10 Questions with Customer Service Manager Grant Perrins

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1. What’s the best part of working at This is Ground?

The team. I moved from Australia one year ago, and these guys make me feel at home. I have never worked for a company that makes me feel this comfortable—a place I enjoy going to every day.

2. What’s on your desk right now?

A protein shake, a stapler with my name on it, my iPhone 6 Plus, and an invitation to Let’s Make a Deal.

3. What is the most recent photo on your phone, and what made the scene worth capturing?

It’s a new product that is not released yet, and I’m offering it to one of our VIP customers to get their opinion.

4. Is there an element of your wardrobe that you’re particularly feeling at the moment?

My barely-there gym gear.

5. What are you currently reading?

My Facebook feed.

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6. Who are your personal icons?

My parents and Elvis.

7. What was the first film or album that had a significant impact on you?

As a child, I watched Calamity Jane the musical at least once a week.

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8. What’s been your most interesting adventure so far?

Traveling the world for five months in 2013 with my BFF from Sydney and going to every possible big gay party we could find!

9. What’s going on in the world right now that excites and inspires you?

Caitlyn Jenner. This is Ground. Mykonos. Making new friends.

10. Is there anything the rest of the This is Ground team doesn’t know about you?

I am pretty open. I think I tell the team everything—like that my mum is my favorite person.

The Genesis of the Mod Laptop 2

Mod Laptop 2 in Toffee

About a year ago we introduced the Mod Laptop. Our goal was to take the success of the Mod Tablet and expand it to accommodate not just a laptop, but all the essentials of the modern professional: phone, cords, cards, pens, a tablet, notebooks, glasses, keys, currency. It was the largest and most complex piece we’d ever made.

Since then, the Mod Laptop has become one of our most popular items, as well as one of the most frequently commented upon. We’ve spent the last year completing a detailed study of the needs of users, as well as of the feedback our amazing social community has shared with us. The result of this analysis is the Mod Laptop 2.

Mod Laptop 2 in Charcoal

The reboot begins with a newly felt-lined pocket for the laptop itself. We needed a material that was high quality, durable and soft to the touch of both the device and the user’s hand, while also providing a sophisticated accent against our leather. We found the answer by working with Buffalo Felt, a heritage felt maker in West Seneca, NY. Buffalo’s team worked closely with our designers to develop a custom felt just for our Mod Laptop 2 made of 100% natural wool produced locally in the US. This felt lip protects the laptop from scraping against the zipper, while also providing a protective barrier around the laptop.

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Wool “Gum” Locks in the Laptop

The next big change was the addition of our first ever cross-body strap. We’ve wanted to introduce a strap to the Mod line for a long time, but straps often clutter a design and we didn’t want to sacrifice the clean Mod profile. That’s why the strap on our Mod Laptop 2 can be removed and the hardware hidden away in back of the case. Our straps are 100% leather and custom made for the Mod Laptop 2 in the factory across the hall from our design studio.

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Strap rings retract into case when not in use.

The trickiest item in a laptop’s arsenal, though, is often the blocky charger. We often saw people chucking their laptop case into a larger bag just so they could also fit the power adapter. We tried to find a way to house The Brick (as we call it) inside the Mod Laptop, but this proved impossible without substantially increasing the thickness of the whole case.

But we wanted the Mod Laptop 2 to amount to a complete carry; The Brick had to come along.

The answer came from an unexpected source: the Italian Spatialist Lucio Fontana. Known for his Tagli series, Fontana made actual incisions into monochromatic canvases the subject of his work.

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Lucio Fontana at work

To house The Brick we made a 35° angled cut in the back of the case. This opening is unadorned yet produces enough natural tension to hold the charger in place.

Mod Laptop 2 in French Grey
Mod Laptop 2 in Cognac

Once we started using this unique detail we found ourselves obsessed with all the other problems it solved – it’s perfect for boarding passes, notes, or anything else you want quick access to. We nicknamed it “The Pouch” because it reminded us of the noble and biologically remarkable marsupial.

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Finally, the Mod Laptop 2 features our new, strong magnets from Connecticut based Romag. These magnetic fasteners are the best in the world at packing maximum power into the lightest and smallest package. They actually exert 8,100 Gauss, enough to require 21 lbs of force to remove, and they’re 100% safe for your electronics.

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This final change means that the new Mod Laptop 2 is truly modifiable, able to seamlessly incorporate the full suite of Mod 2 inserts. This means it can be instantly customized to the unique needs of the photographer, the graphic designer, the adventurer, the bike commuter, the architect, the executive, the industrial designer, the writer, and to you.

GET YOURS NOW

GROUND CONTROL: The Summer Space for Creative Collisions

Ground Control isn’t a popup. It’s not quite a community studio. Even though it might feel like one, it’s not a summer camp for killer brands led by David Bowie—though that may be close to it. But without a doubt, Ground Control is a new kind of space.

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Tucked in the heart of DTLA, Ground Control looks across the street to our friends at the Ace Hotel. And with a fresh mural by our neighbors at Clashist, This is Ground’s namesake does get to watch over us. Every day we’re visited by a variety of interesting guests here to share their adventures.

From June 30 until the end of August, we’ll host a number of creative collisions both organic and orchestrated, including panels, parties, and even a dinner or two. Here’s a look at some of what’s going down so far:

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June 30 / BRANDAGRAM – NARRATIVES THROUGH VISUAL MEDIUMS: A night of conversation and drinks as we talk about visual storytelling platforms and how they’ve helped brands convey their stories. Hang with some popular Instagram storytellers and hear about their secrets to success. Guests include Michel Phiphak, iPhone 6 Food Photographer, Whitney Leigh Morris, Creative Director, and Heather Lipner, Founder at Clashist. Moderated by Mike Macadaan, Founder & Chief of This is Ground.

July 14 / SPECIAL EVENT: This is a private event for press, but we’ve saved a spot to give away. If you’re available July 13-15, are at least 18 years old, and live in the United States, you’re eligible. We’ll randomly select a winner that will receive a flight, room at Ace Hotel, a spot at our private event, and a very special gift. Entry directions @_groundcontrol. And if you’re press and you’re interested in attending, please get in touch at nosubject@thisisground.com.

July 9, 7:00pm to 10:00pm / New Product Launch by This is Ground: We’ll be celebrating the launch of our latest addition to the Mod lineup.

July 15, 6:00pm to 8:00pm/ REMIXER BY FIFTYTHREE: Come remix and meet the FiftyThree team. Featured Creator Mike Macadaan will give insight into his work from the prototyping process in Paper to real life products that you can find at This is Ground. Food and drink will be provided and bringing your iPad is highly recommended for some remixing fun. At the workshop, you will learn how to get the most out of Paper and Mix and meet fellow creators. We’ll be giving away our Pencil stylus and other fun prizes to a few lucky attendees. Hope to see you there! More info here.

Ground Control wouldn’t be nearly as fun without our friends. The rad team at Bold LA have kindly provided the loft space. Thanks to CaliWater , we have the coolest cactus H20 on the planet for our guests, and our pals at Diabolo have also stocked us up with some delicious all natural sparkling refreshments. As the evenings loosen things up a bit, there’s Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine. We’re also glad to have brand besties Shyp and The Motley with their flawless men’s grooming line along for the ride.

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The doors of Ground Control are open, and it’s shaping up to be an amazing summer. We’re making Ground Control a lightening rod of creative collaboration that’s as fun as it is smart—if you have an idea for an event, don’t be a stranger, and we hope to see you soon. This is a space oddity for us to create together.

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When: June 30 – End of August, 2015
Where: 958 S. Broadway DTLA
Site: http://ground-control.space/
Follow: https://instagram.com/_groundcontrol/