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Author Archives: Jeanne

Chief Marketing Officer at Daily Grommet.

  • Daily Grommet is hanging out with the SmartGirls

    The SmartGirls Way supports women entrepreneurs -- and with all the innovative women-owned businesses we see here at Daily Grommet, that's a mission we can definitely get behind.

    In September 2011, they launched the 100x100 Project, featuring a video profile of one female entrepreneur every day for 100 days, sharing their start-up stories and advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs. According to SmartGirls Way founder, Jean Brittingham, "the 100 women in this project are just the tip of a significant women’s entrepreneurial movement.”

    So we were honored when they selected Jules Pieri, our founder, as one of the 100 -- and equally happy to see some of our own Grommets represented, like Gina Locklear (Zkano) and Sarah McIlroy (FashionPlaytes).

    Here's what Jules had to say:


  • How does your garden go?

    If you watch the Grommet videos very closely, you might occasionally spot the Lexington Farmers Market in the background - it's the perfect setting to shoot some video for stories like ChicoBags (creator of reusable produce bags). Every Tuesday, from early summer into the fall, dozens of farmers and artisans set up shop on our village green, just across the way from Daily Grommet headquarters. And last Tuesday, Donna, Daily Grommet's master of finance, headed over to meet Charlie, "the Boston Truck Farmer."

    It turns out, the guys who produced the award-winning PBS documentary, "King Corn" had started a new movement last year by growing a garden right in the bed of their old Dodge truck and driving it around to urban farm sites. This year, there's a fleet of 25 trucks scattered across the country doing the same -- and Charlie, from Arlington, MA,  is the Boston truck farmer.

    Charlie will be visiting 25 sites throughout the season, and we'll be watching for the next time he's back in our neighborhood so we can check in on his garden's progress.

    lexington farmers market

    I especially like how these guys describe what they're doing as a "mobile community farm" ... as well as a "public art and education project."

    You can take a look at  www.truck-farm.com to see if there's a truck farm in your neighborhood and find out more about this cool project.

  • Grommets in the Wild - Literally

    Just a few weeks ago, I bumped into John Doherty at a street fair in my hometown  -- John's the artist behind one of my favorite Grommets, Fish Aye Trading, those gorgeous fish rubbing prints and placemats we discovered over a year ago. See, I'm an ocean person -- not at all at home on a lake or a river, don't even care much for pools. Give me a salty ocean, with all the creatures, rocks, sand, seaweed, boats, tides, and unpredictable winds, and I'm happy. Which is why I'm such a fan of John's work.


    Last weekend, when my husband and son came back from a fishing trip with a pair of bluefish, I once again thought about John. It was kind of one of those art imitating life moments ... or maybe more like deja vu? Either way, it was pretty cool. See, John got his idea for making fish rubbings one day while fishing when he saw an imprint left in the boat from a fish he'd caught. And he grew up fishing with his grandfather just off Cape Cod -- so close to where we were.


    Then I got to thinking about how great it is when we spot Grommets "in the wild" (like Jules did when she was in San Franscico) and how this was kind of an extreme case of just that.


    Oh, and don't worry about those bluefish ... they weren't quite ready for the dinner table (never mind a canvas). For now, these guys are safe and happy back in the wild.

  • Little things make a big difference when it comes to discovery

    You know that saying "it's the little things that count"? Well, all day, every day, we've got new products flowing through the doors here at Daily Grommet -- some we've asked for, others you've told us about. But what really impresses me is how every single item is accompanied by a little piece of someone's heart.

    And so we give each hopeful Grommet our full attention: we test, wear, eat, play with, sleep with, ride on, pass it around. If the product, the idea, and the story are exceptional, inspiring and ready for the big time, it may become a Grommet right away. Others might just need more time to percolate. Either way, it's impossible not to appreciate the passion that goes into the creative process.

    Here are a few Grommet submissions whose heart caught my attention recently as they made their way around our homes ... and gardens:

    New Products - for gardenThese charming garden markers from CampPineNeedle are hand drawn by Maura Condrick, a freelance illustrator living on Cape Cod here in Massachusetts. The story behind her creation: She'd just moved from NYC, joined a community garden, and feared she'd lose track of what was planted where. Her designs are inspired by botanical prints and old seed packets - but she says she'll draw to order too. Creative and considerate.

    cups - new prodcutsAnd how thoughtful is this? Shelly Zimmerman personalized a set of her MyColourCups for us and sent them to us all the way from Australia. Shelly's grandmother was a Tupperware rockstar, so she says she grew up loving the stuff. She came up with the concept for MyColourCups -- a rotatable band with six customizable names -- after deciding to train her family to keep track of and reuse the cups they were already using.

    And this last one, the Showno poncho style towel,  is another problem solver designed by a mom. When Shelly Ehler's older child asked her to make him a "tent" so he could change out of his bathing suit in privacy, she had her "ah-ha" moment. Shelly says her towel is equal parts tent, poncho, and parent helper because it makes it easy for kids to carry it themselves, as well as wrap themselves up. But what touched me most was that Shelly personalized this particular towel with a Daily Grommet ribbon. And speaking of thoughtful, Shelly donates a portion of the proceeds from each towel sold to Hope University (a fine arts program for adults with developmental disabilities).

    So you can see how many innovative ideas and stories are out there, ready to be discovered -- and how much we appreciate learning about each and every one.

    If there's a product you think we should know about, come tell us about it in our Citizens' Gallery.

  • Twig Terrarium: Take 2

    It's kind of funny that today's Grommet is all about making a special little world, enclosed in glass ... in a way, Twig Terrarium founders, Michelle and Katie seem to be living in their own little enchanted world. And we got a peek into that world when they sent us their home-made video to help us tell their story.

    Normally, we pick out just a few key bits and pieces from the video our founders send to us ... the parts that make the story come alive  (and trust me, our video producer, Jesse, is a master at picking out those gems). But sometimes, we just can't bear to leave some of those clips on the cutting room floor -- and today is one of those times.

    So, enjoy this quick outtake of "two BFF's hanging out, making terrariums all day" (my favorite part: watch Katie's facial expressions in the background as Michelle tells her boggy-moss-gathering-shoe-stuck-in-the-mud story -- classic!)

  • It's bright lights, big city at the Nate Berkus show!

    So now I know what it feels like to be that Country Mouse. After some great discussions with producers at the Nate Berkus show, they invited us to drop by CBS and experience a live taping for an upcoming episode. Country Mouse, meet City Mouse. After shooting at the cozy Daily Grommet studio (sans audience) this was definitely a “bright lights, big city” experience.

    Nate Berkus show entranceIt’s kind of a bucket list thing … going to a live show. At least that’s how my companion for the show (Jenn Eastman from SHIFT) put it. And she’s right. If you haven’t had the experience, I highly recommend it.

    From being ushered into the VIP waiting room (thanks for the great tix, Nate) to watching his production team strategically “place” the audience and warm the crowd up (“If Nate talks to you, talk to him!! He’s a real guy … don’t just stare at him and be all weird!”), I was in awe of what a well-oiled machine this was.

    And guess what? Turns out Nate is a real guy. And when he talks to the audience, he just … talks.

    Nate Berkus show set He talks about how he still (“at age 39”) calls his mom to ask how you can tell when spaghetti’s done … he playfully pretends to gag when his celeb guest makes goo goo eyes at her hubby in the audience (I feel like I shouldn’t reveal who it is until the segment airs … or is it already out there in TV Guide, or whatever the online equivalent of that is? I didn’t sign a  non-disclosure did I?) … he stuffs a few petit fours from a display into his mouth while waiting for the “commercial break” … he scrambles to put on Chapstick (ha!) during the countdown … and when he messes up (yes, even the pro’s get a little tongue tied) he bursts out laughing and clowns around.

    Funny, likeable guy.

    And by the way, because I just can’t help myself, I spotted a potential Grommet while at the show. I wasn't surprised since Nate obviously has his finger on the pulse of great design and cool finds. If it makes it onto the site, we’re crediting you, Nate Berkus (and your still-shall-not-be-named mystery guest) as our finders. Send us a picture … or hey, come visit your country cousins and be in OUR video!

    (Oh - I have to apologize for the uncharacteristic lack of original photos – simply not allowed. CBS: Please don’t get mad that we grabbed this official photo instead!)

  • Eataly: How to take a day trip to Italy

    I recently found myself in NYC with a little time to kill and no particular plans -- 'til I got a tip from John Carter (from SHIFT Communications). Seems I was just steps away from "Eataly" a 50,000-square-foot gourmet paradise on Fifth Ave between 23rd and 24th. Count me in!

    EatalyEataly is the creation of some of NYC's top foodies -- Mario Batali, of Food Network fame, Joe Bastianich, and Joe's mother, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (considered the "Nonie" of  New York's Italian cuisine). My plan was simple: to feast my eyes and eat myself into oblivion. Oh, and grab some snapshots to share the experience with you, of course.

    Eataly NYCFrom prawns ...

    to prosciutto ...

    Eatalyto pasta ...

    Eataly ny

    to tiramisu -- everything you could possibly crave is here.

    Of course, being a dutiful Grommet-hunter, I even scouted the scene for undiscovered new products from hip Italian designers.

    new products

    Even if you're not the teeniest bit hungry, Eataly is a colorful adventure and feast for all five senses (wait, is it six now?). Either way, if you do make it there ...

    ... stop back here and let us know what you discover at Eataly next time you're in the city. Mangia!

  • Behind the scenes: Making a little holiday magic

    We're definitely feeling the holidays here at Daily Grommet headquarters -- so to capture the moment, I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots of Daily Grommet elves hustling, bustling, and generally making the season bright ... like Techno-Elf Anthony. Here he is, checking the naughty list twice while making sure "toy" production is running smoothly:

    And, oh, the boxes! Elf-Intern Danielle is busy using her magic dust (and muscle power) to neatly stack rows of orders to be shipped:

    While visions of sugar plums -- or is it spiked egg nog? -- dance in Elf Lara and Patti's heads.

    "Happy holidays to all, and to all a good-night" ... here's hoping you'll find lots of Grommets in your stockings this year!

  • Boston is abuzz about the #MegaTweetUp

    Can't wait for tomorrow night -- Dec. 16th -- and the 2nd annual #MegaTweetUp (especially since I seem to be the only one in town who missed the 1st one, last year). The event celebrates a year’s worth of TweetUps and networking events throughout New England and is hosted by @JoselinMane founder of @Bostontweetup at the Microsoft New England Research & Development (NERD) Center (6pm).

    Love the description:  "Red Carpet, meets Music Awards, paired with unprecedented Networking, all at a TweetUp!" What's a girl to wear??

    If you're local, you can check out the details and register here.

    I hear we'll be attempting to set a bunch of tweetup-related world records (they actually set one last year) -- my Guinness-book obsessed son will be so impressed.

    Daily Grommet will also be raffling off a few prizes before the event (a little teaser for you all!) and one really cool prizes at this event.

    From now until the event, you can enter to win one of three $10 Daily Grommet Gift Certificates leading up to the event.   


    Just follow and tweet @DailyGrommet introducing yourself -- don't forget to include hashtag #MegaTweetup in order for your tweet to be included as an entry.

    At the #MegaTweetUp Thursday night, we will be raffling off one Alite Monarch Chair -- one of our funkiest and most popular Grommets (it folds up like a burrito, so the winner will be able to trek it around anywhere they go). Plus we hear there are many more great prizes being raffled off -- so be sure to get your tickets!

    We'll tweet the Gift Certificates  winners at the start of the event, so be sure to follow us and enter before then.

    See you all tomorrow night!

  • And we're ... LIVE?

    Every week we shoot videos here in our studio ... we've even been on television to share our Grommet stories.

    But this week, everything changed when we went live. On December 8th, Jen and I hosted the first ever LIVE Daily Grommet video event on Facebook. Our community there is so lively and fun to interact with on that we wanted to take things up a notch for the holiday season -- do something different. So we announced we'd answer questions live and asked everyone to share their holiday shopping dilemmas with us -- wanted to know who "had you stumped" this season. Top of the list? Husbands and young adults (think 20 something son or nephew). Others were stuck on Grandparents, even kids.

    So, we made a list of  creative gift ideas (we even checked it twice), and then we set up the camera to capture our LIVE holiday event. Truthfully, we also crossed our fingers (and toes!) because it would be the first time Jesse wouldn't be able to edit out all our goof-ups.

    Here's Joanne peeking in on us during the live recording (we told Anthony that payback would be swift and merciless if he tried to distract us - so he simply snapped a few photos and behaved impeccably). Most of the team watched the broadcast on the computer from the offices across the street.

    In the span of 15 whirlwind minutes, we managed to cover dozens of Grommets ... things were moving fast! To let us catch our breath (and to swap out the Grommets on set), Jesse cut over to a short blooper reel  he's been keeping to blackmail us with. If you missed it, you can watch it over on our Facebook page (just make sure you are laughing WITH us, not at us).

    And just in case you missed the event, here are some of the unique gift ideas we covered for grandparents, teens, husbands, and the dreaded "people who have everything":

    Believe it or not, the entire experiment went off without a hitch, a true Christmas miracle. That is, unless you count the fact that we forgot to record the darn thing (oops). So it seems, like most miracles, there's no evidence that it ever really happened. Stay tuned for our next LIVE adventure ... to be announced (and actually recorded!) in 2011.

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