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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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  • Grove’s Newest Artist Collaboration: Jon MacNair!

    Oh yay! We’re happy here at Grove to announce our newest Artist Series design from Jon MacNair! Jon is a freelance illustrator born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in the suburbs of Michigan, and currently residing here in Portland, OR. Jon’s dark, narrative-based illustrations can be explored on JonMacNair.com and his blog Scritchy Scraps. He’s shown in galleries in New York, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington DC, London, Glasgow, and more. Notable shows include The BLAB show, the annual group show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, and an upcoming solo show at antler here in Portland. Some Sort of Mystical Explanation, by Jon MacNair Jon earned a BFA in Illustration from The Maryland Institute College of Art. His personal work has been featured in publications like Beautiful Decay, IdN, Faesthetic, and Empty magazine. Jon’s commercial work has been utilized by an extensive client list for editorials, apparel, and album art, with clinets including Computer Arts Projects, the Seattle Stranger, Baltimore magazine, Elle Girl, and Tooth & Nail Records, among others. He is an active member of the Honeycomb Art Collective (based out of Buenos Aires and New York). The Old House, by Jon MacNair We’re featuring Jon MacNair’s "This and That" on our Bamboo iPhone Case, and will be offering it at $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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  • Introducing Max - Grove’s Art Director and Graphic Designer

    Grove’s art director Max has been around since the beginning---helping to build Grove from the ground up. He is responsible for the majority of the aesthetics on our website and packaging, and remains hands-on as our lead graphic designer and illustrator to boot. Recently, he put a lot of work into the newly released SkateBacks. Even though Max's visual style can be seen throughout Grove's branding, he says that none of it would be possible without inspiration from the beautiful product design and the company's unique culture. Max hails from the coastal hamlet of Astoria, Oregon, where he went to high school with Grove co-founder, Joe. He attended the University of Oregon where he graduated with a BFA in Multimedia Design in 2006, and he was even Joe’s first employee at his pre-Grove venture Engrave Your Book. He’s the type of artist who will work long hours at his day job and then go home, roll up his sleeves and get to work on his own projects. Max makes figurative artwork with a distinctive style that’s all about clean lines, vivid color combinations, and striking imagery that usually conveys a story. You can check out his artwork on his website: OrangeYear.com.  Yeah! He summed it all up by saying that he considers himself lucky to have his dream job.  “I have a continual list of things I love to do, like getting to correspond with cool artists around the world whose work I respect.” 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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  • Six Reasons to Fall in Love With Your iPhone All Over Again This Fall

    It’s time to get excited about your current iPhone or iPad all over again! Apple recently announced the upcoming autumn release of iOS 6, which will be compatible with iPhone 3GS and later, 2nd-generation iPad and later, and the 4th-generation iPod touch. Among other new features, the updated operating system will offer enhancements to Siri and Facebook along with a new Maps application and shared photo streams through iCloud. At Monday’s WWDC keynote event, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS Software Scott Forstall stated, “iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device.” Here’s an overview of some of the most exciting updates: For Siri-enabled devices, Siri will gain knowledge in some foreign languages, sports  even launching apps. Facebook will become more integrated with system-wide login capabilities and the ability to post from other apps. New do-not-disturb options will be available for hushing app notifications and responding to ignored calls with pre-set text messages and call-back reminders Shared Photo Streams will allow users to share pics with select friends and family through other iOS devices, iPhoto or Aperture, and Apple TV. Passbook, a new wallet app, will store payment cards and electronic tickets - such as Starbucks’ Gold Card, Fandango movie tickets, plane and sports tickets, and more. A new Maps app will be outfitted with Apple’s own map data, Yelp business information, traffic data sourced in real-time from users, and turn-by-turn navigation triggered by Siri. Cult of Mac calls these “some of the biggest UI improvements Apple has made in the history of iOS.” Our own iOS users on the Grove team can’t wait to get a fun revamp on their devices come fall. Luckily, if you’re a developer, you don’t need to wait to begin coding for the new system! On Monday, Apple released the software development kits for iOS 6 along with the kits for OS X Mountain Lion. Read more about the new iOS 6 on MacRumors, TUAW, and Cult of Mac. 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 Grove’s New Piece from Beloved Duo Jolby!

    Grove is happy to announce our latest Artist Series Bamboo iPhone Case and second collaboration with Portland art duo, Jolby. Jolby is a design, illustration, and art direction pair composed of Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols. Based in Portland, OR, the two have worked collaboratively since 2005. Their first design with us, Tree Heart, was an instant classic, and their playful Ride the Weird is sure to please. Jolby’s work has been shown in galleries worldwide, and the two enjoy interacting with various communities through talks and workshops. Recent local exhibitions include Shapes & Smiles: Portland at Albina Press, the Small exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and the Triforce Tribute Art Show at Land Gallary. Commercially, Jolby has produced award-winning designs for an impressive client list, including Disney, Intel, T-Mobile, Pitchfork, and AIGA. Their creations have been featured by Dwell, HOW, Drawn, and Juxtapoz, among others. Jolby’s work can be explored on JolbyandFriends.com and pieces are available for purchase on Etsy. Grove is offering Ride the Weird at $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 Growth: Laser Shop Expands!

    It’s still a work in progress, but Grove has expanded its laser shop space over the course of two consecutive weekends, two coats of floor paint, demolition of a couple walls, and clearing out endless piles of debris.  We previously had to navigate around a maze of tall tables, computers, sewing machines in the break lounge, and all the bustling people upstairs working on customer service, website design, sewing, production, packaging, and shipping.  Needless to say, it’s a rather strange but welcome change for those with bruised hips caused from “close encounters of the crashing kind.”   A special thank you to Craig Holmes who moved out of the neighboring studio so we could expand our space. This space was his home away from home for 16 years prior to his move to to his new studio on the third floor. All of us appreciate your sacrifice!   Watch Ken, Joe, and Scott as they work on tearing down the walls:  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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  • Meet Ellie, Grove's Stellar Production Manager!

    This week we’d like to introduce Ellie -- another integral member of Team Grove! As the dependable production manager in the nucleus of the Laser shop she makes sure that all of our handmade products are of stellar quality before we ship them out. She hails from Beaverton, OR and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Illustration from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco. This lady can draw! Originally she planned on illustrating children’s books and doing character design for video games. Fortunately for us she chose to work at Grove. Like any true Oregonian Ellie loves the great outdoors. Camping, hiking, golfing, and now snowboarding... she does it all with gusto. She is a dedicated sleeper and a devotee of tasty foods. (A current favorite is ban xeo, a Vietnamese crepe dish.) When it comes to cooking she’s modest, but along with Wendy she made the Grove squad a ridiculously-good-tasting Korean barbecue bibbimbop lunch (Assorted veggies, marinated meats and sweetened red peppers.  Mmmm...) One of her favorite parts of working at Grove is problem solving. That means: working with deadlines, managing a team of people, and keeping it all organized.  Ellie said she takes pride in how much work we put into each and every product and that “we do handmade for real”. Yes we do!  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 New SkateBacks for the iPhone!

    Grove is head over heels for our newest product, and we hope you will be too! We’re happy to introduce SkateBacks for iPhone 4 and 4s! This is a special collaboration between us and our good friend Lindsay Holmes of MapleXO! With Lindsay’s help, we’re recycling the waste material from skateboards to create 100% post-industrial awesomeness. Each week, enough waste material is discarded from one skateboard factory to fill a city bus, so we’re joining Lindsay in making good use of it.  Our SkateBacks are available now for $49.00 a piece, and we’re also giving away 3 SkateBacks in the final week of the Grove Giveaway! Click here to enter.  At approximately 1/16 of an inch thick, SkateBacks protect the back of the phone from bumps and scratches while combining sleek Apple design and rad skateboard mojo. “Unique” is not enough to describe these bad boys. Our SkateBacks are made here at our workshop in Portland, OR, with a combination of high-tech machinery and good old-fashioned handiwork. You can choose from three general color schemes, Calm, Neutral, or Vibrant, but each SkateBack is as individual as a snowflake - no two are exactly alike! Where Do We Get Our Material? The SkateBack makes a short journey from raw skateboard waste at skateboard factory PS Stix, to eye-catching ply with Lindsay at Maple XO, to cell phone accessory at Grove. PS Stix owner Paul Schmitt, of Costa Mesa, CA, has been designing and producing skateboards known globally for durability and performance for nearly three decades. Learning to skate soon after learning to walk, he knows skateboards well. PS Stix makes more than 4,000 skateboards a day, 200 per hour, almost three per minute!  About Lindsay Holmes and Maple XO! Saving skateboards from landfills since 2005, Lindsay Holmes of MapleXO makes recycled skateboard jewelry and other rad upcycled accessories. Her beautiful work allows her to give old boards new life and contribute to the community by reducing the environmental footprint of skateboarding. And, don't forget to enter our final Grove Giveaway for your chance to win one of these awesome SkateBacks! 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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  • Three Reasons Design Milk LOVES the Grove iPad Sleeve!

    Grove-sters! We are super excited that our Wool Felt Sleeves have been featured on Design Milk, the go-to website for design geeks and experts! Jaime, the founder and Executive Editor of Design Milk, kindly recognizes that Grove is a company that stays intentional about design and quality, from the bamboo iPhone case to the new iPad Cases and Sleeves.  She touches upon the unique detailing that the Grove team meticulously crafts by hand onto each Wool Felt Sleeve, most noticeably the “avisible and exaggerated zig-zag stitch”. She also loved how the Sleeve is compatible with all iPad generations, and can even accommodate the Apple Smart Cover (tip: insert the “spine,” where the hinge is, first). Jaime also doesn’t forget to mention that the Sleeve has an invisible magnetic flap closure, keeping the iPad safe and secure when carried.  Yes, folks, the iPad has a new best friend! Thanks, Jaime, and Design Milk, we are grateful, and appreciate the support you’ve shown us. Grove on! Written by Sylvia Choi. She is a member of the Customer Service triumvirate with a penchant for correcting spelling errors. She wishes she had superhero powers to fight against modern day slavery. For now, she aims to be a voice for the voiceless.
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  • Grove’s Newest Artist Collaboration: Tasha Chapman

    We’re so excited to announce our newest artist collaboration with Tasha Chapman! Tasha, a.k.a. Jewelwing, is a full-time artist and illustrator and a lover of the sea. Living and creating near the beach, Tasha is drawn to animals, nature, and anything alluding to the ocean. When Tasha’s not making art, she’s likely surfing on, diving into, or gazing at the water. She’s always been fascinated by the shapes and textures of the natural world and the creatures inhabiting it. Favorite mediums include pen and ink and watercolor; although, Tasha also produces a lot of digital work. Personality and a handmade feel shine through in all her projects. Her designs have been sold at Urban Outfitters, Threadless, shirt.woot, Society6, and Goodjoe, among others. The Atlantic Ocean is Tasha’s new 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 beautiful “Feathers” is featured on our bamboo iPhone case and leather back. We’re offering the “Feathers” bamboo iPhone case at $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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  • Top 5 Things to do in Portlandia this Summer!

    Among the myriad of ways to enjoy a leisurely summer day in Portland, from Edgefield outdoor concerts to wandering around an air conditioned OMSI or Evergreen Aviation Museum exhibit (then jumping into their pool and water slide!), or even taking advantage of $2 Tuesdays at the Oregon Zoo, we've gathered Grove’s top 5 favorites!   5) For those of us in the rainy Northwest, we try to prolong our time outdoors as much as possible when the weather is nice and sunny, so what better way to do that than camping!  Mike embraces all sorts of camping, including car camping, beach camping, and the more intense “hiking into a forest and setting up camp” camping.  Regardless of the approach, he finds beer is a camping necessity! More on that later... 4) Tommy enjoys his summers with some old school pizzazz a la Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer - he floats down rivers!  All you need is a large rubber tire, a rope (to tie onto your partner’s tire or to trail a 6-pack of brewskies - seeing a trend here?), some sunglasses, and don’t forget your SPF!  Tommy’s favorite is actually a bit South of here - the McKenzie River, it runs through Eugene, Oregon - home of his alma mater, University of Oregon. A river float anywhere around these parts are peaceful and beautiful in the warming PDX Spring and Summer. 3) Joe looks forward to summer bicycling tours with his lady friend. Ooh la la! This year they are taking a few close friends with them up to the San Juan Islands and perhaps even up to Victoria B.C. They’ll take the train up and then ride around the islands and explore all the natural beauty and serene of the upper Pacific Northwest. 2) Oregon’s Brewers Festival or, as it’s more commonly known, “Brewfest!” (There were more than a few resounding cheers of agreement to this suggestion from our Grove team.) 20 styles of handcrafted Beer, sun, fun, and free admission! A souvenir mug is required to taste the beers for $6, and beer is purchased with wooden tokens ($1 = one token). Coming to you the last full weekend of July!  1) And our number one favorite thing to do in Portland on a summer day is just simply being out and about in the sun (unless you’re Yuji, in which case you’ll be indoors playing video games all day, like Diablo III). It’s one of life’s simple pleasures that we never take for granted! Whether you, like Mary, can’t wait to bike without your rain gear and fenders to avoid splashing water and mud on your back; or, like Kim, will be living at a nearby park (Laurelhurst or Colonel Summers) reading, picnic-ing, bbq-ing, or walking and running; or, like Ken, will be seeking out new secret swimming holes (he wouldn’t reveal his secrets!) to jump off of cliffs in, there are plenty of things to do in the beautiful city we call home!   Sylvia Choi is a member of the Customer Service triumvirate with a penchant for correcting spelling errors. She wishes she had superhero powers to fight against modern day slavery. For now, she aims to be a voice for the voiceless.
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  • 46.5 miles every day. 232.5 miles every week. 12,090 miles each year.

    This month we are celebrating our love of walking and riding bikes. Many of us Grovers enjoy a daily commute alternative to driving a car so that we can arrive fresh and ready to make more handmade goodies for you! I asked a small panel of informed Grovers why they choose to walk or ride a bike to work, and received some great answers. Overall, we do it because we love to be outdoors.  It’s good for our health and great for Momma Gaia. It can be faster than driving a car, and is economically savvy. As we collect our thoughts and ride through beautiful neighborhoods, we get excersize to boot. It helps us appreciate our surroundings. Best of all, riding a bike can help a person feel free, independent, and self sufficient. 
Here are our favorite quotes from the inquiry: “There are street treasures to be found...” “I bike because I only live a couple miles from work.” “My steed’s name is Olde Blue.” “I feel like I am alive when I bike.”  -Anonymous Grovers Out of the 11 Grove employees who commute daily to work by biking or walking this is how far we travel (in miles). (Note: This is a conservative estimate assuming we go straight from home to work and back, five days a week.) Collectively we travel: 46.5 miles a day 232.5 miles a week 12,090 miles a year That’s 12,090 miles of travel every year without pollutants or use of fossil fuels!  Wow! Sean summed it up by saying, “I like the feeling of getting somewhere by your own means, using your own power. Like the feeling of the wind on your face. Like an eagle.”  Indeed. 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 Newest Artist Collaboration: Cailan Burns

    Ever wake up and feel like you’ve had a bit too much to dream? Cailan Burns is an illustrator and musician hailing from Adelaide, Australia, and he feels this way often. Luckily, he’s able to channel that energy into painting, drawing, and the digital arts. His works are crafted through a range of mediums, including wood, ink, canvas, acrylics, watercolor, digital collage, paper collage, and Flash, Photoshop, and Illustrator composition. Cailan’s inspirations include children’s books, 1960s psychedelic poster art, Russian and Czech animation, folk tales, cultural masks and costumes, and Japanese anime and Yōkai (ghost stories). “Mothface” by Cailan Burns We highly recommend exploring Cailan’s work on TooMuchToDream.com; in his words, it’s “a bit like astral travelling with Dr.Suess.” His art conjures a psychedelic world of fuzz, flowers, colour, and organic shapes and forms. His designs “Drum Garden”, “Middle Dream”, and “Follow That Sound” are now a part of our Artist Series for our iPhone bamboo case, iPad bamboo case, and bamboo wall art. We’re so proud to work with Cailan and excited to add these pieces to our series! The “Drum Garden” bamboo iPhone case and the “Middle Dream” bamboo iPad case 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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