If we ask you to picture a headphone stand, what do you see? When we spoke with Grovemade co-founder and CEO, Ken Tomita, the mental image he conjured was simple: a banana hook. No matter where you look, most headphone stands on the market mimic the hook. But for Tomita and the rest of the Grovemade team, looking like everyone else wasn’t enough.
The Portland-based design studio and manufacturer is introducing an innovative new headphone stand and The Manual has the exclusive first look.
“Making a headphone stand, it seems fairly simple because you just need like a hook of some kind,” Tomita told The Manual in a recent episode of our podcast. “Sure, that’s a logical way to do it, but of course we were like. ‘Let’s come up with a better way to do it.'”
“Let’s make this thing aesthetically pleasing for our customers so they can be inspired at their workspace even when the headphones aren’t there.”
There were several things that Grovemade had to consider. Over-the-ear headphones come in a variety of sizes, most of which are large. If the headphones are wired, then the cords come out of the bottom. And of course, incorporating a simple hook was out of the question.
Without the headphones, at first glance, you might not know exactly what Grovemade’s stand is for — which is what we love about it. Wood, stainless steel, and leather comprise the stand, which is nine inches tall. The device is equal parts elegant and practical, creating a decoration for your desk while also helping with the storage of your gear.
“I think it adds to the desk. With a lot of accessories, you get a thing where designers design it so it looks good in the photos but nobody really thinks about when you take the accessory away,” Tomita explained. “We think, ‘Let’s make this thing aesthetically pleasing for our customers so they can be inspired at their workspace even when the headphones aren’t there.'”
This principle is what shapes all of Grovemade’s products, which include other minimalist desk accessories like monitor stands, wireless chargers, and mouse pads, as well as essentials for the home and your everyday carry. The headphone stand, though, is a standout project. “We’re excited about this one because I think it represents Grovemade,” Tomita said
— the brand only sells its products directly to you, the customer. It retails for an introductory price of $100, so if you want one, you need to act fast. The stand comes in two colorways: and .
And be sure to listen to The Manual podcast episode featuring Ken Tomita.
Article updated at 2:30 pm to include links to purchase.
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