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Category: Maker Spotlight

  • Meet the Maker: Michael and Wells of Rogue Industries

    We shine a light on great ideas and the people behind them. We tell their stories. In our product videos, Q&A’s, and podcasts, we try to uncover the inspiration, struggle, and ultimate success of that Maker. But the only true way to capture a story is to meet the subject in their environment.

    And so we are thrilled to announce a first in a new Maker profile video series: Rogue Industries.

     

    We started with a Maker close to home, literally. Rogue is a 90-minute drive from our office in Somerville, MA. Michael and Wells Lyons and the five-person crew behind these American-made front pocket wallets, set up shop in a renovated B&B Colonial Farmhouse in Standish, ME. 

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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Jen Perry of Jelt

    Jen Perry lives by a simple phrase, “If not now, when?” It wasn’t a motivational poster that made it her mantra, it was facing that question with her life on the line. When she was afforded a second chance at life she didn’t think she’d get, Jen put that mantra into practice and started a business that encouraged societal change.

    On this episode of the Meet the Maker podcast, we chat with Jen about the experience that led her to start Jelt, how important it was to work with local organizations and bring manufacturing back to her community, and what continues to excite her about the business.

     

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

  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Sarah Collins of wonderbag

    In the Western world, wonderbag is an alternative to electric slow cookers that uses no fuel and no electricity. In the developing world, where women spend hours each day gathering firewood and tending to dangerous indoor cook fires, it serves as a catalyst out of poverty.

    Today, we speak with wonderbag Maker Sarah Collins about the events in her life that led her to care so deeply for this community and how she grew her rebellious spirit into a global movement. Then we'll get her advice on how we can all do our part by investing in each other.

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  • The Backstory of Back Hair Grooming

    Seeking out solutions to everyday problems is at the heart of our discoveries. Sometimes though, problems aren't always visible—like back hair. But that’s where the BaKblade comes in.

    Shaped like a back scratcher, the BaKblade is a Grommet that helps folks remove their own hair without shaving cream or water needed. And like most of our Makers, inventor Matt Dryfhout came to the idea after experiencing this harried predicament firsthand.

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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Max Feber of BRUW

    The Grommet office is located just outside of Boston, the unofficial iced coffee capital of the world. There is no temperature too cold for an iced coffee in Boston.

    12 degrees? That just keeps it iced longer.

    For those who love iced coffee but want the next best thing, there’s cold brew coffee. There is no ice to water it down, it's less acidic, it’s more caffeinated. But it wasn’t always easy to make, something Max Feber learned the hard way in his kitchen as a high school sophomore. So he created BRUW to make making cold brew easier and cleaner.

     

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

  • The Power of Collaboration: How To Find Light In a Power-less Place

    Here at The Grommet, we love the Makers and products we work with—they‘re a part of us, they make up who we are. Each Grommet has a purpose and each Maker has a story to tell, and it is our mission to share these with the world.

    Our journey has shown us over and over again that when we as consumers support companies who do good, good things happen. Simple as that. A perfect example of this is the collaboration between two do-good Grommets—Haiti Projects and Luci by MPOWERED.

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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Anthony Gold of ROAR for Good

    ROAR for Good co-founder, Anthony Gold, has a unique vision for the success of his company. "Our goal is to put ROAR out of business. In that, there’s no longer a need for a company like ROAR or a product like Athena."

    ROAR for Good's product, Athena, is a personal alarm for women—or anyone who wants some extra piece of mind—can alert friends and loved ones of your location.

    On this episode of the Meet the Maker podcast, we talk to Anthony about the inspiration for the company, their educational programs to teach youth about healthy, respectful relationships and treatment of others, how we can all be more mindful in building a more respectful culture, and the future of ROAR.

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

  • Meet The Maker Sheila Kemper of Livliga

     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 Sheila Kemper Dietrich. Sheila's family had struggled with their weight for years. As the former executive director of Denver’s American Heart Association, she knew how important it was to stop super-sizing and start right-sizing their meals. So, she designed portion control plates to guide them and founded Livliga. 

    Tell us more about your design inspiration.
    It all started with my favorite measuring cups. I wanted to figure out a way to help me measure my food and see what specific serving sizes looked like as I served up and ate a meal. I wanted to see how I could create a design that would be attractive, subtle, yet exacting, so it would reflect the measurements from that measuring cup.

    How do you get around creative blocks?
    Walking. Fiddling. Talking. You have to give ideas room to grow and for problems to be solved. Sometimes that means taking a long walk to clear the brain and reboot. Other times I find, just like with solving a puzzle with puzzle pieces, it takes fiddling with a design from a variety of angles until the solution pops out. I am also someone who believes more brains make for better solutions so I enjoy sharing and talking things through until that creative block evaporates. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Rene and Simone Xavier of Sigma Beauty

    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. 

    We're kicking off 2018 by catching up with Simone Xavier of Sigma Beauty. Simone, along with her husband Rene, with backgrounds in civil engineering and molecular biology, teamed up to identify an urgent need and design a solution. And the result is an innovative way to clean your makeup brushes–a makeup brush cleaning glove. Hear more about what it's like behind the scenes of Sigma Beauty.

    In this Meet the Maker interview, meet the husband and wife team behind Sigma Beauty.

    What has been the most surprising aspect of starting a business?
    The most surprising aspect of starting Sigma Beauty was the way our love for engineering and science has helped our customers solve beauty problems. Being different and developing outside-the-box solutions has been our most valuable asset and helped us build a devoted fan base that’s as hooked on innovation as we are.

    What advice would you have given yourselves 10 years ago?
    Get organized and be ready to grow fast. Stay true to your core values. Remain committed to excellence and innovation, and it will pay off. Quality is a universal language spoken by customers around the globe.

    In this Meet the Maker interview, meet the husband and wife team behind Sigma Beauty.

    Where do you find design inspiration for new products?
    Our product design inspiration is heavily influenced by our customers’ needs and our engineering and scientific backgrounds. We listen to their problems and work hard to provide them with a smart solution. We put ourselves in our customer’s shoes and often find that our own needs are a very good predictor of products that will be useful to them. We pay close attention to industry trends and try to be ahead of the curve, introducing products that will address the trends in a distinct and unexpected way.

    In this Meet the Maker interview, meet the husband and wife team behind Sigma Beauty.

    What is the most challenging aspect of starting a business?
    When a business grows relatively fast, building the perfect team might be considered a challenge–one that is passionate about the brand, and is as committed to its success as we are. We have been very lucky to be able to build a dream team at Sigma. 2019 marks our 10 year anniversary, and there were challenges throughout our growth process, but these challenges were always solved by professionalism and commitment from our great team.

    In this Meet the Maker interview, meet the husband and wife team behind Sigma Beauty.

    What is the best advice you've ever received?
    Invest in quality and success will come. This has been a core value for our company. We do not launch a product unless we believe it is the best it can be for our customers. Our commitment to providing our customer with high quality product is at the center of every decision we make. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Michelle Silberman of ChocAmo

    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.

    We recently caught up with Michelle Silberman from ChocAmo. Back in the 7th grade, Michelle  and her best friend had the idea to combine milk and cookies in one treat—cookie cups. Flash forward to today, and Michelle’s chocolate chip childhood dream is a tasty reality thanks to her college entrepreneurship course. Learn more about her journey below.

    Meet the Maker of ChoAmo

    Tell us more about your design inspiration.
    I've always been a lover of two things–family and incredible food. What started as a project in an Entrepreneurship Class at Drexel University has turned into a delicious obsession of sourcing the best ingredients and brainstorming infinite ways to bring THE perfect Cookie Cup to anyone and everyone who is a fan of the all-time classic snack of cookies and milk. Sound deliciously amazing? It is…worth every sip and every delectable bite!

    Coming from a first-generation household, Michelle’s passion for cooking delicious food that brings family and friends together is pure tradition; it's part of her soul. She found that no matter who was sitting at the table, as long as every dish is made with quality ingredients and love…great food has a magical way of bringing people together.

    For me, creating the trade secret Cookie Cup is more than just food innovation, it is a piece of my family merged with my love for inspiring connections, baked together and served up for sweets-lovers everywhere! 

    How do you get around creative blocks?
    We recently began to implement a weekly Cookie Cup Snack Time Brainstorming session with our ChocAmo Family (the team) every Monday at 3:00 p.m. This allows all members of the team to share their perspective and creative solutions while snacking on delicious treats. It is the perfect remedy for even the slightest trace of Monday blues, and allows everyone to build a creative synergy. 
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    Meet the Maker on The Grommet
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    What three personality  traits do think have helped you become a successful entrepreneur?
     Adaptability - The ability to think creatively and adapt to what is happening in the business. This also goes hand in hand with problem solving.

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