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  • The Grommet Wholesale Exhibit at NY Now

    On the heels of  The Grommet Wholesale  announcement, we're excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at NY NOW™ this August. Our team has been attending the show (formerly NYIGF) for years, in fact, it almost feels like home. This year we will be  debuting our Wholesale Exhibit which will  feature a curated selection of Grommets across several product categories; each created by independent Makers. Attendees with be able to browse and shop The Grommet Wholesale from the showroom floor of NY NOW™. NYNOW   We will also bring Makers  to showcase their products at the show, giving Retailers an opportunity to learn about products from the Makers directly.   wholesale_fortori_V2 If you’re a retailer, you can learn more about The Grommet Wholesale here: The Grommet Wholesale  and register to attend the show here: NY Now As you enter the Javits Center, you’ll see our concourse exhibit at booth NC-1 near the main escalators. In addition to our exhibit, we will also be participating in two seminars:

    The Grommet Co-Founder and CEO, Jules Pieri will speak: Entrepreneurship & Lessons Learned from the Start-Up Trenches Tuesday, August 19, 12:00 Noon – 1:00 PM, Javits Center, 1A02-03

    The Grommet Co-Founder and Chief Discovery Officer, Joanne Domeniconi will moderate: Seminar: Modern-Day Matchmaking: Technology & Tools for the 21st Century Sunday, August 17, 12:00 Noon, Javits Center, 1A02-03

    Preview some of our featured Makers before the show here and here.

     ...

  • 7 Tips for New Trade Show Exhibitors

    Do you have new products? Are you thinking about exhibiting at a trade show? It can be a big undertaking, but it’s worth it! As a trade-show consultant and judge, I’ve witnessed amazing success stories come out of mere 10x10’ exhibitor spaces. Not to mention, The Grommet team attends several trade shows each year looking to connect with potential Grommet partners. A lot of magic can happen at a show!

    Of course, not all companies have to exhibit at a trade show to become successful, but I advise exhibiting at least one time. You will receive direct feedback from buyers and distributors which can be priceless. Trade shows are also a great way to gain press coverage which is vital for any new business.

    Trade Show Tips

    Here are a few tips I’ve shared over the years with new trade show exhibitors (I hope they help you as well):

    1. Attend the show the year before you exhibit.

    Go as a guest and walk the show floor and be sure to talk to people.  Find one of the dozens of people sitting down, looking bored, in the big booths. They will give you the scoop on how the show has done over the years. Ask if they think this Fall Show is better than the Spring Show, for example. On the last day of the event visit the tiny booth in the far corner of the show floor. They will tell you how they value the show.

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  • NYIGF feels like home

    In some ways, walking the floors of the New York International Gift Fair (or NYIGF) feels familiar, like home. Perhaps because it's been a place we've gone to for years in search of great new products with compelling stories. Maybe the welcoming feeling comes from the many familiar faces of Grommet Partners who we've launched and now work with daily who we are spotting in booth after booth. It could simply be that  when we are surrounded by  innovation, exceptional design and good packaging, we are in "our element."

    product launch | Trades of the East

    Joanne catching up with Grommet partner Haim Shahar, founder of Trades of the East.

    new products at NYIGF

    We stopped for a little playtime with our friends Cate & Levi. We just launched their wool animal puppets on Grommet last week!

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  • Five Most Interesting Products from NYIGF

    When we walk the floors at NYIGF, like most retailers, we're not just looking for great, new products.  For Daily Grommet, it all comes together with an exceptional design, good packaging, usefulness, and a terrific story.  We come home inspired, a little bit foot sore, and always excited to share our finds with the rest of our community (see what we discovered last year). 

     Of all of the amazing products we saw at the Javits this year, here are a small selection of our favorites:

    new products - seeds

    Hudson Valley Seed Library - A thoughtful gift for your favorite gardener. Ken Greene and Doug Muller have created an accessible and affordable source of fruit, vegetable and flower seeds from heirloom plant varieties.  Plus, their lovely Art Packs are designed by artists to express the bounty of heirloom gardening and are beautiful enough to frame on their own.

    nyigf - new products

    Hangups & Baggage - Kim Kamens'  large scale wall-mounted metal art sculptures replace a traditional wall hanging and become useful as a coat rack, a jewelry display, or even a mail or file holder.  Holding up to 140 lbs, these pieces are whimsical, graphic and functional. 

    Belle Helmets - This great collection was our Accent on Design Blogger's Choice pick.  Danielle Baskin hand paints her line of unusual bicycle helmets.  An artist by trade, Baskin is happy to accept custom work and wholesale orders.  Her helmets are fashionable and expressive, while keeping you safe on your bicycle or skateboard. (image via Belle Helmets)

    Gustav Reyes Bracelets - We were struck by the simple beauty of Gustav's bold wooden pieces, and when we learned that the machine he uses to fabricate them is the only one in the U.S, we were even more intrigued.  Reyes makes wooden jewelry that feels as light as air, and looks as lovely as the finest metalwork.  (image via Gustav Reyes)

    S'well Bottle - We couldn't help being pulled in by the colorful display at S'well.  Sarah Kauss created her line of double-walled insulated bottles because there wasn't anything like them available.  She wanted one good-looking bottle that could keep her coffee hot or keep her water cold.  In a S'well bottle, hot drinks will stay hot for 12 hours, and cold ones will stay super cold for 24 hours — a terrific problem solver. (image via S'well)

    Our Discovery Team would love to know your thoughts on these new products, which is your favorite?

  • New discoveries and old pals at the NYIGF

    Every year when the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) rolls around, everyone here at Daily Grommet gets a little bit excited (okay, a lot excited!).  We love to see all the great booths at NYIGF, catch up with old friends and of course make some new ones -- along with all our new discoveries (check out Jen's finds from last year).  The crowd this year was terrific.  Everyone had so much energy and enthusiasm, and were happy to tell us about all the great products they were finding, too!

    Here are a few pictures I took with my phone while I was walking the show floors.

    NYIGF

    Hard to tell but it was both sunny and raining at the same time! This made for the perfect day to stay indoors and scout for new possible Grommets.

    knobstoppers at NYIGF

    Our pals at knobstoppers - their booth was packed! We learned that they have some new products in the works (we can't wait to see what they've been up to).

    Cool booth at NYIGF

    Design Legacy -- amazing stuff!

    Light up peace sign! Tori and I agreed that our tweens would go mad for this!

    MyDrap at NYIGF

    Remember Grommet find MyDrap? They were there too and their booth looked great!

    Another Grommet provided some interesting feedback.  We always wonder at the shows how much walking we actually do, and this trip, my Fitbit had the answer. More than 20 miles were logged in the two days I walked the show!

    In addition, the team was asked to judge the Blogger's Choice Awards for the third time, and we'll have more to report on that topic very soon (here's a quick look at this year's winners).

    Did you attend the NYIGF? We'd love to hear about what cool stuff you discovered!

  • Picking just one at the NYIGF

    When I was asked back to be a judge for the NYIGF "Blogger's Choice Awards" it was time to get my brave on. In 3 short hours I needed to scan the over 200 booths in Accent on Design, get to know the artist and then appear on video. I was looking for the little guy -- the starving artist. In a sea of flashy well designed booths and products, you would think it would be hard to find the new guy. In my opinion the new guy is usually easier to find. The new guy usually has a smile on their face, a sparkle in their eye and well a story to tell. Not just an elevator pitch, a real story. A story of how they got there and where they want to go. So when I walked into the American Design Club booth at the NYIGF I knew I had found the real deal. A bunch of storytellers. I spent some time in the booth getting to know the artists and knew that I had found my nomination. What made it harder is I found a bunch of real deals. I chose three artists to interview from the American Design Club.

    My first interview was with Steph Mantis. What caught my eye with Steph's work was the intricate details of the animals butts and the humor in her art. She also just happen to grow up in New England.
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  • Interesting oddities found at the NYIGF

    It's funny what catches my eye at big shows like the New York International Gift Fair (or NYIGF). I am usually pressed for time and have a jammed pack schedule.  This year was no different.  As I walked the aisles I found some fun products that put a smile on my face.

    This is Areaware's newest color "Bank in the Form of a Pig" in metallic blue.  The designer is Harry Allen.  The pig is made out of Resin and Marble.  The cast is from a pig that died of natural causes(gross).  The bank holds up to  $10,000 in dollar bills. That is what I call a great rainy day account.

     Working Class Studio was showcasing a new vase design by Corey Green, a Senior at SCAD. If you look closely you will see that the stand is laser cut acrylic and the actual vase is a colorful balloon.  Working Class Studios is working with Corey to bring this product to market.  This is definitely on my watch list.

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  • Grommet hunting at the Limelight Marketplace

    Recently, Jen and I traveled to NYC to attend the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) for a little Grommet hunting and other “official” business. We jumped right into the flurry of action walking all the booths and embarking on a fast tour of meet-and-greets. We must have walked for miles before we decided to head out to find a local restaurant for dinner. On our way to dinner, we stumbled into a lovely marketplace housed in an old stone church with beautiful stained glass windows called the Limelight Marketplace. Even from the outside, we could tell this place was special – perhaps it even housed Grommets just waiting to be discovered? We had to go in.

    Once inside, we both were overcome with a sort-of familiarity.  Wondering, hmmm had we been here before?  We realized that years ago, there was a nightclub in this old church -- with a couple of tough bouncers managing a long line outside the door and cages for dancers hanging from the ceiling -- but could this be the same place? 

    Once inside, we made our way through the charming building to the third floor, where we visited with Andrea of Jon Wye belts. Jon Wye has a proprietary (and patent-pending) process for tattooing leather and these make cool graphic belts (these belts even ended up becoming a Grommet). As we were chatting, Andrea was actually fitting and finishing belts by hand as we watched.  Based in the D.C. area, the company has leased space in the Limelight Marketplace as it considers its plans for growth and tries out the Manhattan scene. 

    After talking about her great designs, we began chatting about the Marketplace and Andrea confirmed our suspicion about the renovated building being that same former nightclub of years past. She even pointed out the cable that formerly held the dancing cages. We learned that the Limelight Marketplace opened just last spring after a $15 million renovation that kept the twists and quirks of the historic 1844 building while bringing to light the interior space.  It has been recreated as an upscale retail center for up-and-coming vendors as well as some established brands that have stores in other Manhattan neighborhoods.  The result is a balanced mix of goods and a terrific shopping experience.  

    It was a serendipitous stop on an amazing trip to the NYIGF. As for the nightclub memories, we'll let you guess which one of us may or may not have danced in those cages at the old Limelight nightclub!  

  • Me, a judge?

    Jen Lockwood

    Have you ever been asked to be a judge?  To me, being selected as a judge means that you know an awful lot about whatever you are judging.  This past week I was asked to be a judge at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) and help select a Bloggers' Choice Award winner.  OK, I have to admit this was pretty cool.  With my trusty partner Kate McLeod, we walked the NYIGF floors on Monday in search of the next big thing.  

    Here's an excerpt that explains what I had to do and who I picked:

    "BLOGGERS' CHOICE" AWARDS PRESENTED
    TO ACCENT ON DESIGN
    ® EXHIBITORS

    NEW YORK, NY, August 18, 2010... Bloggers from eight leading design and trend-watching sites have selected their top picks for "urgent, odd and delightfully designed" products from the summer 2010 edition of Accent on Design®. The Bloggers' Choice Awards are presented semi-annually to exhibitors in Accent on Design, one of 10 divisions of the New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF).

    Each blogger selected one product from among the thousands featured by 200 Accent on Design exhibitors. So, who did I select?

    Cast Iron Skillets by Borough Furnace (Murfreesboro, TN)!

    In short, I selected Borough Furnace because I like the story behind the product. From humble beginnings as scraped, upcycled iron to a cool, hip, useful cast-iron skillet that will last forever. Old made new -- that is what grabbed my attention.

    In action - pouring iron at night

    Beyond Jason Connelly and John Truex of Borough Furnace being super nice guys and having a great story, their company is going places. I have a gut feeling that someone big is going to help Jason and John get the resources they need to produce their cast iron skillets. I told them not to forget their friends at Daily Grommet when they hit it big. Check out their website to see how the Cast Iron Skillets are made. What a story to tell!

    On top of being honored as a judge I was also asked if I would help with a video. Cate Salvatore, from the NYIGF, used her trusty Kodak to film me on the floor interviewing Jason. I definitely was a bit nervous and well even more enthusiastic then I normally am. Luckily, Jason jumped in with a minutes warning. If you want to check it, click here.

    As I reflect back on the whole being a judge experience, I realized that I am a judge everyday. I look at hundreds of products a week and only a few make it on the calendar. I am by no means a Simon Cowell but I am learning to spot a winner when I see one.

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