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Category: Product Launch

  • Grommet Partner Update: Sunski

    The Grommet Partners Tom & Michael are launching a new product now on Indiegogo!

    Tom Stewart and Michael Charley are no strangers to The Grommet. In fact, we launched their product Salsabol back in 2011. Salsabol is a functional yet beautiful upgrade to your typical dip bowl. It's with this same spirit of function and design that Tom and Michael have launched their most recent product -- Sunski.  Today, we've invited Tom to share with us more about the inspiration behind Sunski and their current Indiegogo campaign.

    by Tom Stewart

    Sunskis

    Sunskis are vibrant polarized sunglasses inspired by the vintage colors and beach styles that I discovered on a surf trip in Australia. Last summer, my business partner Michael and I launched a Kickstarter campaign aimed at producing the first run of Sunskis. We introduced four different colors and in less than a month, raised over $157,000 in pre-sales. Since then, we have worked to perfect the Sunski image with high quality packaging and an overall brand ethos that champions quality, affordability, and a love of the outdoors.

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  • Recent Press: Grommets Making a Splash

    As exciting as it is to launch a new product here on The Grommet, for us, it gets even better when we get to see how the world reacts to these innovative ideas and passionate entrepreneurial stories. For our partners, a Grommet launch is just the beginning of some well deserved attention.

    Here’s the most recent press for our Grommet partners:

    The Drawstring Tool was featured in the recent issue of PEOPLE Style Watch Magazine!

     

    Product Launch | Success on The Grommet

     

     

    IdeaPaint which was launched in The Grommet in 2009, has recently shared that they are expanding with more corporate customers in this Boston.com article. This makes complete sense as our own walls here at Grommet HQ are covered with IdeaPaint! We love to see their continues growth. Go get 'em guys!

    New Products | IdeaPaint

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  • 5 Reasons Elon Musk is a True Inspiration for any Entrepreneur

    Product Launch: Hyperloop

     

    If you didn't know the name Elon Musk before this week, you do now. The 42 year old millionaire is an entrepreneur and an inventor who set out to to change the world when he was just a boy. At the age of 10, he received his first computer and by 12, he had taught himself to program. He sold a software game called Blastar for $500 less than a year later.

    Skip ahead 30 years and the world is following him with open eyes as he just unveiled his latest concept that has the world split between wild skepticism and support. The Hyperloop - a futuristic transportation system that he says could take people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 30 minutes. Hogwash? Maybe. But maybe not. Given his track record of creating uber-successful companies, his latest idea shouldn't be taken lightly.

    If you're a budding entrepreneur with a revolutionary idea, you shouldn't take it lightly either. Maybe your product won't be at the same scale as Elon Musk's, but by launching your product, you are helping the world and leveling the playing field for all your fellow makers and inventors. And you NEVER know. At one point in time, not too long ago, Elon was a 17 year old South African boy who took a risk and left his country for America. He said that he chose the U.S. because "It is where great things are possible." And while the Hyperloop is one of the biggest ideas we've known, it's simply in response to a need that he saw. Current train travel in California is expensive and slow - and proposals for future trains aren't much different. So he thought of a better idea. We see our Grommet partners doing this every day (and succeeding).

    Who do you find inspirational? Comment below on who you think is worthy and why.

    Below are 5 more reasons that entrepreneurs should be inspired by Elon Musk.
  • 9 Resources for Entrepreneurs

    Building a business is hard, whether this is your first rodeo or you are a serial entrepreneur. Questions abound and it can be difficult to figure out what your next steps should be or just exactly how to proceed. Below are a number of blogs and resources for entrepreneurs that are chock full of seasoned advice and meeting places to talk with people who have been there and done that.

    resources for entrepreneurs

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  • EXTRA INNINGS: Updates from MAX'IS Creations

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    This week we're continuing our series here on the blog called EXTRA INNINGS.  Did you have a favorite team at our Product Pitch event and can’t wait to see what they’re up to? Follow along here and watch their progress. Below you’ll see some great news from the MAX'IS Creations team.

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     Thanks for the updates, Jennifer (Jennifer is Max's mom)!

     

    EXTRA INNINGS: MAX'IS Creations

    It's been a great summer for Max and MAX'IS Creations. We are working with a manufacturing partner in Portland, OR called MudShark Studios to create the initial molds of Max's mugs. They recently sent photos of the molds being created for the different parts of the "Mug With A Hoop"™ and they even sent a sample mug for Max to review. It looks great and Max LOVED it! The mug size is perfect for marshmallow throwing and the it felt great in our hands. We're currently working out issues like how to make the net look more realistic in ceramic and which MAX'IS Creations stamp looks best for the bottom of the mugs.

    MudShark Studios making the mold for Max's mugs! MudShark Studios making the mold for Max's mugs!

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  • EXTRA INNINGS: Updates from Frogglez Goggles

    Today, we're continuing our updates from some of our teams at our Product Pitch competition in March. We love watching how these companies are evolving and tracking their success!

    Did you have a favorite team at our Product Pitch event and can’t wait to see what they’re up to? Follow along here and watch their progress.
     
    Below you'll see a great update from Christian Hahn at Frogglez Goggles who just launched Frogglez on our site last week. Congratulations, Christian!

    product launch | Froggles Gogglez

    Product launch update by Christian -- I can’t believe the Product Pitch Event at Fenway was only four short months ago. At that point, I was at the very beginning stages of my company and all I had were some prototypes and a grand vision for how I would make kids all over the world more comfortable and happy with Frogglez Goggles. The Grommet’s event came at the perfect time and they were able to guide me as I learned about the world of product launch.

    Starting out, I realized there were so many options for how to make and sell Frogglez that I was a bit overwhelmed. The Grommet gave me the clear direction that I needed. Just in time! The media exposure from the event also came at a perfect time. It made additional exposure even easier and helped to really spread the word about Frogglez.

    In the last few months, I’ve been hard at work learning how to manufacture and launch my product. The Grommet was there every step of the way and they always answered any questions that I had about the process. They were extremely patient with my learning curve and I’m forever thankful for their advice and assistance.

    Once I finally launched on the Grommet, I received so many orders and positive feedback from The Grommet community. I was floored. I even got several distribution inquiries, including some internationally. Another surprise that I didn’t expect was that so many people wanted Frogglez for adults! I didn’t know that would happen, but I’m very excited about it. I already have plans underway.

    Did I mention that I am also a Dentist, in addition to owning and launching Frogglez? Yes, I work several days per week making beautiful smiles too. It’s been tough juggling both Frogglez and dentistry, but I have a supportive staff and family who have helped me immensely. Without them, I don’t know what I would do! I may hire a staff member soon to help with Frogglez, but I will still be heavily involved. I love what I do so it doesn’t feel like work to me.

    When The Grommet asked if there was anything I would have done differently, or if I have any advice for budding entrepreneurs, I had to think about it. Thus far I can only say one thing: be open to all options. It’s tough to know how a product launch will go, what direction it will take, but it does not matter. The supporters and future customers will help to direct the process. Maybe it's TV, maybe it's retail, maybe it's online...be ready to roll with the punches and HAVE FUN!

  • Recent Press: NPR, Toys R Us and Katie Couric!

    As exciting as it is to launch a new product here on The Grommet, for us, it gets even better when we get to see how the world reacts to these innovative ideas and passionate entrepreneurial stories. For our partners, a Grommet launch is just the beginning of some well deserved attention. Recently, we have seen our Partners pop up on ABC News, Good Housekeeping and The Wall Street Journal plus many other wonderful places.

    Here’s the most recent press for our Grommet partners:

    Grommet Kendama, the Japanese skill toy, received some great exposure on NPR. We're loving this video of  nine-year-old Logan Tosta showing off his tricks and skills. Such fun!

     

    Our favorite "green" Grommet moms from LunchSkins stopped by the Katie Couric show to share how they took their idea and turned it into a thriving business. You can check out a clip of their segment here.

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  • Crowdfunding is the Name of the Game

    Back in the day, you lugged around a big cardboard suitcase of candy bars, selling each for a dollar to fundraise. Now, crowdfunding is the name of the game.

    Crowdfunding - The Grommet and Indiegogo

    From freelancing journalists in need of cash for travel expenses to kobe beef jerky enthusiasts buying a commercial refrigerator, crowdfunding has given many ideas and projects the much sought after initial push -- as well as initial validation.

    In March, we partnered with Google Apps, Boston.com, and Indiegogo to host the Product Pitch: From Home Plate to Home Run at Fenway Park, where the winner benefited from The Grommet’s expertise in launching consumer products and getting their product market-ready.

    After the event, the event winner THINX and four of the participating teams launched Indiegogo campaigns. The verdict? THINX and popular vote winner MAX'IS Creations both had their campaigns fully funded -- further validating the potential of their great products.

    To encourage folks to take the first step toward their campaigns, we are passing along an opportunity on behalf of our partnership with Indiegogo. As a new or current user, anyone who launches an Indiegogo campaign through our unique link will be associated with the Grommet Partner Page and receive 25% off Indiegogo fees!

     This is one of our ways of saying “don’t give up!” to all the dreamers and innovators out there. It’s a great chance to try crowdfunding if you’ve been considering it!

    Again, here’s the unique link. We can't wait to see your campaigns!

  • EXTRA INNINGS: Updates from Blu2Green!

     

     

    This week, we're continuing our updates from some of our teams at our Product Pitch competition in March. We love watching how these companies are evolving and tracking their success!

    Did you have a favorite team at our Product Pitch event and can’t wait to see what they’re up to? Follow along here and watch their progress. Below you’ll see some great news from the Blu2Green team.

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    EXTRA INNINGS: Blu2Green

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  • How To Pitch Your Product Like A Pro

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    Our Discovery team spends many hours per week looking at potential Grommets. In fact, we get more than 100 product submissions per week! It's then our job to test the products, ask questions and ultimately decide if they are "Grommet-worthy". We have high standards, as we only choose and sell the best. Yet there are many products out there that could be FANTASTIC future Grommets, if only they had a little help with how to pitch our team. We've decided to divulge some (not-so-secretive) information that anyone should have in their front pocket when they're getting ready to launch their product to the world. Another quick-tip: Watch the show on ABC called Shark Tank. While our team isn't exactly like the mean sharks on the show, we have had several products that have been on the show as well. They know a thing or two about pitching their company!

    1. Make your product not only presentable, make it SHINE: Be able to define its value - quickly! When you're pitching your product, make sure you've got your elevator pitch, or 30-1 minute spiel down pat. Talk about the problem/solution. Show it in action if you need to. What makes this product different from competitors? How is it innovative? You're looking for the light bulb look - "oh I get it now" should be written across the person's face. Put your best sample forward or make sure that prototype shines!

    2. Be able to articulate your growth strategy: Help us help you. Taking an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses and how you plan on maneuvering those areas will communicate to investors (or Grommet!) that your company can thrive. We're here to advise you on your growth, but need to understand your overall goals for your company.

    3. Know your numbers. Be ready to discuss your pricing and distribution goals and know what will work for you. How fast can you move inventory? How quickly can your team make more? Knowing where you stand in relation to your goals will inform your conversations with potential partners.

    4. Know your audience, and do a little research to understand theirs. For example, the Grommet has an audience of early adopters, ready to provide product feedback and purchase your product. What will they value about your product and your story? Know who will be purchasing your your product and adjust accordingly.

    5. Be yourself. Who you are is important to your company. Don't change who you are because you think that's what a company wants to see. Good people doing interesting work really does make a difference for us!

    What other tips do you have on how to pitch like a pro? 

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