Find What Matters
Interested in visiting our Portland, Oregon workshop? We’re proud of the things we make and the processes required to manufacture them. Drop by our shop for a tour behind the scenes, or to pick up something from our showroom in person.
OPEN MON-FRI • 9AM - 3PM
432 SE 9th AVE
PORTLAND, OR 97214
We are a team of 20 who prioritize the search for what matters above all else. We love our jobs and our lives, and won't settle for anything less. Our work is an exploration to grow, reach, and push our boundaries to our fullest potential.
When it comes down to it, it’s more than just designing and making products. It’s about the people behind the process and all of you throughout the world who share the same values. We're on an adventure and hope you'll join us.
We believe our goods are meaningful because of the thoughtfulness of the people behind them.
Sylvia ChoiSylvia is a communications champion from a family of unbeatable sisters, basically superheros. When they put their minds together, they can’t be stopped. Sylvia brings this same level of badassery to Grovemade’s marketing and customer support departments. Outside work, she’s passionate about ending human trafficking and raising awareness about human rights issues. She helps out through three important organizations: LiNK, Compassion First, and Freedom and Fashion.
Alex is a friendly Schwab who hails from California. Splitting his time between production manufacturing and the administrative side of things, Alex brings the full force of his Big Nerd powers to his quest of getting things done! When not nerding out in the shop, you can find him backpacking throughout the wilderness of the Northwest. If you see him out there, be sure to ask for his best-of list of sci-fi and fantasy novels!
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.
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.
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.
Joe MansfieldJoe is the other half of Grovemade’s founding pair along with Ken. He’s such a design fanatic, he can’t look at anything without wondering how it’s made and how it could be made better. This can transform casual hangouts into brainstorming sessions, but his hyper-curiosity is also a great asset for planning adventures with friends and family. He once exclaimed, “You’re too curious, man!” But, we all know he was looking in the mirror when he said it.
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 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 maché, and sing. She also hates to drive.
Max BrownMax, named for the main character in Where the Wild Things Are, knows everything about every movie ever made. He’s got a passion for storytelling, from graphic novels and 80s horror films to Ray Bradbury. His resume paints a picture of a colorful life: projectionist, graphic artist at a modeling agency, bartender in foggy Astoria, photographer and videographer, and illustrator extraordinaire. Check out his illustrations here.
Christopher is our accountant extraordinaire. A recent transplant to Portland by way of The Last Frontier (Alaska, not space), Christopher and his family moved here expressly for the rain, and they’ve not yet gotten their fill. He’s a gaming enthusiast - Magic, Minecraft, Chess, to name a few - who holds only one game in ill regard, which will remain unnamed for the time being. A former bookstore denizen, he moseys the stacks of Portland’s bookstores and libraries when he needs to unwind.
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.
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.
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.
Victor, aka Victor Sweet, aka Victor Strong is not only one of our awesome production team members 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.
Jim HassertJim is an efficiency enforcer with a heart of gold, hailing from the ever expanding Chicagoland beast in Illinois. He’s passionate about anything embodying variety and balance at the same time, think tight rope walking octopi or sumo wrestlers practicing yoga. Jim can hold his own on the soccer field, chess board, yoga mat, and conference room. He and his wife Sarah annually host a short film festival and an audio festival through their creative group, Yumi Life.
Brodie GordonBrodie is a 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.
Dashia FontleroyDashia is the magical fairy of the woodshop; actually, she’s the magical fairy of everything good about Grovemade and life in general. When she’s not in the workshop, she’s building bookshelves at home or crocheting scarves and hats. Maybe all the gravel she sucked on as a child contributed to her talent with natural materials? Look out small stones, Dashia is a force of positive energy to be reckoned with. She’s also a loving Mom of two, and her true number one passion is family.
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.
Grovemade was born from friendship and the spirit to create in 2009 by Joe Mansfield and Ken Tomita. As friends and neighbors, they had no other vision than to “make cool stuff and have fun doing it”. They never could have expected it turning into what it is today, with global reach and a crew of 20 fun-loving, hard-working trail blazers.
Over the last six years, we’ve been on a winding path to find our way. With no outside investors, our bootstrapped venture has had the freedom to become anything we want it to be. As self-started entrepreneurs with backgrounds in digital art and furniture making respectively, Joe and Ken founded the company in the spirit of DIY, and as our team has grown over the years, we’ve never lost that spirit. Rather than obsessing with growth, we pursue the greatest product possible. For us, that means taking control of the whole process, staying small, and revolutionizing how manufacturing can be done.
All Hands On Deck
Rather than the traditional separations between design, manufacturing, and administration, we blend all departments together. Our marketing, photography, writing, and customer service are all done mere feet away from our woodshop. We encourage dynamic roles where jobs intersect, collaborate, and evolve every day. The crappy manufacturing job doesn’t exist here; we all take part in making, and we all contribute in other ways, too.
There are traditionally two ends of the spectrum: Mass produced items are made in sprawling factories by anonymous workers creating efficiency through scale; Crafted products are produced in tiny quantities by skilled individuals with a small audience and limited technical capabilities. We’ve carved out a place for ourselves somewhere in the middle, shipping the highest quality, handmade products worldwide, directly from our hands to yours.
The world has changed dramatically in the last ten years. A company like ours can stay small and special, yet have a global reach, and, hopefully, an impact beyond our size. Physical goods can only do so much to make the world a better place. We like to think that our greatest contribution is through sharing our way, whether it’s through collaboration, our products, or our story.
We hope you find what matters, too.