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  • Meet the Maker Podcast - Maya & Greg Liberman of Shape + Store

    CatalogV1_Shape+StoreMaya Liberman always wanted to run her own business. One day while making cookies with her kids, she thought it would be great to have a container to hold cookie dough and avoid the mess that occurred every time she made them. The idea took hold of her. She enlisted the help of her husband Greg and his experience in sales and marketing to flush out a business and, more importantly, further products, like the Burger Master.

    Hear how Maya and Greg built the business of Shape + Store, find new uses for the product every day, continue to overcome challenges in finding retail placement, and persevere through doubt to create a tool that can help any kitchen, including their own.

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  • Straight from the Maker Trenches: Most Surprising Part Of Starting A Business

    In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs. If you've ever wondered what it's really like to start a company, you're in luck–our Makers are happy to share an inside look. Most of our Makers were everyday folks with a great idea—that became a business. Get a peek into the world of eight entrepreneurs about the challenges, rewards, and always-unpredictable path of building a company. We're constantly inspired by the business innovations and achievements of our Makers and thought you'd also enjoy hearing their honest answers.

    We couldn't pass up the opportunity to reach out to a few of them and get their answers to our burning question:

    What's the most surprising part of starting a business?

    Click each image or business name to learn more about them.

    How To Start A Company - Clear My Head

    "Everything! I didn't understand at first what building a brand was, I just wanted to sell some jars of some great stuff that really helped me and my clients. However, once I 'got' it, I was amazed at how detail oriented you must be on everything. It's exciting and overwhelming at the same time."  –Brenda Stansfield of Clear My Head 

    Maker Walton Wood Farm - How To Start A Company

    "I thought I would run out of ideas, but they just keep coming."  –Leslie Scott of Walton Wood Farm

    Modern Fuel - How To Start A Company

    "That the possibilities are endless. No matter what you are making you have no idea of the scale and opportunities it will bring along until you are in the thick of it." –Andrew Sanderson of Modern Fuel Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Jules & Joanne of The Grommet

    jules joanneThis week is the National Week of Making, a celebration of innovation, creation, and the entrepreneurial spirit. It is also the two-year anniversary of the inaugural National Maker Faire at the White House where The Grommet co-founders, Jules Pieri and Joanne Domeniconi, unveiled The Grommet Wholesale.

    On this special episode, Jules and Joanne discuss what prompted the start of The Grommet, the struggles and triumphs of building the business, the power of an engaged community, their experience at the National Maker Faire, and the future of the Maker Movement.

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    Like what you hear? Listen to the rest of the Meet the Maker Podcast series here then rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes

  • 9 Gifts That Keep Kids Busy While Traveling

    Traveling with kids can be an adventure. It also can be challenging. Whether you're planning a day-trip, road-trip, cruise, or cross-country flight, these nine gifts will help keep them busy (which means a better traveling experience for all).

    traveling with kids tips

    Moviac
    iZel Smartphone and Tablet Stand

    This handy stand is a simple but smart design. Like an easel for your smartphone or tablet, it holds devices securely in either portrait or landscape position. Perfect for watching while videos on-the-go. ($24.95) Shop Now

    tips for traveling with kids

    Möbi
    Numerical Tile Game

    Möbi is a fun, fast-paced tile game that helps kids (and grown-ups) learn and apply basic math skills. Packs away in an adorable blue whale bag, and it’s ready to play on any flat surface. ($19.95) Shop Now

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  • Meet the Maker: Leslie Scott of Walton Wood Farm

    In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better. Today, we're catching up with Leslie Scott, the Maker behind Walton Wood Farm. Walton Wood Farm uses a “farm forward” approach with their natural bath and body products. Leslie is a Coast Guard veteran and wilderness hiker, and packs her outdoor experiences and unique perspective into their goods. 

    Meet the Maker WAlton Wood Farm

    What did you want to be when you grew up?
    A writer and a pilot. My father told me I would never be either. I had major learning disabilities and there were no resources for me back then. That didn't stop me. I've won two International film festivals for my screenplays, and write all of the copy for my labels and website. At the age of 47, I got my pilot's license and fly a 1947 Piper Cub on floats. I was 49 when I started Walton Wood Farm with a dream of saving our historic barn–200 years from now, I won't be here, but it will. That's powerful. I have this incredible gratitude that I was able to fulfill all of my lifelong dreams. Never give up. It's never too late.

    Where do you find inspiration when coming up with new scents?
    I think about the person. What does their personality evoke? Are they hearty, but vulnerable, too? Gentle with a secret edginess? How does that translate to the natural world? Lily of the Valley, sandalwood, cardamom, black pepper and sweet orange? That's where it all starts. People and nature–there's a parallel (believe it or not).

    Meet the Maker of Walton Wood Farm

    What other things do you love to make?
    Tea, with herbs from my garden. Or an original dinner concoction in a crock-pot. I love serving great food to the people I care about. Nothing says, "I love you" like a long-simmering stew made with a stout beer.

    maker advice

    How do you get around creative blocks?
    I walk the farm. Any weather is fine with me. Rain or sleet–I bundle up. Nature is one big show and there are no re-runs.

    What has surprised you most about starting a business?
    I thought I would run out of ideas, but they keep coming. I think when you open a faucet, stuff trickles out. Then the pump is primed and it just gushes through. Continue Reading

  • Gifts Made by Maker Dads

    With Father’s Day around the corner, we thought we’d showcase a few dedicated dads who run their own businesses—selling products they make themselves. 

    Meet the Maker Fat Toad Farm

    Maker:Steve Reid
    Business: Fat Toad Farm
    Fat Toad Farm is a family-run goat dairy in Brookfield, Vermont. It was started as a raise-your-own-food effort, but when the herd grew from 2 to 12 to 25 and started producing much more milk than one family could drink, Fat Toad Farm became a certified goat dairy and began making out of this world caramel sauces. Today the family—Steve Reid, Judith Irving, Calley Hastings, and Josey Hastings—fills various roles on the farm and in the production room. Learn More

    Meet the Maker Fish Aye Trading

    Maker: John Doherty
    Business: Fish Aye Trading
    If Dad's a fisherman, he'll appericate these prints. Centuries ago, people used painted fish rubbings to document different species. John’s prints document his Cape Cod catch, preserving details such as the patterns of fish scales. His prints also celebrate his love of the ocean and marine life. He paints the body of a saltwater fish with water-based paints, then places fabric on top and gently rubs it to make a print.  Learn More
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  • 9 Unique Gifts For Grandpa

    gifts for grandpa

    Want to thank your father or grandfather for the role he plays in your family's life?  Resist purchasing that "World's Best Grandpa" coffee mug–this year, wrap up something unique and unexpected.

    Let us help you make him feel extra special with a thoughtful Father's Day gift. We know that finding gifts for Grandpa can be challenging–but don't worry, we've done all of the hard work for you. Here are nine of our favorite gift ideas that are sure to make Grandpa smile.

    Gifts for Grandpa - Patent Prints

    Patent Prints
    Technical Drawings

    These high-quality prints are of original patent drawings for a myriad of inventions. From the everyday things we use at home, to specialized items relied on by professionals or hobbyists, these prints add a bit of history and personalization to a home or office.  With twelve patent designs to choose from, you're bound to find one Grandpa will appreciate. ($19.95) Shop Now

    Gifts for grandpa - golf markers

    Tin Cup
    Personalized Golf Ball Marker

    With this gift, Grandpa can make his golf ball uniquely his. This stainless steel stencil lets you easily add an initial to standard golf balls, making them easier to identify while adding some personality. Choose a picture or even a monogrammed initial. ($29.95) Shop Now Continue Reading

  • Impress Dad With One of These Cool Father’s Day Gifts

    If you’ve gotten your father more ties, golf balls, and #1 dad mugs than he knows what to do with, you've come to the right place. Level up your gift-giving game this year with cool Father's Day gifts your dad deserves. Here are a dozen ideas to get you started.

    Cool Father’s Day Gifts - Duke Cannon Soap

    Your dad likely embodies many things: encouragement, support, accomplishment. He did help raise you to be someone reading this list of cool gifts, so something went right. Give him a gift that will allow him to actually smell like accomplishment, productivity, even victory: Duke Cannon (starting at $9). They're big-ass bricks of steel cut soap for men and champions AKA dads.

    Cool Father’s Day Gifts - Walton Wood Farm

    Want to up dad’s fragrance even more? Pair Duke Cannon with Walton Wood Farm's ($36) solid colognes. The soy-based scents are subtle yet fresh with names like The Beast and Snipe Show. If for some reason you’re not already buying six, Leo DiCaprio used Walton Wood Farm products while filming The Revenant. So yes, Walton Wood Farm is Oscar-worthy.

    Mountie - Cool Father’s Day Gifts

    If you’ve got a tech-savvy dad, count your lucky stars and get him Mountie ($24.95). The adjustable side mount secures a tablet or phone to a laptop screen taking multi-tasking to the next level. Now he can get work done or browse the web while streaming videos or looking up the meaning of ‘on fleek.’ What a magical time to be alive.

    For the Bartender - Cool Father’s Day Gifts

    Your pops may think he's the king of the bar, but he's a measly jester if he doesn’t have Quench’s Bar10der (starting at $30) in his arsenal. Armed with 10 tools (hence the name), this Swiss army cocktail concoctor will turn dad into a mixology master. Plus, if you get him one, he’ll probably want to use it right away and make you a drink. Win-win!

    For the Beer Lover - Cool Father’s Day Gifts

    There's one thing the Bar10der tool can’t do and that’s make a half and half. Lucky for you, The Perfect Black and Tan ($9.95) can. Sized to fit a pint glass like a glove, all the old man needs to do is pour. It’ll look great, taste even better, and again, he will probably want to try to make you one. Give a gift and get a gift, folks, you can’t beat that.

    Cool Father’s Day Gifts - Beer Cap Trap

    With enough half and halfs, your dad will be a prime candidate for a Beer Cap Trap ($34.95). Shaped for his home state or the continental U.S., these laser-cut wooden wall maps display the caps of your favorite brews with local pride. If he’s from Rhode Island filling it will be a piece of cake. A Mainer? Start drinking now.

    Whisker Dam - Cool Father’s Day Gifts

    Perhaps you’re thinking, "if I get him The Perfect Black and Tan or Bar10der, the second he sips, he’s groaning and wiping off his soaked 'stache.'" Worry not, Whisker Dam ($20) solves this exact problem. The American-made copper guard fits most glassware and works for hot or cold drinks while paying homage to mustache cups of the 1800s. If it’s good enough for Victorian era royalty, it’s good enough for your dad.

    Cool Father’s Day Gifts - Beard Mat

    If your dad has facial hair, a little drink dampness pales in comparison to the mess he’s making in the bathroom when trimming it. BeardMat ($14.99) isn’t only a gift for dad, it's one for the entire family and the sink itself. Suctioning to the mirror, BeardMat protects your counter and plumbing and is made of slick polyester to easily slide trimmings into the trash.

    Juno Jumper - Cool Father’s Day Gifts

    Your dad can jumpstart a car, but he probably needs another car to do it. At least he did. JunoJumper ($99) is a handheld car starter that won’t operate unless the cables are connected correctly, has a boost button that jumps completely dead batteries, and, when not jumping cars, charges a phone from 0 to 100% four times. On second thought, you might just want to get this for yourself.

    Bison Made - Cool Father’s Day Gifts

    'Horween chromexcel leather’ screams 'dad.' So does 'old world style craftsmanship' and '100% hand-finished.' Bison Made (starting at $40) minimalist wallets were seemingly made for dads. They keep cash and cards snug with style with no synthetic materials, dyes, or glue, just good ol’ American workmanship designed to last a lifetime. That’s the dad dream.

    Cool Father’s Day Gifts for Fisherman

    Since the dawn of time, fathers have fished and many have left disappointed. No more. Deeper ($200) helps remove the risk of an empty haul. Drop it in the water and the tennis ball-sized device displays a diagram of depth, waterbed contour, and water temperature while showing objects like gators, abandoned cars, buried treasure if you're lucky and, most importantly, the location of fish. Fishing is now as easy as shooting fish in a . . . well, you know.

    Cool Father’s Day Gifts for Golfers

    If, after all of this, you're getting golf balls, at least make sure dad can easily identify his Titlist from the 700 others on the course. The personalized golf ball markers from Tin Cup ($29.95) separate dad's ball from the group while saving him money on future golf balls. Recognizing a unique design like a shamrock or martini glass eases the anger of taking a shot from the deep rough.

    Looking for even more Cool Father’s Day Gifts? Browse more unique gifts for him and our entire Father's Day gift guide

  • 10 Must-Have Items to Declutter Your Life

    Most of us could use a little order in our lives. Everything from our kitchen counters to office desks can quickly turn from neatly arranged to tornado aftermath before you know it. To avoid such disaster, here are two handfuls of products designed to provide some much needed structure.

    For life organization, let’s start with your person. If you're a guy you’re probably stowing keys in your front pocket and I bet they’re bulky and uncomfortable. For the ladies, maybe they're at the bottom of the endless abyss you call a purse. In either case, instead of a jumbled, stabbing mess of pointy metal jingling as you walk, put your keys in their place with KeySmart (from $19.95). Holding 6-10 keys systematically, it’s slim, sleek, and yes, smart.

    CatalogV1_Xangar

    There are millions of disorganized closets nationwide and if you listen carefully, they’re begging for Xangar ($19.95). Xangar hanger spacers separate your clothes to shorten time spent looking for the perfect shirt, prevent wrinkling and as a result, cut down dry cleaning costs.

    CatalogV1_Innies

    Ladies, if you’ve got boots or handbags flopped over, losing shape and taking up unnecessary space, stand them up with INNIES (from $19.95). These quilted boot and handbag stuffers are made in the USA and prolong the lives of your fashion staples.

    HeroOption

    Phones, laptops, and tablets turn desks, tables, and counters into a wire jungle requiring a machete to hack through the mess to see which charger belongs where. Now, you can tidy up the cord chaos with Cord Buddy (from $16.95). These weighted, magnetized organizers keep your cords securely out of the way and in one place and double as a paper weight.

    GridItHero2

    Controlling your cords and devices at home or in the office is a great start, but taking them on the road is another story. When traveling, manage your electronics and the stress that comes with such a task, with Cocoon GRID-IT! (from $14.95). Don't be the person scraping the bottom of your bag or suitcase for your USB cord as you're about to board a flight, secure everything from in the rubberized woven web.

    CatalogV1_Frego

    No one likes cleaning out cabinets, freezers, or refrigerators. It just devolves into you repeatedly exclaiming “Why do I still have this?!” Never ask that question with Frego ($17.95). The shatter-resistant glass and silicone coated food containers take your food from table to fridge to freezer to oven in any order. No more separate containers, Frego does it all.

    CatalogV1_Urbio

    Wall art is nice, but not practical. Urbio (from $21.95) is the exception to the rule. These magnetic wall organizers keep papers, magazines, and household accessories handy, but they were originally designed to let you grow herbs and plants in your home. Thanks to Urbio, you can arrange your odds and ends into a work of art.

    Children are our future and an endless reminder that life is precious. They're also mess-making machines so if you or someone you know has children, get a Lay-n-Go (from $24.95). A child’s toy collection grows exponentially every year as does the time it takes to clean them up. Lay-n-Go created an activity mat (and a travel cosmetic bag for growing makeup collections) for all those toys that, at the end of the day, makes clean up a cinch, literally. You pull a drawstring then cinch it with the cord lock. End of cleanup.

    CatalogV1_Clug

    Apartment dwellers know this more than most: storage space is sacred. Especially when you have a bike. Clug ($24.95) designed a minimalistic way to keep your velocipede in place and out of the way. Install it with two screws and the world’s smallest bike rack will hold everything from skinny street bikes to fixie tires. Don’t live in an apartment? Don’t worry; Clug is perfect for a garage or shed, too.

    CatalogV1_DIYShelf

    The idea of a robot hanging on your wall as a shelf is crazy. And by ‘crazy’ we mean ‘the perfect way to add personality and storage to your home décor.’ Handcrafted in the U.S. from sustainable pine, DIYShelf (from $119.95) Shelfbots can be assembled for you or you can, aptly, DIY. Either way, these bots are a whimsical way to whip your home into shape.

    Want to see more? Click here to browse all of our organizational discoveries. 

  • 11 Items You'll Wonder How You Lived Without

    Some products are so game-changing you shudder to think of a world in which they didn't exist. Below are 11 of those products and worry not, they're very real.

    CatalogV1_FootGloss
    Certain shoes hold a blistering vendetta against your heels. Now you can fight back against the podiatric pain with FootGloss ($21.95). This all-natural, American-made foot balm creates a barrier to prevent skin chafing and help avoid blisters. From high heels and flip flops to hiking boots and sneakers, if the shoe fits, wear it without pain.

    Good Gifts for Grandpa

    Everyone gets a back itch in an impossible to reach spot. It prompts a dance. You arch your spine; throw your arm behind you or search for a nearby doorframe to end the torture. No more. The Cactus Scratcher ($12.95) is a personal back scratcher that puts every itch within reach. The two straps make it easy to navigate and two sets of spikes let you control how aggressive you want the scratch to be.

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