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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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  • Sweepstakes Me Off My Feet: We’re Having a Grove Giveaway!

    We were super excited to begin our four-week Grove Giveaway this past Monday! To enter, simply visit our Giveaway page and get all social with us by signing up for our newsletter through our special contest page, or sharing the contest via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. We’re offering a different prize at the end of each week-long phase, so get your Tweetin’, Facebookin’, Pinterestin’ shoes on! This week’s prize is our beloved “Tree” Bamboo iPhone Case, which definitely has a special place in our hearts. We’re keeping the next three prizes a mystery (for now), because we know you just love the suspense. We might even throw a new product in the mix! Oh boy! We can’t wait to pick the lucky winners!   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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  • “I’ve got worms!” A Formal Introduction to Grove’s Production Assistant, Scott

    Quick to laugh and eager to work, Scott spends his days sanding through small mountains of our handmade iPad and iPhone cases. He’s a push-up enthusiast, a cabbage eating king, and Grove’s very own Master of Compost! One word that sums up his life pursuit is “modding”. Scott likes to have fun and make everything unique by adapting whatever it is to fit his needs. He’s a true embodiment of the D.I.Y. spirit who modifies everything from electronics to his crazy bike, Jankosaurus Rex. He even customized a Grove case for a phone that’s not an iPhone! Check out his handiwork below - he made a similar case for his mom for Mother's Day too (sorry folks, these aren't for sale).   Currently, Scott works as a production assistant, but his proactive nature had also led to his involvement in other interesting projects around the shop. For example, he built a compost bin out of old wooden palettes. “My interest in composting stems from minimizing the waste stream that I create.” He added that he first learned about composting and worms from his mom when she was a Girl Scout leader for his older sister’s troop.  Scott and Ken spent a Sunday planting moso bamboo outside the woodshop window, which is the same type of bamboo we use for our iPhone and iPad cases. In its native habitat, this type of timber bamboo can grow over 70 feet tall! All of these efforts are part of a larger push to transform the urban decay around our building, as people typically treat clean spaces with more respect. Two years ago, the area to the side of our loading dock was one enormous blackberry bush which had collected decades of garbage. Today, Scott has put the finishing touches on what is now a much more pleasant space. Scott hails from central PA, and has a bachelor degree in entrepreneurship from Shippensburg University. “My favorite part about working for Grove is the malleability of both the position and the company.” Adaptation is how we roll!  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: Graham Erwin

    Designer, illustrator, and screen printer, Graham Erwin offers up our newest addition to our Artist Series. Calling Columbus, Ohio home, Graham works for a custom t-shirt shop by day as pre-production manager and designer. At night, he explores his own brand of detail obsessive illustration. His work is heavily influenced by the screen printing process, and features flat shaping, fine vector lines, and loads of personal iconography. Time spent in front of video games as a child inspired Graham's illustrations to have a quirky geometric quality - instantly recognizable as his own. Graham’s work has caught the attention of MondoTees in Austin and Gallery1988 in Los Angeles, where he is currently exhibiting several officially licensed posters paying tribute to a range of pop culture characters. His work can be explored through his website. Graham’s blog is also updated often, and some of his pieces can be purchased through his Etsy shop.  Grove is incredibly proud to present “Lucky Cat” by Graham Erwin on the iPhone bamboo case and leather back. “Lucky Cat” bamboo iPhone 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 Visits Lazerz! at Portland’s Compound Gallery

    Last week the Compound Gallery in downtown Portland opened a group show called Lazerz! -- artwork made by and about the laser. Of course, that’s right up our alley!   We here at Grove were happy to exhibit several laser cut pieces from our wall art series by some of the awesome artists who design images for our hand made iPhone and iPad accessories. Grove artists featured at the show include Cole Gerst, Christopher Bettig, Jonny Wan, Ryan Bubnis, Jonathan Calugi, and Amy Ruppel. Enthusiastic art lovers showed up in droves for the opening night of the exhibition during the monthly First Thursday art openings. Amy Ruppel made quite a splash with this beautiful custom piece made with wenge wood and white wax: Also among Grove’s favorites was “Tupac Jesus”, made especially for Berto to which he added a 14k gold foil halo! All of Grove’s limited edition wall art is laser cut and engraved from 1/4” thick bamboo plywood. Check it out here! 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: Andrea Innocent

    The art of Andrea innocent tells quirky and bizarre stories through detailed illustrations.  Melbourne, Australia is Andrea’s home base, where she has served as a committee member of Illustrators Australia since 2009. Andrea’s character-driven work often explores various aspects of Asian culture through imagination and playfulness. Color, texture, and pattern are emphasized in her pieces, which can be explored on her blog and website, otoshimono.org. Girl with a Mirror by Andrea Innocent (Part of a series of illustrations inspired by Japanese folktales) Andrea has worked with an extensive client list to design advertising and packaging. Editorially, her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Nylon Magazine, and Creative Magazine, among others. Recent exhibitions of her work include Amalgamation at Compound Gallery, Illustrated Type at Gallery Nucleus, and The Hideout at C3 Contemporary art space.  Grove is thrilled to feature “Cloud Girl” by Andrea Innocent on our iPhone bamboo case and leather back. Make all your daydreams come true with the “Cloud Girl” bamboo iPhone case, which is $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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  • Bamboo Madness: Visiting a Local Grove and Reasons We Love this Plant

    A group of us recently visited the Bamboo Garden Nursery in North Plains, Oregon to take a tour of the land and bring home some Moso bamboo for our workshop. Bamboo Garden is 20 acres of both rare and common bamboos making up the most diverse bamboo collection in the United States. Just a half-hour ride from Portland, the Nursery cares for approximately 340 species of bamboo! Check out Joe’s video to see some of the beautiful acreage, and meet Adam from the Nursery: Bamboo Garden Nursery specializes in the retail, wholesale, and mail-order markets. Started in 1980, they helped establish the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Bamboo Society (ABS). Ned Jaquith, owner of the Nursery, was elected in 2006 as Vice President of the ABS and has been awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership. These guys know their bamboo better than anyone. We planted the Moso bamboo next to our loading dock, right outside our woodshop. This is the same species of bamboo we use to craft our iPhone and iPad cases and our wall art - it’s going to grow to be about 30 feet tall!  Ken and Scott tore out the blackberry bushes, cleaned up the trash, tilled the soil, mixed it with mulch and fertilizer, properly trenched, made a mound, and planted the bamboo. Now we can enjoy the lushness during sunny lunches and let our bamboo flag fly proudly for our Southeast Portland neighbors to see! There’s several reasons we choose to use bamboo versus other types of wood. All reasons point to bamboo’s superior sustainability factors. Bamboo grows and spreads quickly - sometimes three to four feet per day - easily replenishing itself without the need for fertilizers, pesticides, or loads of water. Since Grove participates in the fast-paced, ever-evolving technology industry, it only makes sense to use a resource that can keep up. When compared to a similar-sized patch of trees, a bamboo grove can release about 35% more oxygen into the air. Instead of taking 30 to 50 years to replant and mature, as tree forests can, bamboo groves can be renewed in less than seven years! Bamboo can generate 20 times more timber than the same area of trees, and also  prevents erosion as it grows. You can read more about bamboo use in Scientific American. Ahh! We’re simply crazy for bamboo! But you already knew that. 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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  • Yoga, Kurosawa, Maté...Check! Meet Grove Employee Lydia

    Chances are if you have one of our handmade iPhone cases that production assistant Lydia has worked her magic on it in one way or another. She’s the ultimate chameleon switching up her skills weekly from hawk-eye quality control to sanding and finessing iPad cases with her nimble fingers. This energetic free spirit hales from Harvard, Mass, where she enjoyed an idyllic, pastoral childhood with her loving parents and twin sister Margaret. Lydia moved to Portland to attend Lewis and Clark College, where she graduated with a BA in Studio Art.   While she considers herself a painter, she also creates sculptural objects from pre-existing forms like large driftwood or old furniture accented with bright colors and whimsical textures. The results of which are handsome and surreal visuals.   Lydia’s life pursuits include: bread baking, gardening, cooking whole foods, and an ongoing analysis of the infamous 1990’s series Twin Peaks. Her iPod is like an homage to Bob Dylan that also occasionally plays her other favorites like Can, the Ganglians, and the Psychedelic Furs. 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: Chris Leskovsek

    “I believe, I see, I shoot, I draw, I love...things...simple things.” Chris Leskovsek, founder of NadaMeansNothing, is the newest artist collaborating with Grove! A full-time art director, graphic designer, and photographer, Chris is a native of Santiago, Chile, living and working in Auckland, New Zealand.  Here in Portland, his work has been featured at Gigantic Gallery in the shows “Two Thumbs Up: Movie Posters” and “El Dia De Los Muertos”, but Chris’ reach as an artist is recognized internationally. A 2011 Cannes Finalist and collaborator with Ogilvy, EMI, Hurley International, Warner Music, Euro RSCG, and many others, Chris has also been shown in the Kentucky Museum of Arts & Crafts and the Mira Que Lindas album cover exhibition, among other international projects. His abstract illustrations, often employing a singular eye, hand, or human silhouette as a focal point, evoke both a vintage feel and that of peeking into an otherworldly dimension. Chris’ ethereal illustration “See Through” is now available as a Grove Bamboo iPhone Case. Take advantage of the Design of the Week promotional discount of $20 off, this week only!  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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  • Eat, Drink, and be Team Grove!

    We wanted to share one of our fun traditions here at Grove! Once a month, we have a barbeque for lunch, prepared and cooked by a member (or two) of our team. It’s a great way to feast, relax, bond, and nourish ourselves for the rest of the workday. That’s us in the photo below, chowing down on the loading dock right outside our woodshop. Despite the raging appetites of some of our growing boys in the shop, there’s always plenty to go around and mouthwatering options for our team-members with dietary restrictions. We cook outside on the grill on our loading dock, rain or shine, but are definitely not limited to the typical burgers and hotdogs. Last month, Ariella made lamb meatballs and falafel complete with pitas, homemade hummus, all the fixins, and even a chocolate wafer cake for dessert. The previous month, Schultzy and Sean prepared tacos with soft corn tortilla shells made from scratch. At our next BBQ, Wendy, Ellie, and San are going to prepare a Korean BBQ extravaganza that will go down in history. Our BBQ tradition started with our beloved Charlie, our former Production Assistant by day and talented chef by night (check his grill skills out in the photo below!). Charlie has since moved on to sunny SoCal, while we’re stuck here trying to top his legendary Grove BBQs of days past.  We rotate “chefs” each month for shopping, prep, and outdoor cooking, and the whole team helps out by lining up all civil-like and chanting things like “meat, meat, where’s the meat!?!”. We all like to do our part; it often takes the whole crew to prevent Barrett, our CNC machine master and unofficial competitive eater, from eating himself into an afternoon food coma. All kidding aside, it’s really amazing to work with a tight-knit group and a company that cares for its employees. Go Grove!  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 Lauren, Grove’s Talented New Production Assistant

    Team Grove is growing! Meet our new Production Assistant and photographer, Lauren. She’s already been busy working with the shipping crew and rubbing oil into your iPhone cases. At the moment, she’s focused on product photography, like the Leather Back and Wool Felt iPad Cases, for our website. A native of sunny, southern California, Lauren moved to Portland last August. She graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in English and Art, and a concentration in photography. In her past life, she worked at a “nerd camp” in Los Angeles, teaching physics and math to highly gifted youngsters from around the world. Here are some fun facts about Lauren: She currently lives in a co-op with seven people, six chickens, five rabbits, and two spiders named Stephanie and Onion, the guardian of the onion basket.   Running, writing, and photography are some of her favorite hobbies, and she also plays the piano and loves to travel.   Her favorite destinations thus far are China, Vietnam, Slovenia, and Ghana.  Lauren recently crocheted her first hat with orange and white yarn, and just painted her whole house, left handed, even though she’s a righty.   We’re so happy to have her on board! Check out Lauren’s daily commute to work:  Go Grove! 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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  • About "About Team Grove"!

    We finally updated our About page! OH BOY! We’ve been waiting for a spare moment (several moments actually) to properly introduce our team and tell the Grove Story. Our enthusiasm for this new page is hard to match; we were embarrassed at how long it’s gone without being updated. Now we’re showcasing each and every one of our team members - the whole shebang!  The new About page is our co-founder Ken’s baby; he spearheaded the concept, and wrote the Story and bios with Schultzy. Yuji built the page in Django, and Max designed it to match the new, more organic look we’re striving towards with our whole website redesign. We wanted the About page to be easy to update and super fun to read and look at. The Grove Story is also an important feature of the page, because we are passionate about our company and take pride in what we do. C’mon, everyone loves to look at pretty pictures and mouthwatering illustrations, and you know you want to read through each and every one of those truly informative bios... maybe even click on some of our team members’ personal websites. Grove bios are the new Pinterest. Eeeeeeeee! 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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  • Arty Johnstone: iPhone Sander, Innovator, Drawing Extraordinaire!

    Here at Grove, we like to keep a positive and creative atmosphere in our Workshop. Hard work is often balanced with birthday celebrations, tasty employee-cooked meals, and good conversation. One such innovator is Arty Johnstone, an iPhone bezel-sanding champion who also happens to be a prolific artist. Currently, he’s working on a series of life drawings in our wood shop. A recent Reed College graduate, Arty fills sketchbooks with images of people and their environments. Here at the Grove Workshop, that often translates into beautiful line drawings of our team sanding iPhone cases or one of our CNC machines precisely carving out bamboo cases for iPads - all rendered in ink or colored pencil.   Arty finds time to draw during lunch and midday breaks, sketching during the quiet times of the day.  “I like to catch people unaware, when they’re settled and their guard is down,” he says. “No facade. That way, I can capture the personality of my subject.”   Arty’s influences include heavyweights like Alice Neel and David Hockney. Check out his Tumblr to see more of his work! Go Grove! 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: New iPad (iPad 3) Loved Despite Heat Issue

    Research shows the majority of new iPad (third generation) owners are satisfied with their purchase and have few complaints. A survey by ChangeWave Research found that 98% of the professional and early-adopter crowd were “very satisfied” (82%) or “somewhat satisfied” (16%) with the new iPad. This compares with a 95% general satisfaction rate for the iPad 2 last year. Problems with the new iPad are few and far between, with price being cited as the biggest issue by 26% of ChangeWave survey respondents.  The infamous “heat issue” was only recognized by 11% of respondents, with the majority of users never encountering the problem. Wireless data costs and storage capacity were among other minor complaints. Consumer Reports, which placed the new iPad at the top of its tablet ratings, described its performance as “superb” and its retina display as “excellent,” applauding its impressive battery life to boot. They wrote the following about the heat issue: “We also carried out further tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2. But we didn't find those temperatures to be cause for concern (see our post, The new iPad can get very warm, further tests show, but is still safe).” It makes sense that 51% of U.S. households now own an Apple product! This is a result of CNBC’s All-America Economic Survey.We were super excited to open our iPad 3 the day it arrived at Grove, and it’s been performing as smooth as Christopher Walken ever since! 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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