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Category: The Grommet News

  • Come Visit Our Pop-up Shop on Newbury St. in Boston

    Newbury Street is a marquee destination in Boston for visitors and residents alike. Lined with 19th-century brownstones, this mile-long street is packed with boutiques, bookstores, shops, salons, and restaurants. Until this week, it was only missing one thing—The Grommet.

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  • Live Meet the Maker Events at The Grommet Store

    Every day on our site we tell you the story of an innovative product and the brilliant person who made it. We create videos, write blog posts, and record podcasts all in an effort to get you as close to meeting the Maker as possible.

    Now we can really mean it when we say you can meet the Makers behind the products on our site.

    Every weekend in our store at the Natick Mall, our Makers will showcase, demo, and answer questions about their products live and in-person. It's a great way to learn about a product you've had your eye on directly from the person who created it.

    It will be a fun, interactive way to kick off your holiday shopping. As a bonus, the featured Makers' products will be 10% during the event.

    You can RSVP on Facebook and check out the schedule of featured Makers below. Continue Reading

  • It's Our 9th Birthday!

    In the last year, we: partnered with Ace Hardware, a relationship that was so successful they acquired a majority stake in The Grommet; launched 336 new products from small businesses around the world; eclipsed 500K social media supporters; opened a pop-up shop on Boston Common then; our first brick and mortar store in the Natick Mall; connected with 10,000 Retailers nationwide through our Wholesale site; debuted The Grommet Perks program. And those are just the major highlights.

    The Grommet, the place to discover new, innovative products from Makers, inventors, and entrepreneurs is celebrating its ninth anniversary.

     

    Thank you all for your help in making this a truly special year. We couldn't have done it without you.

    The Grommet Team

    Update: Robin S. from South Carolina, congratulations, you are our sweepstakes winner!

  • We Opened a Grommet Store

    A few years ago, when we launched The Grommet Wholesale, we set a goal for ourselves. By 2020, we wanted to see 10% of all products flowing through U.S. retail originating from independent small-scale Makers.

    Achieving this goal will create vibrant jobs on Main St. and accelerate the development of innovative products from Makers around the world. It will help strengthen neighborhoods, reinvigorate American manufacturing, and give power to meaningful businesses.

    The Grommet opens it's first retail location in the Natick Mall

    Ace Hardware's acquisition of a majority stake in The Grommet takes a massive step toward achieving that goal and so does this— we opened a Grommet store.

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  • Ace Hardware Has Acquired a Majority Stake in The Grommet

    In November, we placed Grommet displays in 250 Ace Hardware stores throughout the country. Since then, our partnership with Ace has expanded, strengthened, and, as of this morning, officially reached new heights.

    Ace Hardware and The Grommet share a deep heritage of helping local businesses and entrepreneurs thrive. Our values are uncannily aligned. We're even named after a piece of hardware. As our CEO Jules Pieri said, there is clearly some destiny at work here.

    This is exciting for seemingly limitless reasons. The most fundamental of which is they're allowing us to be ourselves and double down on our mission of helping small-scale Makers succeed like never before.

    There are few companies as dedicated to the success of small and local businesses as Ace Hardware. That's been their mission for the last 93 years and we have no doubt it will only strengthen over the next 93. And no one is in a better position to help us with our own mission of growing the businesses of our Makers and Retailers than Ace Hardware.

    To all of our Makers, Retailers, and supporters: thank you.

    Help spread the word! Check out the release & share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn!

  • Talking Week of Making with The Grommet Founders

    jules joanneThe National Week of Making is an annual celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit. It highlights "the diversity of Makers big and small, young and old, urban and rural" throughout the country. It honors the DIYers, tinkerers, inventors, and innovators.

    You probably know someone who fits into one of those categories. This week — and for the rest of the year — you can join the Nation of Makers in supporting, engaging, and promoting individuals and organizations who are creating the next generation of products and opportunities for Makers of all ages.

    This week also marks the three-year anniversary of the inaugural National Maker Faire at the White House where The Grommet co-founders, Jules Pieri and Joanne Domeniconi, unveiled The Grommet Wholesale.

    On this rebroadcasted episode, Jules and Joanne discuss what prompted the start of The Grommet and the struggles and triumphs of building it, the power of an engaged community, their experience at the National Maker Faire, and the future of the Maker Movement.

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    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 Small

    “We all succeed when small businesses succeed.” You heard this line ad nauseum throughout the election cycle, but practically, outside of a sound bite, what does that look like?

    It starts by looking something like this.

    US-map-Ace-locations

    We are Jules Pieri and John Venhuizen, the CEOs of The Grommet and Ace Hardware and we are bridging local store owners, Makers – and you, to help small businesses thrive.

    We passionately believe that there is power in small. The small business. The little guy. The dreamer. The inventor whose vision could be the next big thing. The folks who wake up every day with a chip on their shoulder because they have to duke it out against the shackles of bureaucracy and the Goliaths of business every day. We believe that there is a liberating strength and might in our collaboration.

    We share many of the same goals. We want to strengthen Main Street. We want to amplify the maker movement and launch a new and different kind of industrial revolution. We’re working together to bring more early-stage businesses into your backyard. This creates jobs for people you probably know, gives you higher quality products and bolsters your local economy.

    The-Grommet-and-Ace-Hardware

    We believe in the consumer. We know that consumers yearn for more than cookie-cutter, commoditized, generic stuff anyone can get from nearly every store. We know that consumers still believe in discovery, values-driven brands and a local face behind their retail purchases.

    We firmly believe that there is more to the shopping experience than just faceless interactions and drone delivery. Together, Ace and The Grommet, we can offer our customers more of what we believe makes America special, the unbridled creativity of the local entrepreneur.

    And we’re not budging. We’ve seen the business landscape stacked against the underdog for too long. The way we can tip the scales is by investing in innovation. So we will. And we hope you join us.

    You play a vital part in this success. We humbly ask for your continued support. Visit your local Ace, try these innovative products from the Grommet. It takes tenacity, guts and grit to build a company and help it grow. Learn more about our collaboration that’s putting Grommets in Ace stores in your neighborhood, including more than 170 locally-owned Ace Hardware stores just last month.

    Thank you for your support, for supporting small.

    Jules-Pieri-and-John-Venhuizen

  • In or Near Boston? Check Out Our Pop-Up Shop

    If you’re living in or staying near Boston in November and December, come see some of our top Grommets in person by visiting our pop-up shop at 899 Boylston St. (It’s across from the Prudential Center in Back Bay.) Besides being able to touch the merchandise, you can get an early start on your holiday shopping without waiting for shipping.

    See how effective Peeps are at cleaning your glasses. Feel Cactus Scratcher hit that hard-to-reach itch. Take a whiff of Duke Cannon, Walton Wood Farm, and Clear My Head then explore the rest of Boston’s premiere shopping destination.

    The Grommet Pop Up Shop

    We have Nantucket’s TownPool to thank for setting up this see-it-for-yourself opportunity. They specialize in creating visual shopping experiences and we’re thrilled to be a part of this one.

    See you in Back Bay!

    If you pop in, snap a photo and share it with us on Instagram by tagging @TheGrommet. 

  • The (March) Madness of Entrepreneurship

    It’s the season of brackets so I filled out my own. Not for the NCAA basketball tournament. That’s easy. Michigan wins, end of bracket. I’m told that would be “busted.” Mine is a bracket of skills one needs to succeed as an entrepreneur. Game on.

    The (March) Madness of Entrepreneurship

    ...

    Sweet Sixteen

    Opportunity Region

    (1) Tenacity over (8) Charm

    A slam-dunk. There will be legendary hills and valleys in starting a business and when you’re sitting in a room by yourself going crazy, charm will get you nowhere. Every single day you need tenacity.

    (3) Energy over (6) Intellect

    Similarly, you need energy day in, day out. You’re a battery cell for the rest of the team. The leverage of your energy is much more useful than intellect. You need intellect, but it doesn’t excite your team.

    (4) Salesmanship over (5) Financial Acumen

    Salesmanship beats financial acumen because you can hire financial acumen. You can also teach it to yourself. Salesmanship is more innate. However, one fallacy about salesmanship is it’s a type of person. Lots of personalities can be killer great salespeople. It doesn’t have to be an extrovert or someone who likes to backslap; it can be anyone if they can establish a rapport and credibility in their idea.

    (2) Resourcefulness over (7) Courage

    You can be a successful founder and fall into a puddle every night due to a lack of courage. Courage isn’t an inherent quality. But resourcefulness, especially early on, is essential. It’s trading low value assets for high value assets. Our team at SXSW put this into practice. With a tighter budget than most, they couldn’t throw money at the problem but still had to make an impact. You can judge for yourself how they did.

    A more extreme case was our early office furniture. It was largely rejects from failed startups. I’d be driving around on the weekend, find a chair on the side of the road and pick it up. Seriously. Here’s my blog post detailing what our Director of Wholesale, Jason McCarthy, called our chairs: Sh*t on Wheels. We had to work and sit somewhere so we found a cost-effective way to do it. You need that constant bartering mentality.

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  • The Grommet Solves the Problems of SXSW

    Five members of The Grommet team, myself included, headed to SXSW Interactive 2016 in Austin, Texas with one goal: solve any problem presented to us with a dozen Grommets we brought with us. Also water. That was a savior. It seems even the sun is bigger in Texas.

    We met thousands of people, most of whom had never heard of The Grommet, which presented an exciting challenge. Spreading our message and showcasing some of the innovative products we've discovered on the streets of Austin was an exhilarating experience we're just now recovering from. Seriously. We lost voices and I nearly passed out from dehydration. You might be asking, "How is that possible? You had so much water with you." Believe me, I'm aware of the irony.

    For those of you who follow our daily launches and happenings but couldn't attend SXSW, we put together a snapshot of our experience. And if you're looking to solve your own problems on a daily basis or looking for the perfect gift for someone you know (Mother's Day and Father's Day are right around the corner), take a dive into the abyss of our products. You're bound to find something.

    Grommet SXSWFacebook PartyGrommet Ground Campaign

    Where are those awesome pictures from? Our Snapchat! Follow by searching "thegrommet" or hover over our Snapcode below in the app for behind the scenes pictures and videos you won't find anywhere else.

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