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Claire

Author Archives: Claire

Design student at SCAD and Daily Grommet Summer intern.

  • Hidden Secrets of Savannah

    For me, a staunch northerner, coming to Savannah for college was like being a fish out of water. Having grown up in Washington DC all my life, I was coming to a city where the pace nowhere near matches that of our capitol city and where buildings tend to be smaller, not taller.

    However, once I got over the heat (even in February!) and the occasional whiff of the nearby paper mill – reminding us all of its presence – I discovered Savannah’s many hidden gems. They’re not on the top of every tourist’s list, but to me, they really encapsulate Savannah’s character.

    What to do in Savannah - Forsyth Park

    Forsyth Park

    One of my favorite areas of Savannah is one that is free of charge – Forsyth Park. Located in the heart of the historical district, Forsyth Park covers 30 acres and dates back to the 1840s. Whether you want to sit and relax or play with a Frisbee, Forsyth is the perfect place to do so. With two beautiful fountains, a stage, tennis courts and a basketball court, Forsyth always has a plethora of activities happening. Jazz festivals, outdoor concerts and movies in the park are just a few of the city organized events that have happened there; just walking through under the overhanging Spanish moss gives you a sense of calm.

    Zunzi's always crowded entrance way

    It is the South, so food does play a huge part in Savannah’s culture. When you think of Savannah, the food that comes to mind is usually grits, biscuits and gravy. However, whenever I miss food in Savannah, I always want Zunzi’s. The food that they serve is nothing short of extraordinary; a mix of South African, Swiss, Italian and Dutch cuisine, Zunzi’s never fails to impress. They say you know how good the food is by how long the line is – walking by Zunzi’s, I always see the line snaking out the door.

    Gallery Espresso's inviting exterior

    If you’re not in the mood for a lot of food (which Zunzi’s always gives you), then make sure you stop by the neighborhood coffee shop, Gallery Espresso. Gallery is not the only coffee shop in Savannah, but it’s my favorite. I always see people I know there (which may be a bad thing when I’m trying to do homework!), no matter what time of day it is. Although I’m not a coffee drinker, Gallery always has something I want to try; from their hot chocolate to their quiches. One of my favorite things to do is to sit in one of their comfy chairs with a book – it’s a relaxing way to spend an afternoon if I don’t have any pressing need to be somewhere.

    what to do in Savannah

    The Starland's wonderful backyard seating

    The last place in Savannah that I will introduce you happens to be a little off of the beaten path. Located a couple minutes from downtown, the Starland Café is one of my favorite places to eat lunch. Right next to the Savannah dog park, the Starland’s bright orange exterior is what immediately draws your attention. Just sitting and eating in their back patio takes you away from the rest of Savannah; it’s as if you are sitting in your own backyard talking to your neighbors. The food…oh, the food! I don’t think I’ve tried anything there that I didn’t like. From their amazing Panini’s to their delicious salads, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

    I hope that by telling you a little bit about some of my favorite places in Savannah, many of you will be able to experience the city as I have! Even if you've been to Savannah before, you may not have discovered these places. For those who haven't, maybe it will inspire a trip down South!

  • Bringing the Grommet Community Together

    Here at Daily Grommet, community is one of the most important things; whether its connecting with the inventors of the products we feature, or using past Grommets to aid in the production of newer videos.
    One of the best examples of this is our recent feature of SwiMP3. SwiMP3, a revolutionary new way to bring your favorite music with you while you swim, actually got to be shown in use. Our videos here at Daily Grommet take a lot of planning and work; take it underwater and you’ve got some additional problems.
    Thanks to the multitude of products we have featured here at Daily Grommet, taking a non-waterproof camera underwater was no sweat. Remember Aquapac? Aquapac’s innovative water proof technology allows any camera, phone or electronic device to take a swim and not get damaged in the process.
    Aquapac’s technology allowed us to fully capture how innovative the SwiMP3 is - relying on bone conduction technology, its like you have your own concert underwater!
    Aquapac wasn’t the only part of the our Grommet community we got to use. Another part of the community that we got to use was to do with the location. Obviously, we needed a swimming pool, and that’s the one thing we don’t have at our new office location! Marjolein Brugman, a fitness expert and founder of LighterLiving, welcomed us into her backyard for the filming of SwiMP3. You probably remember LighterLiving when we featured it back in May; her all natural Probiotic Bars and VegeLight mix give you a healthier, more natural way to snack. Involving a past contributor to Daily Grommet was a great opportunity for us to keep our community vision going strong.
    Speaking of community, take the music that was playing while the camera was rolling. Wald Productions introduced us to the Beach Project. I know that before we did the video, I had never heard of them. Now that Daily Grommet has introduced me to them, I love listening to them while I’m reading a book or relaxing. I really like ‘This is a Message’ and ‘And They Say’ from their new album, Queen of Hearts.
    See what I mean? One simple video for SwiMP3 ended up bringing new and old members of the greater Grommet community together.

  • The Last of the Intern Files

    Everyone has those days that they absolutely dread; I know for a lot of people, those days usually start with the  "Mon" and ends with "day." I mean, who really wants to wake up early after two days of a weekend? Somehow, I don’t think many of us love that feeling. However, its not Monday that I was dreading this week -- it was Thursday.

    That's me, Claire on my first day - moving day!

    Let me explain. I’m usually all for the end of the week. It means that I am that much closer to having two days where I can sleep in and enjoy myself and not worry about work. However, this particular Thursday is my last day here at Daily Grommet.

    So how can I capture my whole experience here in just one blog post? To be honest, I don’t think I can (but I’ll try my best). When I first arrived at Daily Grommet, it was a flurry of activity due to our relocation across the street. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, it was a great way to experience all past and present Grommets first hand. Another aspect of moving day that was invaluable was that it gave me a chance to get to know my amazing coworkers a little better.
    Moving day was just the tip of the iceberg. From my first week here to my last, I felt like I was part of the family. 6 Wallis Court is the perfect place to work if you want to get to know your co - workers; after all, its a little hard to go five feet without seeing someone.
    My first few weeks here I felt a little like a ping pong ball bouncing around Wallis Court; sometimes the minute I found somewhere to work, I would be moved somewhere else! Thanks to our ever expanding empire (well, the empire upstairs), I finally have a semi - permanent home alongside Jen and Kate in their office. Well, a home until the end of today.
    While I should be happy to go back to Washington DC and then Savannah, I find that I’m actually not. That isn’t to say that I’m not happy to see my family; I did miss them (honest)! But I find that leaving Daily Grommet and the Boston area is bittersweet. I love coming into work each day and  feel so lucky that I actually love what I do. Each day always brings something different -- whether its seeing all the great samples that come into the office as potential Grommets or watching future Grommets being filmed. I don’t even mind our weekly staff meetings...
    My experience at Daily Grommet would not have been complete if it wasn’t for the people who work here. Each and every one of them - whether they are here in Lexington or in California (here’s looking at you Tori) - have exceeded my expectations in every way. Even in my first week here, I felt welcomed and valued as part of the team. I have loved getting to know each and every one of you (the company retreat in Rhode Island helped just a little) and seeing exactly how hard everyone works. Even if you took away one person, Daily Grommet would come to a stand still. I’ve always been of the mindset that the people make the company; coming to Daily Grommet, I’ve found out that I was wrong. The people are the company.
    So to everyone - Grommet employees and subscribers alike - thank you for making my experience here the best that it could have been (actually, better). I’ve loved getting to know the greater Grommet community; that means you!
    6 Wallis Court and Daily Grommet will always be on the forefront of my mind (no matter how far away I am). I can’t express how much this experience has meant to me; to everyone at Daily Grommet, I can’t begin to thank you.

  • Silence falls on filming day

    An office of almost all women usually makes quite a lot of noise -- but not today. The usual hubbub of activity has been dialed down; even our footfalls walking down our winding back stairs need to be reduced to “butterfly steps”.

    No, we are not in mourning. It's filming day here at Daily Grommet; a day that some people dread so much they used to skip that day of work (aren’t you glad you got moved upstairs Anthony?).

    After experiencing many of these days, I can now understand his trepidation. For someone as noisy as me, it really is hard not to talk too loudly or walk around too much. I even have to remember to wear quiet shoes on filming day!

    That's Jesse, our man behind the camera.

    Despite the veil of silence that descends on 6 Wallis Court during filming day, I love watching the day unfold. It is so cool seeing my coworkers (and sometimes special guests) talk so enthusiastically about upcoming products. There is always a flurry of activity, no matter what the product being showcased is. Today I got to watch Julia present SimpliSafe, a home alarm system (it happens to be today's Grommet!). The variety of products that comes through our filming studio is simply endless.

    One of the best parts is seeing the number of outfit changes people go through; after all, you can’t be caught wearing the same outfit in two videos in a row (because then readers would find out we filmed them on the same day, and we can’t have that).

    Watching each day’s Grommet, it would be easy to believe that each video needs just one take and goes smoothly. If you think that, think again. I can’t tell how many times I tried to get my lines down before I got them exactly right. I would have to say that a way that process is made easier by our video producer  Jesse. No matter how many mistakes you make on camera (and I say this from experience...), he makes the end result look amazing. I even heard someone say “don’t worry about making a mistake, Jesse makes us look beautiful!” He knows what you should say and how you should say it; its like having a big Hollywood director but without the drama from Hollywood. I usually hate watching myself on camera, but watching the playback of my ChicoBag video, I didn’t immediately run for the hills like I often do when I see myself on video. So Jesse, thank you!

    I am amazed at how effortlessly our veterans of video (here’s looking at you Jeanne) handle each video.

    Although it's sometimes (OK, usually) a madhouse here at Daily Grommet during filming day, I love the fact that I can be behind the scenes; I love being able to to peek over Jesse’s shoulder to see the upcoming video unfold. Yet another reason working at Daily Grommet is always full of surprises!

  • Finding my inspiration, design blogs

    As a designer, I love looking around for inspiration and am always looking for new things from unexpected places. One of the best ways I like to find inspiration is through reading design blogs. There are so many out there that sometimes its easy to get a little lost wading through them all. I have a list pages long of blogs that I love and love reading. However, I decided to highlight three of them here; hopefully I can help to inspire some of you!
     
    Design Sponge is one of those sites that doesn't just have design; they have everything from do-it-yourself crafts to home decor. I love the way their site is presented;  I can spend days just reading through their blog posts. Recently, I was captivated by a post that they did all about pendant lamps under $100; all of the lamps were so beautiful! Even better, they tell you where you can buy each of the products they display and the price.
     
    Dezeen is one of those design blogs that is a designer's dream. They offer pure industrial design, to furniture design, to exhibit design, to architecture. I love that every time I check on their site, I find a new and interesting idea or design. Sometimes I even find what my favorite designers have been coming out with. I have also discovered many of my now favorite designers through this site just from reading their blog. I recently stumbled upon a young designer named Nicola Zocca, who joins all of her furniture by shrinking plastic around the joints. Cool, huh?
     
    There are some design blogs that are also magazines. I am sure many of you have heard of Dwell magazine; after all, its on display at many grocery store check out stands. I love reading Dwell both on and offline because of the way they showcase modern and tasteful design. They are always presenting the newest and most innovative designs - and a lot of things I never knew about! I also love that they include stories about not just designers but photographers and artists as well. I recently saw this article about architectural photographer Julius Shulman; he carried out over 7,000 sessions with 70,000 negatives over the span of about 70 years. Thanks to Dwell, I found out and learned about an amazing artist I would not have normally known about.
     
    These are just three of my favorite design blogs. I think if I had listed all of my favorites and why I like them, this post would take up more a couple of pages. I love learning about new blogs and am constantly looking for more inspiration - whether it is industrial design, photography, food or craft.

    Now I want to know: what's your favorite blog and why?

     
     
  • An Intern's Perspective

    Hello Daily Grommet Readers!

    Myself (left) with former Intern (now permanent hire) Julia

    Since this is my first blog post, I want to take this chance to introduce myself. I’m Claire, the Daily Grommet’s newest summer intern. You may have seen me in the previous blog post about moving day. Like Julia, I am an industrial designer from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia (just a little further back in my career than she is). I first heard about the Daily Grommet when Jules (I’m sure prompted in part by Julia) decided to take a trip down to Savannah back in October to check out SCAD and what it has to offer. I got to attend a lecture given by Jules about the Daily Grommet; I was immediately drawn to the variety of products offered as well as the individual attention each of them is given. They even decided to feature a product by a SCAD student - a clock by furniture student Charles Heydinger.  After watching the Daily Grommet since the fall and reading the blog, it has been such an amazing experience for me as an intern to be given a look behind the scenes. It’s fascinating to experience the day to day running of a company like Daily Grommet; I have only been here a week and already I feel as if I have learned so much in such short a time!

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