Ken started the company with Joe in 2009 under the impression that eventually there’d be free pizza. Ken is a design nerd and furniture designer with a passion for photography and collecting weird things, like fruit stickers. He’s an active field trip enabler and enjoys bribing the team with Trailblazers tickets and empty promises that someday we’ll all get to see his expertly curated apartment. Check out some of his furniture designs here.
Victor, aka Victor Sweet, aka Victor Strong is not only our awesome Production Manager but he’s also one of our most powerful Grovemaders. Victor’s secret for superhuman strength? A steady diet of hip-hop, rap, R&B and heaping scoops of white hot magma. When through with his morning routine of deadlifting small cars and tiny houses, you’ll find him fishing the banks of the Columbia River, where he reels in trolley-sized carps with his steely bare hands and a visage of extreme aplomb. When not performing unmatchable feats of strength, you’ll find this dynamo enjoying the many tasty tidbits found far and wide in our fair city.
Sean is a man-bear hybrid who rules the woodshop with the ultimate weapon: love. His heart is so big he doesn’t have room for any other organs, and he’s got a PhD in Silliness. Alright, he does have a brain, but, it’s part of his heart -- it’s like a heart-brain. His heart-brain is SMART. This guy is a space camp graduate and a product design genius! He’s also got an amazing collection of embarrassing stories to make you cringe with joy.
Christian is a jack of all trades, but don’t call him “Jack”. Event planning? Check. Building everything? Check. Resident wakeboarder? Check. Producing a vodka brand? Check. He came to us from Lake Tahoe and the University of Oregon Product Design program, where he says he built a particle accelerator that fits in your pocket, but we think he was exaggerating. In his spare time he advises on ideal burger toppings and talks about his Subaru.
John is the master process-optimizer and efficiency aficionado in our shop, where he gets his hands dirty each day building beautiful products. He is a Portland native, and, so, naturally, he’s also an accomplished rock drummer. He has a rad collection of bikes, which he uses exclusively for cruisin’. He likes the Flaming Lips, and suggests that if you see them live, you should pay attention to the drummer.
Ben is a fellow of numerous talents. Here at Grovemade, he's our manufacturing engineer, meaning he commands our machinery to do as he wills! He also fixes them when they break and puts them on timeout when they disobey the rules. A dedicated father of two radical daughters, Ben also loves taking them to the backcountry for adventurous excursions. When the perfect river or stream is found, they bring in the fish with Ben's handmade rods and flies. In his free time, Ben is also hard at work inventing a robot that will sing his favorite lullabies as he prepares to dive into his daily afternoon nap. And beware of disturbing Ben when he's at rest—his prototype Lullaby Robot X-25 is also outfitted with lasers.
Nozomi Nakayama Ratchford
Nozomi is a world-traveling musician and number wizard extraordinaire. She makes sure all of our business details have nice snug little homes where they don’t get lost or swept under the rug. In a past life, she was a scientist, and we all feel much smarter when she’s around. Her ideal Sunday includes Dim Sum - but she wouldn’t tell us about the rest of the day, because she says she really likes to be mysterious, so there you go.
Sara is so good at learning about things, that sometimes you say, “When did she learn to do that?” But before you even finish saying that she’s learned about something else! She’s a chocolate enthusiast with a degree in design. She likes to ponder low-waste living and sustainability while biking to work, which is nicely consistent of her. Unsurprisingly, she excels at many things in the shop, from woodworking to customer service and writing.
Nick is an accomplished toothbrusher. He used to do 20 pushups every night before bed, but he stopped a while ago and hasn’t looked back. Some of his favorite things are coffee, cooking while wearing aprons, throwing anything round, and music. Nick is our resident word-smith and idea generator and customer question answerer. He loves email subject lines and looking at numbers for a long time and then drawing graphs.
Kacy has a plan and his plan is to watch basketball later, after work. He likes to build things, at Grovemade and at home, things like custom PCs. On the basketball court, he uses magical mind-power and strong ankles to best his opponent. In the basketball arena, you can find him wielding whatever wild collectable cup they have because he goes “all out.”
Kevin, Grovemade industrial designer extraordinaire, is a man at the height of his particular imaginative talents. That is to say that he's in his prime. Known to his friends as Magiva (majēva), he's powered by avocados, senzu beans, and tins of sardines. Kevin's an inquisitive guy who's dedicated to learning and expanding his skillset. With an earthling-first attitude, he's here to design as well as to improve his sleight of hand.
Justin's a laid back guy who enjoys the finer things in life: a Tom Collins, a clean haircut, and the finest of contemporary cinema (Young Guns II; Cool Runnings; The Mighty Ducks). With a voice reminiscent of radio men of yon, Justin's soothing baritone brings an exuberant calm to the woodshop.
Christopher keeps to a strict diet of one movie per day, to keep the doctor away. Naturally, this involves lots of inside time, but don’t worry, he also believes in going outside. Some of his other favorite things are designing furniture, playing video games, and eating tacos. In the shop, he leverages those skills (primarily eating tacos) to coax beautiful shapes from raw materials.
Lydia is a proponent of the ancient Greek philosophy of “Both”, rather than “Either/Or”—ice cream, for example, is something she enjoys in a very equal-opportunity sort of way. She works in the shop at Grovemade, assisting in all levels of production and operations. Again, “Both,” not “Either/Or.” In her spare time, you can find her gardening, as long as that garden is outside. Her heart melts at the thought of fondue, which is a joke she imagines telling her friends at culinary school someday.