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Tori

Author Archives: Tori

Director of Content and Community at The Grommet

  • Meet the Maker: Barry Freeder of CouchCoaster

    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 Barry Freeder, the inventor of CouchCoaster–an adaptable drink holder that drapes over the arm of your favorite place to sit. Its weighted sides keep your glass balanced and secure. 

    CouchCoaster

    First UK consumer show (March 2016)

    What did you want to be when you grew up?
    Growing up I spent much of my time on creative pursuits like drawing, painting and ‘inventing’, although the latter was generally confined to building marble contraptions from whatever my mum was about to throw out. Looking back, these were early signs of a passion for design, however, I was also obsessed with playing soccer, and like many teenagers wanted to one day imitate my heroes on the soccer pitch!

    What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
    Follow your passion and not a career path. You’ll spend most of your life working so understand what motivates you most of all in life. Start by identify your talents and try and turn them into a rewarding job or entrepreneurial venture. Have confidence in yourself and your ideas, but don’t get lost in the emotions or romance of building anything from scratch unless you can objectively say it has a solid foundation. Continue Reading

  • 7 Ways to Master the Grill

    It's grilling season time and if you're looking to become the master of the grill, these seven products will get you one step closer. From innovative ways to clean the grates, to shaping the perfect patty, these products will help make grilling easier and more enjoyable.

    The Grommet discovers seven products that will turn you into a grill master this summer. The best BBQ tools and gadgets for your next cookout.

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    1.Barbeque Cleaning Tool

    Put an end to grimy grates and metal wire cleaners with an all-natural scraper grill cleaner that molds to your grill for custom cleanup. It's customizable and Made in the USA, too.

    Buy Now: Starting at $19.95

    The Grommet discovers seven products that will turn you into a grill master this summer. The best BBQ tools and gadgets for your next cookout.

    2. Lift and Carve Shredding Fork

    Shred meat or lift and carve roasts like a pro. These American-made meat shredding claws have super sharp prongs and a durable, ergonomic design.

    Buy Now: $12.95

    The Grommet discovers seven products that will turn you into a grill master this summer. The best BBQ tools and gadgets for your next cookout.

    3. Double Helix Grill Brush

    This bristle free BBQ brush cleans your grill, safely. There are no metal bristles that could shed and end up in your food.

    Buy Now: $15.95

    Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Sigmar and Tom of Lovetuner

    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.

    Makers Sigmar Berg and Tom Rohner created Lovetuner. It holds a  single-note flute that plays 528 Hz–a tone believed to have  positive effects on our minds and bodies. With Sigmar’s talent as a designer and Tom’s skills as a spiritual lightworker, they created this Made in the USA necklace to hold some calming influence close at hand. We recently caught up with them to hear a bit more about their entrepreneurial journeys. 

    Meet the Maker Lovetuner

    Best business advice that you ever received?
    Be stubborn in following through with your ideas.

    What inspires you? Why do you love to design, create, and make?
    I love the idea to make this world a healthier, happier, and more peaceful place. Continue Reading

  • 12 Made in the USA Pet Products

    Looking for the best products for your four-legged friends? We've discovered (and thoroughly tested) 12 Made in the USA pet products so you don't have to. From things your pet needs everyday, to special treats and fun toys, there's something  here for every dog and cat.

    Made in the USA pet products - Silidog

    Silent Pet Tag

    Having identification tags on your pet’s collar is always a good idea, but, boy, can they be noisy. These silicone pet tags are jingle-free, fade-free, and full of personality. Customize these silicone dog tags for your furry best friend.

     

    Made in the USA pet products - Whisker+Box

    Compression Cat Box

    If you've got a cat, you know they love snuggling up in small spaces. This Made in the USA, collapsible compression cat box is just the right size for your cat to get cozy—and it's much cuter and more functional than a cardboard box.

     

    Made in the USA pet products - West Paw Dog Beds

    Handcrafted Dog Beds

    These machine washable dog beds are the best bed for your dog—and the earth. They're easy to machine wash and dry and are Made in the USA of eco-friendly materials. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Brothers Artisan Oil

    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.

    The Shea boys from Boston are mixing up small batch body care, like all-natural beard oil, that’s Made in the USA. Brothers Artisan Oil started in the basement soon grew into a production facility, still in Boston. We recently caught back up with then to learn more about this family business and see what it looks like behind the scenes.

    MTM 1
    What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?
    We'd tell ourselves to get a real production space right away. We started the company without investors or loans, using only our own savings, and didn't want to shell out for rent. That was a big mistake. We got an order for 5000 units within two weeks of starting the company and basically converted our entire house into a production space, which was especially disruptive because we had a newborn baby. All's well that ends well, though!

    What 5 personality traits do think have helped you become successful entrepreneurs?
    Baxter is Hugh Honey, Owen is Vick Vinegar, Marie likes science. It works.

    MTM 2

    What lessons have you learned over the years that might help other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
    We've learned to trust in ourselves and our company, and make big equipment investments before we're in over our heads. If you doubt yourself and avoid spending big bucks on the tools you need to succeed...you won't succeed.

    MTM 5

    What has surprised you most about starting a business?
    Honestly, the most surprising part of this whole adventure is how big it's gotten without any marketing. We've never paid for publicity, and yet we've been lucky enough to be featured in big publications like Vogue and Men's Health. None of us realized how much notice a company can get from just having a good product. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Nancy Rothner of Pinch Me

    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 Nancy Rothner, the founder of Pinch Me Thereapy Dough. Nancy's experience with holistic stress reduction compelled her to create a portable mood-shifter. Carefully curated aromas and calming hues help you refocus your attention by simply massaging this pliable therapy  dough. Read on to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.

    Pinch me 1

    What else do you like to make?
    Anything healthy-especially recipes that are simple and delicious.

    Any advice or words of wisdom for Makers just starting their businesses?

    Go for it! Let your creativity flow and follow the momentum. Some days will be filled with joy, others will be filled with doubt, however each breakthrough leads to another, and another. The process will most likely be far more involved and demanding than ever imagined. My running joke is that it is stressful to be in the stress relieving dough business! I wouldn't have it any other way though and have never regretting immersing myself into something that I truly love and believe in.

    Untitled-3

    What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting a business?
    Hearing stories from customers where Pinch Me has made a positive impact on their day to day life. Doesn't get any better than that!

    What has surprised you the most about starting a business?
    A wise entrepreneur once told me to just pick any 18 hours a day I want to work, and I'm all set. I laughed when I first heard this, but have found those words to be true. It's never ending, but a joy. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Adam Liszewski of Stokes

    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 Adam Liszewski, the teenage entrepreneur behind Stokes. Stokes are all-natural fire starters that Adam has grown from his original DIY Christmas gifts into a cottage industry—and beyond—in just a few years. Adam’s invention lights fires while helping his local community and the environment . . . and he’s only a teenager. Read on to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey.

    stokes

    What did you want to be when you grew up?
    I am still growing. :)  I just always want to be trying new things, challenging myself, learning, creating things that improve on what’s out there. Like Stokes. Lot of firestarters out there but Stokes (as simple an idea as it is), burns longer and starts easier than what’s out there and also much more environmentally friendly.

    What was the biggest hurdle for you when turning your idea into a business?
    The biggest hurdle in the beginning was getting people to just try my product. Now, I have to say, that my biggest hurdle is time. Time to do everything that needs to be done. I have more help now so that’s great. I have been very lucky to have great partners in Charles River and with distributors and great relationships with stores I sell Stokes to and great fan base who love them. It make things easier and more fun.

    Stokes 2

    Stokes All-Natural Firestarters $9.95

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    What advice would you give other young entrepreneurs?
    Reach out to anyone and everyone to get advice, guidance, and support. But also always listen to yourself. There will always be people who can’t see your idea working when you can. There is always the guy in the room who is negative. Don’t let that negative person stop you–keep going. Be fair in pricing, fair to your employees, and have fun.

    What three personality traits do think have helped you become a successful entrepreneur?
    1. I don’t over react to negative news.
    2. I think I take my time to respond in meetings.
    3. I have a lot of energy. Continue Reading

  • 4 Easy Ways to Green Your Daily Routine

     

    earth day products

    With Earth Day right around the corner, we've rounded up some of our environmentally friendly and sustainably made Grommets. There are many ways to get involved and support a cleaner planet. One of things you can easily do it is to look for everyday ways you "go green." These eco-friendly products will help you easily green your daily routine on Earth Day (and beyond).

    √ Natural and eco-friendly materials.
    √ Sustainable production.
    √ A reduced carbon footprint.

    earth day products - stasher

    1. Replace single-use plastic bags
    Did you now that Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year? That's nearly two million each minute. Why not say "no" to throwaway plastic? These reusable silicone bags hold way more than snacks—and they go from pantry to freezer, microwave, and dishwasher. Consider using these silicone storage bags as an alternative to single-use bags.

     

    earth day products - FaceOff
    2. Ditch throw-away makeup removing wipes
    Wipe off the day (heck, wipe off every day) with this one cloth. You can wick away makeup, dirt, and oil with water and this super-fine microfiber cloth. It works gently and effectively—and it’s reusable, too. Not only is this makeup removing cloth an earth-friendly swap, it will save you money.

     

    Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Sydney Hewitt of Coast & Cotton

    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 Sydney Hewitt, the Designer of hometown custom towel company, Coast & Cotton. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in industrial design, Sydney and her husband, Will, were a military family and moved regularly, giving Sydney the idea for designs that celebrate states. Creating these nostalgia-channeling tea towels turned into a full-time job, and Coast & Cotton was born.
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    cc

    What did you want to be when you grew up?
    I knew from an early age that I wanted to do something in the arts. My dad, a graphic designer, and my grandmother, a watercolor artist, both played a large role in my love of drawing, painting, and creating. As a child, I could sit for hours creating patterns with gel pens and markers all over my notebooks and sketch pads. My parents always encouraged my love of the arts and enrolled me in calligraphy, sketching, and painting classes during my early years. So when it came time to pick a major in college, a design degree felt like a natural fit.

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     How do you get around creative roadblocks?
    Creative roadblocks are definitely part of the process when you work in the design field. My husband and business partner, Will, is my sounding board for all new designs and patterns. When designing a new pattern, I come up with an initial drawing and color scheme, then Will comes in and helps with the layout and spacing. It is crucial to have someone with an eye for space and symmetry to tweak a design and get it just right.
    coast and cotton
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    What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
    Be ok with staying at home, supporting your husband with his career, focusing on your babies, and slowly working on your idea until the time is right. Then jump on it as fast as you can! Don’t rush the process, and don’t be discouraged if it’s not in “your timeline”. The Lord's plan is greater than your own.
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    Best business advice that you ever received?
    Know when you have a good thing. Work hard to constantly improve it, but don’t over improve until it’s not your idea anymore. Look to the trends, but don’t become a trend. Keep your ideas fresh and innovative while still remaining true to your aesthetic.
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    coast & cotton
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    Continue Reading

  • The Best Gifts We've Ever Given

    Would you consider yourself a good gift-giver? What's the best gift you've ever given? Our team shares the presents that made their friends and family jump for joy.

    ZACKSusquehanna Glass Company
    Custom Etched Glasses
    Way to impress my girlfriend? These stemless wine glasses—engraved with the coordinates of the restaurant where we had our first date. –Zack

    ...

    MelUrban Cheesecraft
    DIY Cheese Kits
    My parents are too particular about their home decor to get them art or something like that. So I got them this for Christmas, and it was fun to make cheese as a family activity then enjoy the results. –Mel

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    Ryan

    .LOVE IS ART
    Intimate Art Kit
    I bought this for a close friend’s wedding. It certainly stood out amongst the tons of traditional registry gifts! –Ryan Continue Reading

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