When a company’s motto is “Made the hard way,” it’s easy to envision its employees regularly injuring themselves on the assembly line, or resources being shipped in from ridiculous places all over the world. However, in Grovemade’s case, the phrase more accurately means that each gorgeous wooden product they sell—iPhone cases, iPad sleeves, watches, etc.—is made the best way, with all of its materials (primarily maple and walnut at this point) sourced domestically and all of its detailed design and production work performed locally, in a 5,000-square-foot studio conveniently located right beside Base Camp Brewing Company in SE Portland. “The first item in our line (a bamboo iPhone 3 case) took me about 9 months to create,” says Ken Tomita, a former furniture designer who founded Grovemade along with his friend Joe Mansfield, who worked in digital art and laser engraving, in 2009. “We always brainstormed ideas with each other, and this one just stuck. But the only real similarity between what I was doing before and now is that wood was the shared medium, so there was definitely a learning curve.”

chic office supplies, portland

“In the beginning, our only goal was to make one quality product. Then over time we slowly added on similar things. Now, five years later, we’re much bigger and we’re trying to move toward being a really nice design company, rather than just a case company,” notes Tomita. They recently introduced a professional desk collection, a stylish wooden watch, and are looking forward to introducing more non-Apple-related items in the future.

 

“The design and production process can be very complicated, with a lot of back and forth, but it’s important for us to push the limits of the materials that we work with, and we’re always trying to improve our process,” he says. What started off as a team of two has now grown into a group of 20 fun, creative co-workers. “Half of our studio is filled with people actually making stuff, like a woodshop. The other half is office space, where designers, accountants, shipping/fulfillment people and others work,” says Tomita. There’s just enough room left over for a ping-pong table (to help keep the ideas flowing, of course). “Our company focuses a lot on ourselves—on our people, the way we work, the way we live and the way we treat each other. We believe that if we take care of that stuff, then some really good products will naturally occur as a result,” he says. “We also know that our business cannot exist anywhere else. Even if we were still in Portland, but out by the airport, we wouldn’t have this amazing team, making wonderful things together.”

Portland Made Branding

More and more consumers are valuing independently made, locally sourced goods. Let customers know you are Portland Made by branding your website and product packaging.

 

Portland brands

GROWTH MEMBERSHIP

Designed for more established businesses who want their products seen and their story told, our Growth Membership offers the greatest online exposure, including products, related content, and links directing consumers back to your website. Showcase your products in our online Shop, include your photo in our Featured Maker Gallery, and add your logo to our Brand Gallery. Your Featured Bio tells your story, has a slider of your brand images, and highlights any related blog posts and products you may have on PortlandMade.com. Share your news, events, and product releases in our blog, newsletter and social media channels.

STARTUP MEMBERSHIP

Our Startup Membership includes a one on one session to check in about your business and get some free feedback to remove obstacles and/or develop your business. It includes your logo in our Brand Gallery, as well as your brand’s Bio Page, where others can see a brief overview of your business, and a link to your website, Etsy shop or Instagram account. Looking to show off your products or for added services? See our Growth Membership, and/or optional add-on services.

IDEA MEMBERSHIP

It all starts with an idea. This stage of membership is designed for those who have an inkling for what they want to do, but may be hazy on the details. Maybe you want to connect with other makers, or you need product photos or a business consultation to help get you to the next level.

Brand Bio

When visitors click on your logo in the Brand Gallery they are taken to your Brand Bio page. This page includes your logo, a product photo, brand story, and link back to your website or shop page.

Portland maker Membership

Maker Meetup

This monthly, one-of-a kind networking event is FREE for members; $15 for non-members. Crafted to be the most useful hour and half a maker can spend on their business each month, this event aims to: expose makers to new workshops, connect makers with each other, and learn from experts.

portland maker events

 

Access to Vetted Resources

Connect with talented professional service providers and subcontractors, offering the range of services small businesses need to thrive. Our online Resources page highlights those we recommend and trust.

Portland Made service providers and vendors

Inclusion in Brand Gallery

Add your logo to the collective’s Brand Gallery. Visitors can peruse brands by category, and click to see your Brand Bio page (for Startup tier), or Featured Bio page (Growth tier).

Portland Brands

Featured Brand Bio

For makers looking for greater exposure, your Featured Brand Bio includes your logo, a slider of images, your brand story, and link back to your website or online shop. As well, this featured page showcases products you have in Portland Made’s online Shop and any related Journal posts you may have on our site.

Visitors can navigate to your Featured Bio from the Brand Gallery and, for those with a professional photo included in Featured Makers, from this gallery as well.

Maker Membership

Your News & Events shared in our Blog,
Newsletter, and Social Media

Broadcast your news, product releases, upcoming events, job openings and more, across Portland Made’s website and social media outlets. Share news content with Portland Made’s consumer audience and maker communities.

Portland maker news

Your Products in our online Shop

Showcase your goods in Portland Made’s online Shop. Visitors can see your product/s and description on the Shop page, and are directed to your personal website. Your product detail page is great for added SEO and as well directs visitors to your personal site.

Inclusion in Featured Makers

Add your maker photo to our Featured Makers gallery. The most prominent page in the Discovery menu, this gallery highlights you as a Portland maker, shows your business name when hovering on your photo, and clicks through to your Featured Bio page where visitors can get an in depth look at your business and visit your personal website.

Portland Made membership perks

Complimentary Business Consultation

Meet for a one on one business consultation to assess the health of your business and identify areas for improvement. 

Jim Hassert, Portland

Preferred Creator Market Vendor

We’ve teamed up with WeWork to produce Creator Market, a semi-annual event hosted in their beautiful westside location. All Growth members can apply first (no application fee), and if you get accepted you vend for free as well.

Portland Made market

 

Product Detail page

Show off your goods! This page is where consumers can see your goods in more detail. It includes a photo, description, and prominent link to your site where they can buy directly from you.

Portland Made goods