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Category: Maker Spotlight

  • Meet the Makers: Kara Dyer & Sara Argue of Storytime Toys

    Technology is entrenched in our lives. It makes things easier, more efficient. It streams endless entertainment and knowledge in seconds. But with unfiltered access comes the need for a filter. We put our phones away at dinner and close laptops in meetings. As with any stimulant, moderation becomes the name of the game.

    That game is an especially tricky one for parents to play. In a world increasingly reliant on technology, how do you expose kids to the right amount while also using more hands-on, even screen-free, methods of learning?

     
    That question is one of the reasons we visited and profiled Makers Kara Dyer and Sara Argue of Storytime Toys for our Meet the Maker series. It's a question at the heart of their work helping young children develop the foundations of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and imaginative play with no technology at all.

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  • Meet the Maker: Claire Cheney of Curio Spice Co.

    You know a spice shop when you smell it. The collection of aromas knocks your head back. As we walked into Curio Spice Co. to meet its founder, Claire Cheney, for the latest installment of our Meet the Maker profile series, we collectively suffered whiff-lash.

     

    With each breath, your sense of smell shifts into overdrive, teleporting you around the world in a millisecond. Cambodian peppers, Sri Lankan cinnamon blends, and herbs from local New England farms create a truly sensational experience — one that Claire hopes is brought home to your kitchen. 

    She wants to help cooks of all experience levels be more creative. To wow their friends and family. In fact, she actively encourages it with her own friends and family by giving them spice blends as gifts. More than anything though, she wants you to know these spices and where they came from. The farms, the farmers, the region, and their collective impact on the product in your hand. That’s what impressed us the most. 

    Copyright Danny LeBlanc Photo

    Curio Spice Co. is a Public Benefit Company, a business designed to make a positive impact on society and the environment. That mission touches every aspect of the final product.

    90% of her ingredients are certified organic and half are Fair Trade. This practice works double time by reducing CO2 emissions and meeting labor, social, and environmental standards set by FLOCert, in addition to being a superior product. Even the spice tins and lids are American-made and recyclable to limit their global carbon footprint. 

    Claire sources spices from local farms in regions she’s visited — Vietnam, Greece, Madagascar, Japan — partnering with farmers and producers in the area to ensure the product stems from outside the commodity spice market. She pays more for spices grown responsibly to combat exploitation that's run rampant in spice trading for decades. She also sources from women-owned businesses and spice co-ops contributing to female education and improved livelihoods. 

    She works with farms in her own backyard to ensure a fresher product. She teaches workshops for kids as part of school programs and for the public at her shop. All are focused on teaching them the origin of the spice and the cultural heritage it represents. 

    Curio Spice Co. has products with stories upon stories behind each. We’re thrilled to help Claire share them with you on The Grommet. And we count ourselves lucky that her store is just a 5-minute walk from our office.

    To learn more about Curio Spice Co., shop our entire collection of spice blends and gift sets. 

  • 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

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