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Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Shelby Gogulski of Yourself Expression



    Shelby Gogulski had the idea for a necklace that would hold meaning for those wearing it and turned it into a business, Yourself Expression–as a 14 year old. Now 16, she's balancing school, business, and being a kid with her launch on The Grommet and appearances on The View and, as of May 6th, Shark Tank. Hear how Shelby brought her business to life with the help of her mom, partnered with The Grommet to a heartwarming reception, and what she has her eye on for the future.

    Yourself Expression


    To learn more about Yourself Expression, watch our video here

    Don't forget to watch Shelby on Shark Tank Friday May 6th at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.

    Like what you hear? Rate, review and subscribe on iTunes.

  • Meet the Maker: Megan Gutman of 365 Lacquer

    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 Megan Gutman, the Maker who invented 365 Lacquer. Megan crafts her vegan nail polish in small batches right in Massachusetts.
    Meet the Maker of 365 Lacquer
    What did you want to be when you grew up?
    Some of my first real hobbies growing up were design and makeup, so I've always wanted to do something in that realm. I would have never thought that I would start something myself, though!
    How did you and Victor end up starting a business together?
    Victor and I met in the startup world, so in a sense, this area of work has always been part of our relationship. I loved the energy at the internship I was at, and after graduating college, I wanted to try to start something that was relevant to my interest in cosmetics. Victor was supportive from the get-go and began to help me build 365 from the ground up. Although this is not Victor's full-time gig, he holds the roles of resident biochemist, web dev, and all around other half to 365.

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  • Meet the Maker: Erik Olsen of Whirly Board

    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 Maker Erik Olsen, the Maker who invented Whirly Board

    Inventor Erik Olsen, a board sport enthusiast since the age of 12, created the first prototype by attaching half a bowling ball and two halved pool balls to the bottom of a board. Erik noticed that this board helped him with his balance and other boarding skills, so the idea for Whirly Board took hold. He’s been improving the design ever since. We asked Erik to share his experiences as an inventor and offer advice to those just starting out. 
    Tell us more about your design inspiration.
    I have always enjoyed making things and developing ideas. Ever since I was a child I have always had the desire to invent something. I am always thinking of how to make things better or new ideas for creations. The idea for the Whirly Board came to me a couple years ago because I wanted to make a balance board that I could spin on. I have been a passionate board sport enthusiast for most of my life, and I have always struggled with spinning. I would get lost in the air and did not look or feel smooth on spin tricks. I thought something that would allow me to practice spinning might help. It was a lot of work getting the process dialed in but it has also been fun so it feels more like a hobby than work.

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  • Meet the Maker: Adil Vezir of DIYshelf

    Here at The Grommet our mission is to put an end to nameless, faceless business and highlight the people and the stories behind the products we launch each day. And it's in that spirit that we're continuing this series to further share the stories of our Makers with you. Get to know them better, learn more about their journeys as Makers and entrepreneurs and learn how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.

    In this installment, we're catching up with Maker Adil Vezir. Adil is the founder of DIYshelf and his Shelfbots launched here on The Grommet this past September. Adil makes Shelfbots in Pennsylvania out of pine sourced from sustainably managed forests. This modular shelving system makes for an imaginative, customizable way to display plants, photos, books . . . anything you like. We've asked Adil to share a little more about life-as-a-Maker and to let us know how business has changed in the recent months. 


    What did you want to be when you grew up?
    As far back as I remember I always wanted to be an Artist.

    How do you get around creative blocks?
    I rarely experience creative blocks but when I do I try to refocus on my objectives and create some space between me and the problem at hand. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Wombi Rose and John Wise of LovePop


    Friends since their time at Webb Institute studying naval architecture, Wombi Rose and John Wise discovered the art form of handcrafted, paper cards on a business school trip to Vietnam. The two engineers were blown away by the exquisite designs and upon returning to Boston, started creating their own cards. When family and friends clamored for them, they realized they had a potential business on their hands.

    Recent recipients of $2.6M in funding, LovePop will be featured on Shark Tank December 11th. Listen to the story of their rapid rise, the exciting things they have on the horizon, and why you won't find a better card for your loved ones this holiday season. Shop Now


    Want to learn even more about LovePop? Head to another conversation we had with them on our Meet the Maker blog series here.

    Like what you hear? Rate, review and subscribe on

  • Makers Who Made It: 100 Stories of Starting a Business

    This past summer, as we were coming up on The Grommet’s seventh birthday in October, we had many conversations about all that The Grommet and our Makers had accomplished since it began in 2008—and wondering how to better document it.

    Even though The Grommet has been telling the stories behind the products for many years, we realized we wanted to tell the stories behind our Makers, inventors, and entrepreneurs—and the idea of publishing our very first book was born.

    Makers Who Made It: 100 Stories of Starting a Business is the result. We asked Grommet Makers to answer a series of questions about how, when, and why they developed a product. We required they answer one dozen questions—with the option to answer an additional 20 questions—and the answers starting flowing in.

    The Grommet ebook for Makers

    We were all impressed how so many of the contributors were so generous with their time (we know how busy they are!), with many answering far more questions than what we requested. They went above and beyond, sharing information on a wide variety of personal and professional topics to help give a complete picture on how to start and grow their own small business. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Bevy by Lineage Labs


    Meet the Maker of Bevy on The Grommet

    Bevy by Lineage Labs is a revolutionary photo storage device transforming the way you organize and share photos. Hear from founders Firdaus Bhathena and Nancy Smith about the origins of the company, the key features differentiating Bevy from the competition, the device's airtight security, and, above all, the user experience of Bevy, which is as easy to use as taking a picture.

    To learn more about Bevy, watch our video here.

    Like what you hear? Rate, review and subscribe on

  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Rumi Spice

    Rumi Spice

    A former U.S. military vet, Kim Jung saw an opportunity for change in Afghanistan— saffron. Kim, Jeremy, and Maria of the Rumi Spice team sit down with The Grommet to discuss their work empowering Afghan farmers, the power of business in helping to rebuild peace, and just how fantastic saffron is.

    Learn more about Rumi Spice, watch our video here.

    Like what you hear? Rate, review and subscribe on

  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Hanson Grant of Think Board

    Think Board

    Most college students are hesitant to add anything on top of their course load. Hanson Grant is not most college students. Sitting down with The Grommet, Hanson discusses adding the launch of a business to his studies, his lifelong entrepreneurial spirit, and what's on the horizon for Think Board. Click below to listen to the podcast.

    Learn more about Think Board and click to Shop Now.

    Like what you hear? Rate, review and subscribe on

  • Discover How You Can Bring Back American Manufacturing

    Meet the Maker: Vermont Rolling Pin

    The Grommet’s launch conversation board is wonderfully unique to the Internet, which, for a resource that provides access to anything in seconds, is saying something. It provides you with the opportunity to speak to the Maker of a product on their launch day.

    During that time, we are often flooded with positive feedback and comments like “This is awesome!” “Why didn’t I think of that?” or our favorite “I love supporting small Makers on The Grommet.” For a Maker, it is validating  to see such support.

    At the opposite end of the spectrum, there is…“Why is it made in China?” “Too expensive!” “I can get this for $10 at Amazon!” It’s often difficult to answer questions about why a Maker is manufacturing overseas because each product comes with its own story –and each Maker has to work within their own framework. But we do know it will be easier in the future to manufacture in America for many Makers and that’s thanks to the Maker Movement – the next industrial revolution poised to transform local economies and our entire nation as a whole. 

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