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Category: Citizen Commerce

  • Discover How You Can Bring Back American Manufacturing

    Meet the Maker: Vermont Rolling Pin

    The Grommet’s launch conversation board is wonderfully unique to the Internet, which, for a resource that provides access to anything in seconds, is saying something. It provides you with the opportunity to speak to the Maker of a product on their launch day.

    During that time, we are often flooded with positive feedback and comments like “This is awesome!” “Why didn’t I think of that?” or our favorite “I love supporting small Makers on The Grommet.” For a Maker, it is validating  to see such support.

    At the opposite end of the spectrum, there is…“Why is it made in China?” “Too expensive!” “I can get this for $10 at Amazon!” It’s often difficult to answer questions about why a Maker is manufacturing overseas because each product comes with its own story –and each Maker has to work within their own framework. But we do know it will be easier in the future to manufacture in America for many Makers and that’s thanks to the Maker Movement – the next industrial revolution poised to transform local economies and our entire nation as a whole. 

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  • Maker Update: Lalabu

    In February 2014 we launched Lalabu Soothe Shirts on The Grommet. We recently caught up with Brian and Keri, husband and wife team and co-founders of Lalabu, to see how things have been going since launch. This social business has made some exciting business developments, and the impact has been widespread.

    Lalabu now utilizes a giving model they call “2% for Moms”. In partnership with Kiva, Lalabu gives 2% of all of their sales to women entrepreneurs in Africa in the form of micro-loans. Thanks to Grommet supporters, they have been able to lend $5,350 to 194 mom entrepreneurs in 20 different countries in Africa.

    The team at Lalabu has also been active making their own community of Atlanta a better place. They’ve spearheaded major business and development projects for multiple organizations, including one aimed at helping young women in difficult positions find jobs, an organization to help struggling families find necessary services, and a group helping women refugees by providing job training.

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  • Maker Update: Haiti Projects

    When we launched Haiti Projects on The Grommet five years ago, they were already an organization we were proud to stand behind. By employing women in Haiti to make nightgowns, the mission was not only to provide them with access to income, but also education, family-planning resources, and microloans. We recently caught up with the organization and were blown away by their progress since launch.


    Haiti Projects continues to employ about 90 women, they are the second largest employer in the Fond-des-Blancs region of Haiti. This year, they provided every single employee a 3% living wage increase, and promoted five employees to supervisory positions. Over the next two years, their goal is to add an additional 100 jobs to the organization. This year, they began a beekeeping initiative which has allowed them to hire four male beekeepers and produce 50 gallons of 100% organic honey.

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  • Your Purchase Matters (More Than You May Realize)

    The Grommet is a place where you can shop by your values to make more impactful purchases. Look for these value symbols on the Grommets we launch.

    .Shop by values: Made in the USA Here’s the place to find unique products made in the USA. These American-made products create jobs and opportunities for local communities.  

    ...Shop by Values: Made in the USA   Shop by values: Natural & Eco Discover eco-friendly products and accessories, including organic clothing, all-natural health and beauty aids and green jewelry designers.


    Shop by Values: Social Enterprise             Shop by values: HandcraftedExplore handcrafted products, personal creations and one-of-a-kind items from artists around the world. If you’re the type of person who enjoys spending a day at the craft fair, learn how we're committed to the preservation of craft. We support local artisans, and we strive to help readers discover and buy handmade items online from these gifted entrepreneurs.

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  • A Custom Designed Grommet: From Idea to Finished Product


    On Wednesday, May 28th, The Grommet launched OoO Tie, modern bow ties with quirky, unique designs. These ties were created by two friends in Boston who wanted to show off their intellectual sides while adding some flair and creativity to their sense of style.

    Since these tie designs brought out the inventive side in our community, we decided to hold a fun contest where the founders asked what type of designs our supporters wanted to see created. Ideas ranged from nautical themes to fish and robots. It wasn't an easy decision, but the founders chose a winning design and have spent the last few months turning it into a real life bow tie. Angela Matusik, an archeologist from Orlando, Florida thought it would be cool to see petroglyphs on a bow tie and the founders loved the idea.

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  • The Maker Movement: Our Future Economy (An Infographic)

    Maker Movement | Infographic: The Grommet


    If you read our blog regularly,  you know that we've discussed the impact (and importance) of the Maker Movement before. The innovative, new-to-market products coming from this movement are the reason we do business every day and we're certain this is not just a passing trend. Today we're unveiling a visual representation of the Maker Movement; its impact on consumer products, manufacturing, retail, and our economy as a whole. Whether you're a Maker, Retailer, or consumer, you're touched by this movement and we are eager to share how through this infographic.

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  • Most Pinned Grommets

    most pinned products on Pinterest

    When you pin an image of a Grommet, you're helping it succeed. That act of pinning a Grommet is much more than simply filing it away on your "gift ideas" or "cool products" boards. With every pin, there is a ripple effect. Our Makers (and their products) get in front of more eyes which is valuable for their businesses. Pinners get exposed to the best of the best when it comes to innovative products which enhances their discovery process on Pinterest. And you? Well, you get to be curators in your own right. What Grommets you pin and collect on your boards says something about your personal style and interests.  With every pin, you help influence what type of products and businesses succeed.

    Needless to say, we get excited seeing our Grommets splashing across your Pinterest boards. Here's a look at the Grommets that have been the most pinned (by you) recently:

    Compact Key Holder by KeySmart

    A minimalist key organizer from KeySmart.


    Bluetooth Speakers for the Shower by Speaker Creatures

    A waterproof speaker from Speaker Creatures.

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  • 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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  • The Grommet Meets BEAMS

    Citizen Commerce - Grommet meets BEAMS

    One of the ways The Grommet extends the concept of Citizen Commerce is by pursuing new opportunities for our Makers. Seeing them grow their businesses and succeed is the main objective. We’re very excited to share our collaboration with the iconic Japanese lifestyle brand BEAMS and to share with you the collection of Grommets their team selected to be offered for sale through Rakuten Ichiba.

    Citizen Commerce - Grommet meets BEAMS

    BEAMS is well known in Japan for its carefully curated product selections. They have 30 different brands, and each one features beautifully designed retail shops that are merchandised by the look and feel of the products, making shopping a comfortable and delightful experience. They offer men's, women's and children's apparel and accessories, as well as home goods, luggage and music.

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  • Play Ball! Voting Season is Now Open

    Here at The Grommet, we're rethinking the way people fundamentally launch, discover, share, influence and buy products online. Daily, we encourage our community of Makers and Supporters to submit their product ideas to our Citizens' Gallery. Whenever someone tells us about their favorite product we post that idea our Citizens' Gallery and encourage you to learn about and interact with the product submissions we receive every day; voting "up" those you think should succeed most.


    If you've been following along our 2nd Annual Product Pitch event, you'll recognize it as a Product Pitch Competition that brings our every day search to a larger playing field. We've closed  submissions and are in full swing with semifinalist moving on into the regular season. Our team of Grommet coaches has narrowed the playing field. Now it’s up to our community of Makers, Hackers, Inventors, and Fans to help decide which six problem solvers have what it takes to advance to the Final Pitch at Fenway Park.

    Product Pitch Competiton

    Vote now to help your favorite problem solver make it to the big leagues.

    From home plate to home run, the success of could-be-Grommets depends on the votes and voices of our community.

    Voting Phase: February 16 - 28, 2014

    The Final Pitch at Fenway Park: March 20, 2014

    Click here to vote for your favorite product to advance to The Final Pitch.

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  • USA Today
  • Atlantic Magazine
  • All Things Digital
  • Fortune
  • Inc Magazine