GearBox: 10 necessities the cofounders of Grove can’t live without

gearbox 10 necessities the cofounders of grove cant live without 5370507525 a6b6f0de88 z

If you’ve hung around the DT site long enough, you’ve no doubt noticed a few posts about the iPhone and iPad cases made by Portland, Oregon company Grove. Using bamboo and a keen artistic eye, the young company designs thin and snug iPhone cases (as well as a great iPad 2 case) that are most often laser-engraved with quirky and fun designs. Cofounders Ken Tomita and Joe Mansfield combined their respective talents: Tomita had experience with custom-designed wood furniture, and Mansfield had previously worked engraving laptops, laptop cases, and leather covers for Moleskine notebooks. Now they run a successful small company (where everything is done in-house) that focuses on design, quality, and customer satisfaction. 

We talked to Grove’s cofounders to find out what they can’t live without, tech-related or not. Below we’ve gathered together what the two say are the essentials that make life a littler easier and a little more enjoyable. 

gearbox 10 necessities the cofounders of grove cant live without grovemacbookairs

MacBook Air 13-inch

“Incredibly lightweight and slim profile.  The battery life is long enough that I never carry a power source and the touchpad is so good, I never carry a mouse.  It completely changed my experience of using a laptop by enabling true portability.  Solid state drive makes it feel snappy and faster than the specs, making it a true game changer. I carry it around everywhere!” – KT

MacBook Air 11-inch

“Paired with a 27-inch thunderbolt display, my 11-inch MBA is a super-versatile system. The ultra-light laptop is a breeze to carry from home to the office and the solid state memory offers incredibly quick performance for its size. When docked at home, the laptop does a great job running the large external display.” – JM

gearbox 10 necessities the cofounders of grove cant live without groveiphone

iPhone + Grove bamboo case

“Ok, Im a little biased… but I can’t live without my iPhone and I’m nervous if it’s not in my Grove case. I prefer the feel of the expertly sanded natural material and hand rubbed oil finish over the delicate glass and harsh metal of the iPhone 4. My case has developed a nice patina over time, making me even more attached to it.” -KT

“An iPhone junkie from the very beginning, I’ve been amazed with the continuous improvement with each revision. I’m most impressed with the enhanced speed, camera, and video performance of the iPhone 4S. Our hand-finished bamboo cases give the cold delicate hardware a human feel. The bamboo makes a great canvas for laser engraved artwork and allows people to share their favorite art with the world.” -JM  

 gearbox 10 necessities the cofounders of grove cant live without groveshoesandsoftshellNike Air Force 1s

“I started collecting these five years ago or so and now own 20 pairs or so. I really like the concept of taking a basic shape and seeing how many variations can be made of it. Truly a timeless design.” -KT

Arc’teryx Rho LT Zip

“This thermal long sleeve shirt makes getting out the door for morning runs easier. The moisture wicking and anti-microbial fabric keeps me comfortable in a range of temperatures and doesn’t stink like other synthetics. The laminated zip chest pocket is a great place to stash a key and an ID.” -JM

gearbox 10 necessities the cofounders of grove cant live without grovepulseandart

Pulse app for iPhone

“The best RSS aggregater out there, period.  You can carry 50 feeds in 5 categories with easy scrolling vertically and horizontally. My preferred way of browsing blogs and news. Even better for the iPad. Great for those of us with information addiction! ” -KT

Tyler Stout Posters

“One of the first Portland illustrators I discovered when I moved here in 2006. Tyler consistently creates incredible limited edition movie posters that disappear minutes after he releases them to his rabid fans. His unique hand-drawn style and awesome color palettes are silkscreened by D&L screenprinting.” -JM

gearbox 10 necessities the cofounders of grove cant live without grovecarandbike

’94 Toyota Pickup 4×4 (black) with canopy and lumber rack, brush guard + PIAA 525

“Nothing like my trusty old work truck. It’s been to hell and back and won’t break down.  The lumber rack allows me to haul just about anything. Old school 4 Wheel low can get me out of anything.  They don’t make ’em like they used to!  I like the more rugged body style of the pre-Tacoma (1994 and older) Toyota pickups.” -KT

Surly long Haul Trucker Touring Bike

“After buying a used Long Haul Trucker frame, I spent months collecting used components and building up my dream commuter bike. My first test was a two week bike tour with a friend from Portland to the San Juan Islands. The bike is my daily commuter and I’m constantly improving the ergonomics, durability and efficiency of the bike.” -JM 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

With sapphire glass and analog dials, you'd never know this watch is smart

The world of hybrid smartwatches is getting much larger, and the latest comes from a name with history — New York Standard Watches. In our NYSW GTS Activity Tracker review, we find out what makes this watch special, and why we were so…

Here are 19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Smart Home

LG will announce partnerships at CES to help give you a smart kitchen

LG is announcing a number of partnerships that will help make kitchen appliances even smarter. It is working with Drop, the makers of Kitchen OS, to create a unified kitchen experience that will make cooking easy.
Smart Home

Starbucks teams with Uber Eats for delivery from 2,000 of its U.S. stores

Starbucks has teamed up with Uber Eats to offer customers deliveries from almost a quarter of its stores in the U.S. The major expansion launches early next year, making life even easier for fans of the coffee giant.

Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.
Smart Home

Best Walmart deals on Keurig and Nespresso coffee makers, espresso machines

The days till Christmas are slipping by, but these Walmart deals on Keurig and Nespresso coffee makers are prime candidates for last-minute gift selections. All four coffee makers ship for free in time to arrive before Christmas.
Smart Home

Ring, Amazon’s smart doorbell maker, explores technology that alerts police

Smart doorbells have been using facial-recognition technology to mark friends and family but a pair of patents filed by Ring could lead to doorbells that automatically identify suspicious persons and notify police.
Smart Home

These activists are hacking housing problems in NYC using apps and data

There are 1.2 million people living in "deficient" housing in New York City and now these coders are making easy-to-use, intuitive apps designed to give tenants a fighting chance against unscrupulous landlords.
Smart Home

Holiday shopping: Here are the final dates for Amazon’s free shipping promotion

If you're shopping with Amazon this holiday season, then time is fast running out if you want all of your gifts delivered before December 25. Here are the dates you need to know ...
Smart Home

Ward off porch pirates with the best outdoor security cameras

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.

Save up to $200 on Roomba and other robot vacuums before Christmas

We've found the best discounts on robot vacuum cleaners on brands such as Roomba, Shark, Eufy, and Ecovacs Deebot. Whether you're buying Christmas gifts or just need a little help around the house, these fourteen deals can help you save.
Smart Home

Here are the smart home gifts peple actually want this year

Looking for a smart home gift to buy for someone on your list? It's not too late! Of all the gadgets we research and test, these are our picks for the best last-minute smart home gifts for 2018.
1 of 2