Forbes Calls Grovemade “A Workshop With World Reach”

Forbes magazine’s Hester Lacey recently interviewed our team for an article titled “Workshop With World Reach: How To Turn A Craft Product Into A Global Brand” on The article highlights our co-founder Ken Tomita’s descriptions of what makes our company unique and successful by our own standards. Read below for some key quotes from the article, and check out the full write-up here on Forbes.


Forbes: “When friends Ken Tomita and Joe Mansfield founded Grovemade in 2009, they set out to marry their artisanal skills with some seriously high-tech products. Grovemade’s tech accessories, beautifully hand-made out of natural wood, are compatible with Apple’s latest products. Monitor stands and mouse pads, along with a range of deskware, complement the Apple-compatible range and Grovemade is also adding wooden watches to its line.”



Grovemade co-founder Ken Tomita


Ken: “From my background as a furniture designer, my goal was to bring the warmth of tradition into modern design and that’s extended into Grovemade. People are worried about getting just one scratch on their phones: you open the packaging to find a perfect product, but plastic doesn’t improve as it ages, where natural materials get better with age. I can have as many Grovemade cases as I want but I like my old one! That contrast really resonates with customers. You have to do it the right way, though. Most consumer goods are mass-produced wood with plastic coatings. We do a hand-rubbed oil finish, you can still feel and touch the wood.”


Ken: “My favourite part of our production is the finish. We sand away burrs, then hand rub with natural oils. That brings up the gleam and protects the wood – and is the point where the product really starts to shine. We work on very small batches, with the same people seeing the whole process through, and the crew pushes so hard for quality.”


Grovemade co-founder Joe Mansfield

Ken: “We can do things that are really hard, things where a factory would just say ‘no’. Factories are businesses: they’re designed to make money, not do hard things.[..] We were successful because we chose to differentiate, be better and be ourselves, which made us better. Don’t compete on price or quantity: be better, whatever that means for you. Be better, be different and be yourself.”

Our thanks go out to Hester Lacey for her kind words about Grovemade and for featuring us on Forbes. You can read more of her articles on special businesses at



Written by Mary Yajko. She is a copywriter and member of Team Grove originally from upstate New York. She enjoys opened minds, uncontrollable fits of laughter, and large amounts of french fries with ketchup.