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  • These Grommets Are Smarter Than We Are

     

    the internet of things

    Here at The Grommet, our  Discovery Team is always on the look-out for new trends and corresponding products that have the potential to make it big. Our Co-Founder and Chief Discovery Officer, Joanne Domeniconi, says that when she and Jules first founded The Grommet, she wasn’t sure how easy it would be to continually find new, innovative products every day. She doesn’t worry about that anymore, she now jokes. With the lower barriers to entry for creating consumer products, there are more products out there than we can sometimes handle. And while there are many “trends” that come and go, there is one that’s here to stay; The “Internet of Things.” The Internet of Things means that hardware products are getting smarter. So smart, they can remind us of things we risk forgetting like when to take medicine or that our milk in the fridge is going sour.

    This may sound like a far-off future to some, but the truth is that it’s already here. We spotted the enthusiasm for these types of products back in 2011 when we launched the now mainstream wearable tech, FitBit. The company was brand new at the time and needed market feedback. The Grommet’s community showed just how high the demand would be for these wearables. The category of tech-enabled fitness products has grown exponentially, but there are also now products you place all over your home and car (and play with too).

    Here are just a few Grommets that are “smarter” than we are.

    Stay tuned for even more coming down the pipeline in the next few months.

    IceDot crash sensor
    ICEDOT

    This little device attaches to your bike helmet and can sense a significant impact (a crash) and automatically send a notification to a loved one who can call for help. It’s an added layer of safety if you're biking alone. Shop Now

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  • Featured Grommet Makers At NY NOW

    We're looking forward to our upcoming Wholesale Exhibit at NY Now in August. As you may have read, we're debuting the first curated, online B2B e-commerce platform for discovery and sales of products by independent Makers. Our platform allows retailers to stock their shelves with tested, curated and proven-to-sell products. Our Exhibit (booth NC-1) will feature a selection of Makers with products across several categories.

    Here's a sneak peek at some of Makers who will be attending the show. Learn about their products the stories behind them:

    Learn more about Cuppow.

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  • The Grommet Wholesale Exhibit at NY Now

    On the heels of  The Grommet Wholesale  announcement, we're excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at NY NOW™ this August. Our team has been attending the show (formerly NYIGF) for years, in fact, it almost feels like home. This year we will be  debuting our Wholesale Exhibit which will  feature a curated selection of Grommets across several product categories; each created by independent Makers. Attendees with be able to browse and shop The Grommet Wholesale from the showroom floor of NY NOW™. NYNOW   We will also bring Makers  to showcase their products at the show, giving Retailers an opportunity to learn about products from the Makers directly.   wholesale_fortori_V2 If you’re a retailer, you can learn more about The Grommet Wholesale here: The Grommet Wholesale  and register to attend the show here: NY Now As you enter the Javits Center, you’ll see our concourse exhibit at booth NC-1 near the main escalators. In addition to our exhibit, we will also be participating in two seminars:

    The Grommet Co-Founder and CEO, Jules Pieri will speak: Entrepreneurship & Lessons Learned from the Start-Up Trenches Tuesday, August 19, 12:00 Noon – 1:00 PM, Javits Center, 1A02-03

    The Grommet Co-Founder and Chief Discovery Officer, Joanne Domeniconi will moderate: Seminar: Modern-Day Matchmaking: Technology & Tools for the 21st Century Date and Time TBA

    More updates soon.

  • Meet the Maker: Val Viera

    Here at The Grommet our mission is to put an end to nameless, faceless business and highlight the people and the stories behind the products we launch each day. And it's in that spirit that we're share this blog series in which we can continue telling the stories of our Makers with you. Get to know them better, learn more about their journeys as entrepreneurs and learn how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.

    In our fifth installment we're catching up with Maker Val Viera. Val is the founder of Sprigs which  makes smart, stylish accessories for on the go comfort and convenience (the Sprigs Phone Bangees are one of our most popular Grommets). Val is sharing a her advice on starting a business and giving a peek at what it has taken to build a successful company.

     Meet-the-Maker-Val-Viera

    What additional advice would you give other Makers out there?

    Listen to your instincts. That sounds so vague and trite. So let me be more specific. When your mind starts saying, “I’m not sure I trust what this person is saying…” put up a huge post-it note in your brain that says “NO!” The semi-blind optimism I mentioned above is only useful if it’s reined in by your self-protective instincts. Many entrepreneurs like myself are ready to see the best in everyone and every situation – but dreamers and creatives can be trampled in the business world. Surround yourself with practical, careful people until you can develop those muscles  yourself. The best entrepreneur is open and available to great things happening – while being smart not to be led down a path that could be bad for the business, the brand, or the staff. Maybe call it “eyes opened optimism!” Continue Reading

  • 4 Fun App Controlled Toys

    Looking to combine your tech with your play? These four app controlled toys were all tested by The Grommet team and are sure to bring you (or your little ones) hours of fun playtime.

     

    App Controlled Toys | RoboMe

    RoboMe

    A completely customizable robotic friend that uses the power of your iPhone or iPod touch. RoboMe is able to remotely interact with its environment from anywhere another iPhone or iPad is connected.  Shop Now.

     

    fun app controlled toys

    Ubooly

    With the help of your smart device, Ubooly comes to life and gets kids to interact and learn through active play. Ubooly is powered by technology, but it looks and feels like a cuddly companion, not a computer screen. Shop Now.

     

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  • Introducing The Grommet Wholesale: At The White House Maker Faire today!

    whitehouse_image

    In conjunction with President Obama at the first ever White House Maker Faire, we are officially launching The Grommet Wholesale Platform. Our goal since we founded the company back in the insanely challenging year of 2008 has remained exactly the same--to level the playing field so the best products can win. Our executive careers at big companies like Keds and Stride Rite told us that the business of product launch was massive--but also very broken. So we set out to build a place where inspired (but often new-to-the-rodeo) product creators had a chance to succeed, and where their stories could be shared with a caring, supportive community. Since our classic startup beginnings, working out of a single room, we’ve been able to build a product launch platform that’s powerfully catapulted over 2,000 Makers and their products. This is meaningful work--but it’s not enough. So we’re charging out again to revolutionize another part of the traditional retail model: wholesale. It’s overdue for a 21st century makeover and we’re launching a new b2b e-commerce site to do it.

    The Grommet Wholesale

    Welcome to The Grommet Wholesale. Our platform provides a critical missing resource to build sustainable Maker businesses by creating a more convenient, organized, and curated online platform where Retailers can source the newest and most imaginative products for their stores.

    Untitled-2 Here's a look at the welcome to retailers on our site.

    Forming a massive sea change in product creation, fifty-seven percent of adult Americans identify themselves as Makers.  Their product development is entirely technology driven and they are seizing unprecedented access to rapid prototyping, crowdfunding, hacker spaces, and small run manufacturing resources to form a vibrant, new American industrial renaissance called The Maker Movement. This means that more worthy products than ever are hitting our pipeline each day and we need to prepare them for scale.  The business of wholesale is a traditional one.  Purchase orders are still written by hand or transferred via email attachments.   Product sourcing often occurs through catalogs, trade shows and sales reps appointments.   These avenues are, and will remain, valuable.  Yet wholesale needs to catch up with today’s digital world, streamlining the process for both Makers and Retailers. Our furthering of the Maker Movement is even being recognized by President Obama himself as The White House is holding its first ever Maker Faire today.   We’ll be there with big smiles on our faces, to embrace their support and basking in the moment. We have been working in this space before it even had a name.  It’s deeply gratifying to have the Commander in Chief of the nation recognize our central role in enabling the Maker Movement.

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  • Meet the Maker: Sativa Turner

    Here at The Grommet our mission is to put an end to nameless, faceless business and highlight the people and the stories behind the products we launch each day. And it's in that spirit that we share this blog series in which we can continue telling the stories of our Makers with you. Get to know them better, learn more about their journeys as entrepreneurs and learn how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.

    The inspiration that led to this Maker's "aha-moment" came out of necessity, but her products are anything but ordinary. Sativa Turner, Founder of Whooz? first shared her story with us last spring with a launch on The Grommet and cords have never looked boring since. We're catching up with Sativa in this edition of Meet the Maker, read on for more! 

     

    Meet the Maker: Whooz?

    What Maker tool can you not live without?

    X-acto knife. Whenever I get excited about a new idea, the first thing I want to do is mock it up as quick as I can. 90% of the time this entails me cutting something up with my X-acto.

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  • Join in: National Day of Making

    The Grommet wouldn't exist without Makers, tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs who create new innovative products every day. We celebrate Makers and amplify their stories each time we launch a new Grommet.

    So when the White House announced its first Maker Faire we got really excited. Why? Having the White House recognize Makers and encourage people across the nation to make things themselves will fuel innovative product creation. And we all win when that happens.

    The White House is embracing The Maker Movement on June 18, 2014 by organizing an event that features Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all ages who are using cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life.

    In addition to the Makers who will be at the White House, people  all across the country are invited to participate virtually  on June 18th in a Day of Making in their homes, schools, maker spaces, and communities. Let's showcase our own projects and the vibrant grassroots communities of inventors, tinkerers, and manufacturers that are building our future.

    On June 18, 2014 use #NationOfMakers to share your  creations. The White House will be using it as well and it will be a great way to connect with other Makers across the country.

    National Day of Making

     

    ...

    How can you participate in this National Day of Making on June 18, 2014? Here are a few ideas from the White House to get you started: 

    • Post photos of a current maker project you are working on or choose a new project to work on and ask a couple of friends or family members to build it with you. You can find fun and creative projects ideas from a variety of websites for Makers such as MAKE.
    • Host an open house at your local makerspace or set up a hangout online to connect and share your inventions with Makers across the country.
    • Volunteer to be a mentor for someone who is interested in learning a new skill or find a mentor who would be interested in teaching a new skill you’ve been eager to learn.
    • Create a project of your own and then share the plans for your project online through Maker platforms so others can also make, modify, or remix your project.
    • Organize a maker roundtable to identify and convene maker thought leaders in your community on expanding Making initiatives, programs, and activities in your neighborhood.
    • If you’re an organization or company, encourage your employees to volunteer as an educator and/or mentor to host maker-oriented workshops or classes in your community.
    • Follow the action online at www.whitehouse.gov/makerfaire.

     

    We can't wait to see your projects on June 18th! Be sure to post using #NationOfMakers and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as we'll be sharing too. 

  • The Maker Movement: In Motion

     

    Maker Movement | The Grommet

    This maker movement puts power in the hands of the people to fund, design, prototype, produce, manufacture, distribute, market and sell their own goods. - Jeremiah Owyang

    If you're a Maker, or aspire to be one, today is a great day to be you. What exactly is a Maker, you ask? Am I a Maker because I love to spend my weekends fixing up my old car? Or, am I a Maker because I spend my Sunday afternoons with a paintbrush in hand? The answer is that anyone can become a Maker regardless of whether you work in tech, design or another field and whether it's a hobby or a full-fledged business. Here at The Grommet, we view all the wonderful product creators as Makers. Our Co-Founder and CEO, Jules Pieri views creators and Makers as one in the same. "If it’s coming from a person, not an institution, they’re a Maker," says Jules.

    The good news is that if you've always had an itch to create, it’s easier than ever to make things. This is much of why The Grommet exists and is thriving with a strong supply of worthy products in our pipeline. Twenty years ago, there wouldn’t have been the opportunity for people to make consumer products the way they can today, it was expensive and difficult. Innovation was once sprung by big brands, but they're no longer the only players. Today, thanks to the Maker Movement, the real innovation is happening in our garages and basements. People are creating new products with laser cutters and making prototypes with 3D printers.

    This movement is so big, that on June 18th, 2014, the White House held their very first Maker Faire to celebrate these Makers. Our fearless leaders, Jules Pieri and Joanne Domeniconi attended to represent The Grommet's role in this movement. You can watch a video on our day at the White House here.

    What does all of this mean for our world?

    The Maker Movement is shaping the future of: 

    • Consumer Products
    • U.S. Manufacturing
    • Product Innovation
    • Main Street Retail
    • Our Economy

    Did you know that?

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  • 6 Gifts for His First Father's Day

    Looking for the best first Father's Day gifts? We've got you covered. Here are six top gifts we'd give any new dad. They're part  practical, part fun, and all Grommets we think any dad would love to receive on his special day. first fathers day gifts

    Ready2Go

    New dads have their hands full and will appreciate this tech organizer that will help him keep his things together. This lightweight, portable carrier for small electronics (and other small items) can easily be tossed into the diaper bag or stroller.  Shop Now

    Unique first fathers day gifts

    Hammock Bliss 

    Dad can relax in the backyard or on a camping trip, with this new  innovative hammock. Its asymmetric design makes it the world’s first truly flat two-point hammock (which means there is plenty of room for dad to snuggle up with the little ones).  Shop Now

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