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Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

  • 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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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: David Stover of Bureo Skateboards

    The Bureo Team

    Starting a business isn't easy. Starting a business aimed at positively changing the environment is a whole other challenge, but one David Stover and the Bureo team sought to tackle. Sitting down with The Grommet, David discusses the inspiration to create a product that would help the oceans, their impact in Chile through the Net Positiva program, and how they earned the nickname "Los Tres Gringos Locos."

    Learn more about Bureo Skateboards and click to Shop Now.

    Like what you hear? Rate, review and subscribe on

  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Joshua Resnikoff of Cuppow

    IMG_0532adjscaled

    A Grommet Maker since 2012, Cuppow's Joshua Resnikoff sits down  with us to discuss the origins of the product he didn't mean to invent, the company he never intended to start, the corporate values Cuppow runs on, and his relationship with The Grommet. Click below to listen to the podcast.

     

    Learn more about Cuppow and click here to Buy now.

    Like what you hear? Rate, review and subscribe on

  • 4 Father's Day Gifts Made by Dads

    Becoming a father bears innumerable responsibilities. You wear the hats of a provider and protector, teacher and friend, all while dressing the part of role model for leading a happy and healthy life.

    The crown jewel of fatherhood is creating a better life for their children. At The Grommet, we have Dad Makers filling that role in more ways than one. Here are just a few.

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    Moff
    Moff is a wearable smart toy infusing technology into the limitless capacity of a child’s imagination. Moff snaps to a wrist and adds realistic sound effects to arm movements via a Bluetooth connection to the Moff app. Instead of imagining the sounds of their spoon drum set or a pencil magic wand, kids can hear it themselves.

    “I take it as a responsibility as a father to make the world better for my daughter, “ says Moff founder Akinori Takahagi. “When she was born I made up my mind to make a great playing experience for her. I want her to enjoy face-to-face interactive and imaginative play. That's why I'd like to invent and produce more products with an active user experience. One of those examples is our Moff Band. To be an entrepreneur and Maker is tough job, but for my family, I do my best all the time.” 

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  • Meet the Maker: Becky Morette of Sunday Drive Designs

    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 Becky Morette, a Seattle-based Maker who has been making vintage inspired home goods since 2010. Becky is the Graphic Artist and Founder of Sunday Drive Designs which makes (100% cotton) vintage-inspired tea towels that feature witty graphics that just may make you smile.  We recently caught up with Becky to learn more about her journey as a creative entrepreneur.  

    SundayDriveDesigns

    Can you tell us more about your design inspiration?

    I'm inspired by the 30s, 40s and 50s. I love the overall look and feel of those decades. And the fact that things were made by hand for the most part. I tend to look at my grandparents and their lives then. Including the massive amounts of change that happened during those times.

     

    becky

    How do you get around creative blocks?

    I don't know if I ever do. I tend to have an idea of a design and if I can't flush it out, it gets filed away in the back of my brain until something knocks it off the shelf I put it on. And if that doesn't work I go to acupuncture. Oddly it seems to help me come up with new design ideas. I really should put my acupuncturist on the payroll :)

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  • Meet the Maker: Ken and Cyndi Freeman

    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.


    Next in our Meet the Maker series, we sit down with Ken and Cyndi Freeman, the Makers behind Vermont Rolling Pins. With patience and intuition, Ken hand-turns each rolling pin in his mountainside workshop as his watchful eye brings out the wood’s character. He sands until the pin reaches a satiny finish, then seals it with a protective beeswax mineral oil that enhances the natural beauty. Ken and Cyndi have built a successful business with these heirloom quality instruments (which are made to be used–and admired–for generations).

    We recently caught up with them to learn more about their lives as Makers and what doing business is like.

    VTRolling

    What did you want to be when you grew up?

    Ken wanted to be a professional baseball pitcher and I wanted to be a photographer.

    What are your best tips for building a successful business as an entrepreneur?

    Our advice for entrepreneurs is to be self motivated, work hard, and be interested in ideas and in marketing them.

    Meet the Maker: Vermont Rolling Pin

    What Maker tool can you not live without?

    The lathe

    Meet the Maker: Vermont Rolling Pin

    What has been the most rewarding part of business for you?

    Working together in a family business, creating a wonderful product, and meeting amazing people across the USA.

    Words of wisdom for other Makers? Any books or resources you'd recommend?

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  • Meet the Maker: Carmen Taylor Rogge

    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.


    We're catching up with  Carmen Taylor Rogge, a Florida-based Maker who has changed the way we think about party decorations (for the better). Carmen is the Creative Director and Founder of The Flair Exchange which makes all products from scratch in their Maitland, FL studio, using locally sourced materials and American-made tissue paper and balloons.   We recently caught up with Carmen to learn more about her view on being a Maker and turning her hobby into a fast-growing business. 

    Meet the Maker: Carmen Taylor Rogge

    What's the best creative advice that you ever received?
    ...
    I've heard a lot of people say 'Just do you' and while that's great advice, sometimes we don't know what 'you' is. In discovering my creative style, I've come to realize that you just have to try a bunch of stuff until you feel really comfortable with one style. You aren't born with a creative style, it's something that takes time, nurturing and practice. If you don't know what 'you' is yet, just keep playing and one day you'll figure it out.
  • Meet the Maker: Joe Maiellano and Jack Hubbard

    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 our next installment we're catching up with Makers Joe Maiellano and Jack Hubbard, two self-described alcohol enthusiasts from Washington, D.C., who created the HomeMade Gin Kit  launched here on The Grommet in June of 2013. Joe and Jack thought about starting their own distillery, but decided that teaching people to make gin was more doable and equally inspiring (we're so glad they did).

    Meet the Maker - Joe Maiellano

    What business lessons have you learned over the years that might help other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

    Passion is important. Passion for more than your product (although that is super important as well). You need a passion for perfection and growth. Its important to never be satisfied and always know that you can do better.

    Meet the Maker: Homemade Gin Kit

    What has surprised you most about starting a business?

    When we started it was a constant fire drill. We had to grow very fast after the New York Times review and we were forced to expand quicker than was prudent. But we had to do it. And as a team, we figured everything out. And when we did make mistakes (shipping, logistics, etc.) it was important to us to be honest with customers. We were surprised how willing customers were to forgive and accept an apology for a missing package or other issue as long as the apology was done genuinely and we took the right steps to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, too few companies act that way but it creates a real opportunity for companies with good ethics to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

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  • Cast Your Vote

    Here at The Grommet we support American Makers and launch many Made in the USA products throughout the year. And  you, our community, help each of these Makers succeed when you show them support in way of feedback, sharing their products with your networks, and making purchases; all of which directly support their growing businesses. Your voice counts and that's why today we're helping Martha Stewart announce that voting is now open in the American Made Awards contest. 
    Martha Stewart and her panel of judges have been busy selecting the next generation of American Made entrepreneurs. Thousands of Makers from across the United States nominated themselves for the chance to become a 2014 American Made Award Winner and finalists have been selected. Only 10 finalists will receive a 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Award, and voters will choose one of those winners.
    American Made Contest
    Which Makers, creators, and innovators win a 2014 American Made Award and $10,00 to grow their business? That's in part, up to you. Make  your voice count and cast your vote today.
    Be sure to check out our Grommet Makers in the running: Tonewood Maple, Bee's Wrap, Neighborwoods, Farm2Fashion,  and Sweet Jules Caramels.
  • Maker Faire: More Than Just Fire and Flashy Robots

     

    Maker Faire Beautiful streamers greeted visitors inside the main NYC Hall of Science building.

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    The Grommet team has been attending Maker Faire events around the country since our early days as a company. They have always served as a great place to find new Makers, stay on top of industry trends, and create valuable relationships. This past weekend, The Grommet team stepped up our presence and held a physical booth at Maker Faire in New York City.

    Traditionally, when people think of Maker Faire, they envision large, flashy demonstrations including elements like fire or life-sized robots. While that vision certainly held true this weekend, Maker Faire and the Maker Movement is about that and so much more. It’s also about the small, independent Makers who were present to grow their audiences and their businesses.

    To read more about our insights and takeaways from the show, see below.

    This robotic giraffe named Russell is the same one who greeted Barack Obama at the White House Maker Faire in June where our Co-Founders were present. This robotic giraffe named Russell is the same one who greeted Barack Obama at the White House Maker Faire in June where our Co-Founders were present.

     

    It’s no exaggeration to say that Maker Faire is the Greatest Show and Tell on Earth.

    We immediately heard the “oohs” and “ahhs” as a 17 foot-tall robotic giraffe named Russell walked the grounds, the world’s largest mouse trap gave daily demonstrations, and stilt walking circus performers made afternoon appearances. This handful of highlights only scratches the surface of what we experienced and the old adage of needing to see to believe holds true here.

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