing and watercoloring.  He is also the local horror movie buff with Suspiria at the top of his list. (Halloween is a close follow up.)   When he’s not keeping a small mountain of orders to be shipped and organized you can usually find him singing karaoke-- Heartbreaker by Mariah Carey! 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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  • Ten Reasons to Buy a Grove Notebook Refillable Moleskine® Cover!

    We’re on the edge of our seats with the release of our newest Grove offering: Grove Notebooks. We created these refillable leather covers in both black and tan to slide snugly onto Moleskine® large and pocket-sized notebooks. Notebooks are precious keepers of our thoughts and inspirations - our leather covers help protect your best doodle, next big idea, or the beginning of that book you’ve always wanted to write. Not to mention, they keep notebooks lookin’ snazzy and can be engraved with one of our artist series designs or your own custom image! Need more reasons to have a Grove Notebook cover all your own? Here’s ten: They’re reusable, so even if you fill a Moleskine® notebook every day, we got you covered (pun alert)! Striving for top quality and social responsibility, we use all-natural leather tanned here in the USA with natural bark tannins - free of harmful chromium. You can support the artistic community by purchasing one of our artist series designs and enjoy some amazing art on a daily basis while you’re at it. Because the design is engraved into the leather, it’s just as long-lasting as the cover itself. They age beautifully and develop character over time. You can totally get a custom order with your pug’s face engraved on the front and your mom’s on the back - or vice versa depending on your priorities. Custom Notebooks make great gifts for companies, wedding parties, family reunions, book clubs, and yodeling circles - you name it. Functionality is enhanced with a slot in the front for business cards and one in the back for usage of the Moleskine® elastic strap. Our leather is flexible yet durable, and we use a double layer of leather. No matter how many times you whip out your Moleskine to write down that genius one-liner, your notebook’s integrity is intact and your cover won’t loosen! Having a naked Moleskine® means you’re more likely to accidentally grab someone else’s and leave yours at the coffeeshop. Then everyone will know your secret plans to take over the world one carousel at a time. Our covers help you get excited about your notebook again, whatever it means to you - new dreams, new writing, new drawings, new organizational skills, yippee! There you have it! We love our new Grove Notebook Moleskine® covers and we hope you do to! Check them out here on our site. They start at $39 for pocket-sized plain. 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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  • Check out the Art of Five of Grove’s Talented Team Members!

    We’re lucky here at Grove to be working amongst such talented people. From architecture and fine art to carpentry and web programming, our team has a lot to offer! We wanted to share the art and designs of five of our many passionate creators: Ellie Yi Ellie Yi is a hardworking production manager at Grove and also a talented illustrator. Ellie graduated with a BFA in Graphic Illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She uses a range of mediums, including charcoal, acrylic, and computer illustration. According to Ellie, almost anything in her day-to-day life can serve as inspiration for an image or character, but the motivation to be a better artist is what moves her to draw. From creating playful characters to invoking emotions in the viewer, Ellie enjoys telling stories with her drawings. She is putting that energy toward a career in children’s book illustration and video game character design. Ellie is available for commissioned works. More of Ellie’s work can be viewed on her blog. Arty Johnstone Arty is a production assistant at Grove - sanding cases with care in our woodshop. He’s also a drawing maniac who’s always got his sketchbook out. His main mediums are acrylic, pen and ink, and prismacolor pencils, but he’s been known to do the occasional wire sculpture. He’s interested in working quickly and capturing loose representations of the people, places, and objects that occupy his life. Inspirations for Arty include impressionist paintings, pop stars, and even trash bins and some of the more underappreciated parts of human anatomy. Arty loves the draw his friends and spend entire weekends holed up in his studio, beating his head against the wall about the myriad quandaries of painting. Arty was part of a two man show at the Cock gallery in Portland entitled “Attraction and Repulsion”. See more work from Arty on his blog. Mike Schultz Mike works as a production assistant in the Grove woodshop and is an inspiring artist returning from a 15-month stay on the Thai-Burma border. Japanese sumi ink and oil painting are his preferred mediums. He’s made a wide breadth of work including a collaboration with photographer Sarah Wilmer of some haunting album art for the mysterious Connie Converse. Since returning to the US, he has been concentrating on narrative work reflecting his experience of living and working in a conflict zone. While living in Mae Sot, Thailand, Mike taught art to Burmese migrant youth and helped to establish the Puzzlebox Art Studio, a project of the Mae Sot based NGO Youth Connect. The first project of the Puzzlebox was to build a guesthouse from the ground up! Check it out here: Picture Book Guesthouse. Mike is available for commissioned works! See some of Mike’s work and his process blog here. Sean Michael Kelly Sean Kelly is production manager and product designer at Grove, and he’s also passionate about his personal design projects. Sean creates a range of designs - mostly furniture and consumer products. His focus is on user experience. Growing up with a carpenter father and architect grandfather, he’s inspired by people and how they interact with the objects around them. Sean loves to explore the emotions that people experience around products and why people choose to surround themselves with certain items. One of his designs is a device that would provide an entirely new form of communication based on movement and light! Creating something from scratch and sharing new ideas with the world inspires Sean in his work.  Sean will be showing a design at the upcoming ShowPDX , and he recently helped assemble an outdoor bamboo sculpture in Las Vegas with BambooDNA.  His work has also been featured in PlyDesign: 73 Distinctive DIY Projects in Plywood. Sean is available for freelance, collaborative, and commissioned projects. See more of Sean’s work on his website. Max Brown Max works as a designer here at Grove, and in his personal time, creates solid-lined and colorful comic-style tidbits. Max works mainly with pencil and paper, Illustrator, and Photoshop. He’s inspired by other comic and poster artists like Geof Darrow, Hergé, and Tyler Stout; but, most of all, he’s inspired by the animated show Adventure Time. Max loves visually manifesting anything he can dream up - he sees some storytelling coming up in his next project. Done with searching for the perfect fictional worlds, Max has decided he’s going to have to create them himself. Recently, Max has been working on his ongoing series of illustrations inspired by every David Cronenberg film (in chronological order), and has also completed a screen-printed poster for the Holiday Friends July tour. He enjoys poster work and is free for commissioned projects. See his comic work at Computers are Crazy and explore his world on his website. These are just a few of the amazing people working on the gifted Grove team! We’re so glad to be able to share their beautiful creations. 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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  • See How SkateBacks Are Made!

    I know we’re biased, but we think SkateBacks are pretty darn cool. We love the colors, the feel, the look, and the sustainability factor of using recycled SkateBoard materials! We partner with skateboard jewelry maker MapleXO to get our paws on this awesome material, and it’s pretty exciting to take stuff designated as waste and make something cool and useful. We wanted to showcase some photos of the process of making our SkateBacks. This product of ours starts off as waste material at Paul Schmitt’s skateboard manufacturing shop, PS Stix.  Lindsay, owner and founder of MapleXO, is an expert at slicing, dicing, and matching up the material to create strong, beautiful colorscapes. Once the material comes to us at the Grove workshop, it’s time to use our high-tech machines to cut out the shape of each individual SkateBack and to add the perfectly aligned holes for the camera. After that, we apply the adhesive by hand, sand each piece by hand, and carefully rub an oil-based finish on each SkateBack to bring out the best in the material. Our laser completes the final steps on each SkateBack, adding our tiny Grove + MapleXO logo at the bottom - two names carved together like it’s true love. Grove and MapleXO sitting in a tree... SkateBacks are available in three color types from our website! 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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  • 3 Things We Love About Portland!

    Some of us grew up here and some of us migrated here-- but we all agree that we love Portland, OR. This week we wanted to share a couple of the things that we cherish the most about our fair city. An informal survey of my esteemed co-workers led to these top three reasons why they like living here. 1. The Close Proximity to Nature If you enjoy spending time in the natural world, all you have to ask is what you’d like to do and go do it. Portland is situated on the convergence of two rivers.  Living here we are a hop, skip and a jump away from the Pacific Ocean, the Oregon high desert, the Cascade mountain range, and old growth forests like Opal Creek.  Wahoo! 2. Abundant Brunch Places Here in Portland people love a brunch-- so much so that they willingly line up for hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings to wait for some of the tastiest food around. Portland boasts an incredible culture of food carts, restaurants, coffee houses, donut shops, and cafes-- where you can get anything from greasy hangover-curing ensembles to light and tasty whole food cuisine. Our favorite hot spot include the likes of The Tin Shed Garden Cafe, Voodoo Donuts, and Jam! Mmmm... 3. Best Biking! One of the things that people seem to know about Portland is that we enjoy a vibrant bicycle culture. Everyday, many of us get exercise, get to know our neighborhoods better, and enjoy the fresh outdoor air by riding our bikes. Portland’s version of the World Naked Bike Ride attracts 10,000+ people to the event each year. That’s a lot of nude cyclists! Another favorite summer ride is the Bridge Pedal, a 40 mile ride that loops around the city allowing thousands of people to ride over all ten of our beautiful bridges. 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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  • Our Second Case from Beloved Nikki McClure!

    We’re so excited to work with the talented Nikki McClure on a new Artist Series Bamboo iPad Case featuring her breathtaking piece “Mendocino”! Nikki’s heartfelt design “Mother” is already featured in our Bamboo iPhone Case Artist Series. An artist of the Pacific Northwest, Nikki McClure lives and makes art in Olympia, Washington. Nikki creates intricate and beautiful paper cuts using an X-acto knife and single sheets of paper.  Common themes of her images include nature, activism, community, motherhood, and a plethora of virtues - hard work, patience, and appreciation for family and simple pleasures. Her work often depicts celebratory scenes of everyday life: a toolbox, a flock of birds, someone gardening, a woman laying in the grass, a family going for a swim. Nikki is a veteran of the Riot Grrrl rock movement and has been involved with Olympia record labels K and Kill Rock Stars. She continues to produce her paper cut images on posters, cards, albums, t-shirts, and a yearly calendar. She has also worked on many award-winning books for adults and children through Abrams and Sasquatch, among other publishers. Cutting Her Own Path, a look at the past 16 years of Nikki McClure’s work, opens at the Bellevue Art Museum in Nov. 2012. See more about her at NikkiMcClure.com and purchase her work through Buy Olympia. “Mendocino" will be available for $20 off this week only! 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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  • Mike D - The Phantom Menace

    When you order custom made artwork to be engraved onto a leather iPad case, we turn to one man... the infamous Mike D. aka The Phantom. Some say he looks like Ross from Friends.  Mostly, he dialogs with our customers about what they would like their iPad case to look like, prepares and readies the artwork for the process, and then uses our fancy lasers to engrave the cases. Mike was born and raised in Portland, OR.  He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He grew up working in his family’s restaurant, The High Hat-- which proved to be good preparation for long periods of traveling and working around the world. Trotting the globe, he’s been to Australia and Costa Rica, and lived in South London with four Australians-- working concessions and bartending for random events which enabled him to spend time in Rome, Venice, Greece and Ireland. Living the good life! After he returned from traveling, Mike realized his true calling in the arts and went back to school at the University of Oregon in the Applied Arts and Architecture program for his BFA in Product Design. He then interned for Grove co-founder Joe’s first business Engrave, and the rest is history. When he’s not lurking in the shadows on Wendy’s computer or chilling out with his special lady friend watching a good movie, you can probably find Mike rocking his indoor soccer league - having fun and keeping in good shape.  Yeah! 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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  • Mac Rumors: the iPad Mini

    While some sources are weighing in on the specifications of the rumored iPad mini, others are rolling their eyes and declaring that the miniature tablet is make-believe. Cult of Mac acknowledged rumors that Apple will unveil the iPad mini this fall, and that the device will sport a non-Retina 1024×768 display. Mac Rumors reported on photos found by Gotta Be Mobile of the alleged mini’s size specs.   Gotta Be Mobile stated: “What we’ve found, using a pixel count, is that the iPad Mini should be around 213.36mm tall and about 143.67mm wide. This is approximately two-thirds of the size of the new third-generation iPad. The new iPad is 185.67mm wide, 241.3mm tall, and 9.39mm thick. “Google’s Nexus 7 tablet has a width of 120mm which means that the iPad Mini, if our calculations are close, might be around 23.67mm wider than the Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 tablet measures in at 198.5mm high which means that the iPad Mini may be a little taller than Google’s 7-inch tablet.” Cult of Mac also posted a visual breakdown of the proposed screen size of the iPad mini compared with other tablets on the market. The graphic shows the iPad mini filling the gap between 7-inch tablets and the full-sized iPad. Daring Fireball speculates that a large motivation for the release will be to offer a lower price point model for Apple devotees. Unlike other smaller tablets, Fireball writer John Gruber feels the iPad mini would go for a low price point between $200 and $300 instead, effectively creating a new niche for itself. Gruber writes:   “...by introducing the iPad Mini with a non-retina display but a lower price, it would instantly establish which product is the “best” (iPad (3)) and which is the low-cost model (iPad Mini). In this way, I envision the iPad/iPad Mini relationship being very different from the iPod/iPod Mini one, where the two products were nearly evenly priced and you chose between storage capacity (iPod) and device size/weight (iPod Mini).” Photo from Cult of Mac In the meantime, The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) is sticking to its guns and barely covering the rumored mini tablet at all - except to say that it isn’t real. The TUAW crew seems to find the iPad mini issue quite humorous, writing, “Because fighting for the low-end market is totally something Apple does. Ever. *cough*.” TUAW wraps up the issue: “Until [its release] happens -- if it ever happens -- there is no way I will believe this product exists. And despite the fact that I don't really see any plausible economic reason for Apple to make one, I still kind of hope they do introduce something like an iPad mini just so the rumor blogs will finally shut up about it.” Here at Grove, we’re on the fence about the mini, but (in the words of The Voice from a beloved baseball classic), “If you build it, they will come.” What do you think? Is this new device destined for the market? 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 Buzz: SkateBacks Cause a Flurry

    We, here, at Grove were overwhelmed (lots of high fives, giggles, and hugs) by the coverage we received for the launch of our latest product, available in three variations: Calm, Neutral, and Vibrant.  As chatter about our SkateBacks spread throughout cyberspace, we were excited and so grateful to see that news of the SkateBack launch was picked up by major media platforms and online magazines (links on product page).  We were deemed “Gnarly” (thanks, Gizmodo!) and “environmentally friendly” by MacRumors who also, rightly, mentioned that our SkateBacks weren’t primarily a protective case, but an add-on that provides a unique and fun look to the iPhone. Undeniably, new interest was sparked in curious iPhone users and Apple enthusiasts around the country thanks to MacRumors, Digital Trends, Hypebeast, Gizmodo, and Uncrate.  Most of the articles highlighted the fact that we employ post-industrial skateboard scraps that would otherwise end up as waste “enough to fill a school bus,” with a simple adhesive that allows the SkateBack to be conveniently applied to the back of the iPhone for instant personality.   However, it was our faithful Grove fans that truly impressed us, yet again! Blowing us away with outspoken enthusiasm on our Facebook page, and also in replies to articles that popped up all over the internet. We were also very touched by the fierce loyalty that we experienced when you rushed to defend us with your support to skeptics. It’s because of you that we say, “We have the best customers!” Grove on! Written by Sylvia Choi. She is a pasta-eating machine! She wishes she had superhero powers to fight against modern day slavery. For now, she aims to be a voice for the voice
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  • The Color Orange, the Number 7, and a Lion: Welcome to San’s World!

    This week we wanted to introduce you to one of our fantastic production assistants, San.  He’s on team quality control-- spending his days inspecting each iPhone case with care before packing them up to be shipped out to our loyal customers.  Mainly he works with QC team leader Ellie in the laser shop, and is a great addition to our team. San hails from sunny Beaverton, Oregon and graduated from Portland Community College with an associates degree in art.  In college he was heavy into music theory, and now works at his church as the Worship Director-- playing the guitar and leading the service every Sunday. When he is working in the shop you can catch him listening to an eclectic mix of musicians like Skrillex, Jay-Z, Ke$ha and folk artist Mat Kearney. San’s hobbies include working out, playing music, watching great movies, and supporting some of Portland’s local sports teams-- the Blazers and the Timbers.  Though truth be told he is a devoted fan of the New York Knicks. Represent! To sum it up San is a lover of the color orange, 7 is his number, and if he were a beast the man would be a lion.  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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  • New Artist Series Design from Brian Yap!

    We launched a new artist series iPhone and iPad bamboo case design today by prolific designer, illustrator, creative director, and digital-imagery specialist Brian Yap! We’re so happy to be working with this self-described “graphics jack-of-all-trades” and his “almost obsessive work ethic.” Brian resides in Edwardsville, Illinois and is a two-time Davey Award winner who has also won awards from The Communicator, the St. Louis Addy’s, and the St. Louis Egoist, among other organizations. His work is showcased yearly in the Famous and Fictional show at the Mad art gallery in St. Louis. He’s built up a personal technique using ink pens, scanning, and Adobe Ideas for iPad, and his work often closely calls upon screen printing.  An appreciation for music posters contributes to his notable style. Fun and daily inspiration are at the top of Brian’s list, but he has a high set of standards for his work. He’s devoted to design and equally balances concept and execution. As Creative Director at Boxing Clever, a full-service creative agency he helped form as a subsidiary of 4 Alarm Studio, he’s worked with many notable clients, such as Tuaca Liqueur, Chambord Liqueur and Vodka, Finlandia Vodka, shell Automotive, and more. Brian is also an adjunct professor of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. His work can be explored on brianyap.com as well as Behance and Coroflot. Our “Patient Navigator” Bamboo iPad and Bamboo iPhone cases will be $20 off this week only!  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 4 Weeks of Grand Giveaways!

    We want to thank all our fans and supporters for making this so fun for us! We knew you liked us, but who knew that you would shower us with support more than 5,000 times on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest?! We were stoked to see that there were so many of you who were excited to share our “handmade in the USA” cases with your family and friends. The buzz spread quickly as each of you posted or tweeted about the Giveaway. For those of you who missed it, a quick recap. Every week, a new Grove product was revealed as the prize. By simply signing up for the Grove newsletter, it was oh so easy to enter the Giveaway! And if you wanted additional entries (limited to 4 total entries per week), you just had to share the Giveaway via social networks. For the grand finale, we just couldn’t help ourselves!  We upped the ante for the final week of our Giveaway with three winners for each of our newly launched Vibrant, Neutral, and Calm SkateBacks!  This was a collaboration with the fabulous MapleXO. We present our lucky winners: Week 1: Amy from Alness, Scotland, won a Tree iPhone Case Week 2: Marcus from Seattle, WA, won a sandstone Wool Felt iPad Sleeve Week 3: John from Richmond, VA, won a black iPad 3 Tree Case Week 4: Teela from Atlanta, GA, won a Vibrant SkateBack               Chris from Santa Clara, CA, won a Calm SkateBack               Kate from Gresham, OR won a Neutral SkateBack Your support and enthusiasm for us were and continue to be the biggest compliments that you can give to us.  So thanks again, Grove-sters!  We had a blast getting to connect with you...until next time! Sylvia Choi is a pasta-eating machine! She wishes she had superhero powers to fight against modern day slavery. For now, she aims to be a voice for the voice
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  • Finding Portland: Some Love for Bridge City

    There’s lots to love about Portland, and this video by Uncage the Soul Video Production captures some of the magic of the city. It’s nice to take a step back, even during busy times, and appreciate that we live in a truly fantastic area. The video highlights some notable parts of PDX - from its urban structures, mechanics, and mobilities to its active people, mountain tops, lush foliage, and delicious offerings. Not to mention, this is some darn good camera work! Finding Portland from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo. Uncage the Soul screened the video at the sold-out TEDx Convention in Portland this April.  Comprised of over 300,000 photographs, the team completed the video in 51 days and shot in more than 50 unique locations overlooking Portland.  Specific locations and events shown include the Fremont Bridge, the Oneonta Gorge, Mount Hood, Mount Tabor, and Mount St. Helens, a Portland Timbers soccer game, a Blazers basketball game, the annual Shamrock Run, Voodoo Doughnuts, Powell’s Books, the Deschutes brewpub, and, of course, the famous White Stag sign. Read more about the video on Vimeo or on Uncage the Soul’s project description page, which is complete with some stills from the shoot. To those who visit or those who live here, it’s apparent that this is a special place to be, or (as it states at the end of the video) to roast, brew, savor, hike, bike, travel, shop, create, love, laugh, and uncover. 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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  • Our Newest Artist Collaboration: Richard Walker!

    We released an exciting new artist series design, "A Matter of Where You're Looking" by Richard Walker for the Bamboo iPhone Case today, and we’re sure it’ll become a quick favorite! Richard Walker, a.k.a. Ipsum, is an artist and illustrator living in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two children. Richard is inspired by all artistic styles around him, especially the infamous street art local to Melbourne. The works of Jeff Soto, Dave Kinsey, Ron English, Sket 1, and Herakut are also influences. With his work, Richard takes viewers on a surreal, disturbing, sometimes quirky journey through a candy-colored 1970s cartoon. His favored mediums include wood, inks, canvas, acrylics, spray paint, and digital work.  “The Dirty Bird” by Richard Walker Richard appreciates balancing the structured disciplines of advertising design with the freedom and soul-searching of pure art. An art director and designer for over 10 years in the advertising realm, Richard puts the rest of his energy into his own art. His personal work can be explored on RichardWalker.Prosite.com. His ad work has been utilized by a prominent client list and has won awards internationally, including a prestigious Cannes Lion.  “Faces, Past and Present” by Richard Walker Richard’s “A Matter Of Where You Look” is featured on our iPhone bamboo cases. The design will be $20 off this week only! 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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  • "Fear and Groving in Las Vegas"

    Grove co-founder Ken and woodshop manager Sean recently travelled to Las Vegas to build a large bamboo sculpture for the Electric Daisy Carnival aka EDC - a huge electronic music festival which attracts roughly 345,000 people. Sean and Ken worked with Bamboo DNA, a company led by Ken’s friend and mentor Gerard Minakawa. Bamboo DNA “specializes in contemporary bamboo architectural and sculptural applications” building large scale structures for festivals such as Burning Man, Coachella, and EDC. To avoid the desert heat the seven person team worked from 6pm to 6am under intense artificial lights for seven nights straight.   “It was amazing to see massive piles of raw bamboo material transform over the week into a very airy, light looking sculpture” said Sean. The highlight was the final moment of the eighty-four hour week when the generators shut off, lights went out, and Tecate in hand they all sat back and looked at what they had just built. The art structure was eighty feet tall and 170 feet in diameter, using both modern rigging techniques and traditional knots to hold thirty-one columns all in place. The purpose of this sculpture was to be a place of rest and rejuvenation for festival goers. Sean and Ken want to thank Gerard and the Bamboo DNA badasses who they worked with all week: Nicholas, Roman, Ryan, Fez, Luke, Laura, Brandon and Andrew. The two lone Grovers brought their enthusiasm for bamboo back to Portland which has inspired our shop to look at our work in a new light.   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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