At age 25, Yuji discovered that the animated series Adventure Time contains the truth about all things in life. Each morning, he wakes up and shouts into the void, “What’s going on? Have we seen into the future?” He’s a self-taught web programming wizard who makes Grovemade.com come to life. His hard work behind-the-scenes makes countless internet purchases possible everyday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Louisa says that her favorite chip flavor is either honey dijon or pickle. We think you can tell a lot about a person by her chip choices—and those are some strong chip choices. When not in the shop, Louisa spends her time creating stories and creatures in her sketchbooks, exploring Portland by bike, and getting into the great outdoors. When in the shop, Louisa helps us make perfect products.
Clark is our favorite Portland-native, ex-archeologist on-call mercenary craftsman! You can find him listening to Cypress Hill, old-school funk, or the Grateful Dead, but if you call him Jerry, it’s gonna cost you 50¢. Clark is a fan of many adventures: adventures in cubes with bouncy balls (racquetball), adventures in lines (gardening) and adventures in sawdust (woodworking). Clark has so much character and pizzazz that sometimes he has to take a break and just go on an adventure with his wife.
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.
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.
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.
Mike is a passionate pursuer of the perfect photo. And, the perfect pad thai. He’s a professional in many senses of the word: professional large format film photographer, professional musician, professional skateboard instructor, and professional positive presence. Mike is also a professional in the woodshop. His favorite letter might by ‘p,’ but let’s not get too carried away. You can check out his photography here.
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.
Keckeley is sometimes just so stoked that she’s not sure where to start. Which means she glides through the shop and headquarters, conquering any and all tasks. A Montana native, the Big Sky state has inspired a life-long pursuit of motion - from Sweden to London, the Appalachian Trail to upstate New York. She’s touched down in Portland to get to know all there is about biking and skiing… two things, which, if you’re in the know, you’ll know involve lots of fast movement.
Uncle Fix-it-Phil is our resident luthier and master woodworker. He's a lover not a fighter... but he might fight you if you try to steal his ramen or pho. The other day at lunch, he almost ate a spider. He hails from sunny California, by way of sunny Hawaii. If he's not in our shop making our products shine and sparkle and work like a charm, you can find him in his own workshop, where he builds amazingly beautiful ukuleles (check them out here). Or peacefully floating above the golf links or the rivers where he communicates with fish and other wildlife via energy beams.
Jimmy is kinda like a ray of sunshine, but don’t worry about wearing sunscreen, it’s just a metaphor. He’s a self professed jack-of-all-trades, a maker, a tinkerer, a doer. When not doing and making in the shop, he likes doing and making in the kitchen and at home. And, he loves the outdoors where it may be more appropriate to wear sunscreen.
Brodie is well-traveled young gentleman who's seen it all. Right now, he's choosing to be in Portland with us, which makes us pretty grateful. He's got a passion for things that have almost killed him: his car, his bike, his job. Grovemade really wouldn't function without the driving force of Brodie! He's like our engine. Brodie helps get the product from our brains to your hands, all while designing his next tattoo or clever case idea.
Dixie's an independent spirit chock full of the dignified class of the Midwest, though she's laid claim to having been raised by a pack of gray wolves. A former theater geek who loved it too much to do it for real, you can find Dixie splitting her time between the customer experience side of things, as well as on the shores of production manufacturing. In all, Dixie's a true DIY'er who loves to cook (gumbo is her go-to), sew, papier-mâché, and sing. She also hates to drive.
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.