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Category: The Grommet News

  • 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. My bracket is one of the skills one needs to succeed as an entrepreneur. Game on.

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  • Watch The Grommet Mentor Makers on Public TV Series Make48

    One of the things our community doesn’t usually get a chance to see is how members of The Grommet team guide, instruct, and mentor the Makers we work with as they bring their products to market. In 2017, our Co-founder & Chief Discovery Officer Joanne Domeniconi and our Director of Discovery Ryan DeChance were invited to be a part of a new public television series, Make48, — which gives a sneak peek into how we work with inventors and entrepreneurs.

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  • A Decade of Discovery: The Grommet Turns 10

    It started, as innovation often does, with frustration. Sitting in the boardrooms of Stride Rite and Keds, Jules and Joanne grew discontent as new, unique products were swept aside in favor of iterations of last year's best sellers. They grew tired of watching small businesses play on an uneven playing field.

    They decided to change it.

    In the time since The Grommet — or rather Daily Grommet — launched in 2008, the landscape of product creation has aptly reinvented itself. Kickstarter became common vernacular, 3D printing is now accessible at libraries around the country. It's never been easier to bring a product to life.

    Years ago we set a goal. By 2020, 10% of all products flowing through the U.S. would originate from small-scale businesses. Consumer purchases represent 65% of the American economy. What we buy is a powerful step in achieving that goal and changing how we discover, share, and ultimately, purchase products.

    It's a tough goal to track. But 3,000+ products, 1,000 Ace Hardware displays, and 15,000 Main St. Retail partners nationwide goes a long way in evening the playing field.

    This is how we got here. We still have a ways to go.


  • For National Thank You Day — Thank YOU

    There's a good chance you've never heard of National Thank You Day, but at The Grommet, we consider it a national holiday. It provides us with a formal opportunity to thank you, our Grommet community, for helping us do what we do every day.

    So on behalf of Tea Drops, Emergency Stain Rescue, Flagpole Farm, Quickloader, Meater, IdeaPaint, and the rest of our Makers and Retailers  — thank you.

  • 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.



    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.


    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.


    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.


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