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Tag Archives: Meet the Maker

  • Meet the Makers: Kara Dyer & Sara Argue of Storytime Toys

    Technology is entrenched in our lives. It makes things easier, more efficient. It streams endless entertainment and knowledge in seconds. But with unfiltered access comes the need for a filter. We put our phones away at dinner and close laptops in meetings. As with any stimulant, moderation becomes the name of the game.

    That game is an especially tricky one for parents to play. In a world increasingly reliant on technology, how do you expose kids to the right amount while also using more hands-on, even screen-free, methods of learning?

     
    That question is one of the reasons we visited and profiled Makers Kara Dyer and Sara Argue of Storytime Toys for our Meet the Maker series. It's a question at the heart of their work helping young children develop the foundations of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and imaginative play with no technology at all.

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  • Meet the Maker: Claire Cheney of Curio Spice Co.

    You know a spice shop when you smell it. The collection of aromas knocks your head back. As we walked into Curio Spice Co. to meet its founder, Claire Cheney, for the latest installment of our Meet the Maker profile series, we collectively suffered whiff-lash.

     

    With each breath, your sense of smell shifts into overdrive, teleporting you around the world in a millisecond. Cambodian peppers, Sri Lankan cinnamon blends, and herbs from local New England farms create a truly sensational experience — one that Claire hopes is brought home to your kitchen. 

    She wants to help cooks of all experience levels be more creative. To wow their friends and family. In fact, she actively encourages it with her own friends and family by giving them spice blends as gifts. More than anything though, she wants you to know these spices and where they came from. The farms, the farmers, the region, and their collective impact on the product in your hand. That’s what impressed us the most. 

    Copyright Danny LeBlanc Photo

    Curio Spice Co. is a Public Benefit Company, a business designed to make a positive impact on society and the environment. That mission touches every aspect of the final product.

    90% of her ingredients are certified organic and half are Fair Trade. This practice works double time by reducing CO2 emissions and meeting labor, social, and environmental standards set by FLOCert, in addition to being a superior product. Even the spice tins and lids are American-made and recyclable to limit their global carbon footprint. 

    Claire sources spices from local farms in regions she’s visited — Vietnam, Greece, Madagascar, Japan — partnering with farmers and producers in the area to ensure the product stems from outside the commodity spice market. She pays more for spices grown responsibly to combat exploitation that's run rampant in spice trading for decades. She also sources from women-owned businesses and spice co-ops contributing to female education and improved livelihoods. 

    She works with farms in her own backyard to ensure a fresher product. She teaches workshops for kids as part of school programs and for the public at her shop. All are focused on teaching them the origin of the spice and the cultural heritage it represents. 

    Curio Spice Co. has products with stories upon stories behind each. We’re thrilled to help Claire share them with you on The Grommet. And we count ourselves lucky that her store is just a 5-minute walk from our office.

    To learn more about Curio Spice Co., shop our entire collection of spice blends and gift sets. 

  • Meet the Maker: Michael and Wells of Rogue Industries

    We shine a light on great ideas and the people behind them. We tell their stories. In our product videos, Q&A’s, and podcasts, we try to uncover the inspiration, struggle, and ultimate success of that Maker. But the only true way to capture a story is to meet the subject in their environment.

    And so we are thrilled to announce a first in a new Maker profile video series: Rogue Industries.

     

    We started with a Maker close to home, literally. Rogue is a 90-minute drive from our office in Somerville, MA. Michael and Wells Lyons and the five-person crew behind these American-made front pocket wallets, set up shop in a renovated B&B Colonial Farmhouse in Standish, ME. 

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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Sarah Collins of wonderbag

    In the Western world, wonderbag is an alternative to electric slow cookers that uses no fuel and no electricity. In the developing world, where women spend hours each day gathering firewood and tending to dangerous indoor cook fires, it serves as a catalyst out of poverty.

    Today, we speak with wonderbag Maker Sarah Collins about the events in her life that led her to care so deeply for this community and how she grew her rebellious spirit into a global movement. Then we'll get her advice on how we can all do our part by investing in each other.

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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Max Feber of BRUW

    The Grommet office is located just outside of Boston, the unofficial iced coffee capital of the world. There is no temperature too cold for an iced coffee in Boston.

    12 degrees? That just keeps it iced longer.

    For those who love iced coffee but want the next best thing, there’s cold brew coffee. There is no ice to water it down, it's less acidic, it’s more caffeinated. But it wasn’t always easy to make, something Max Feber learned the hard way in his kitchen as a high school sophomore. So he created BRUW to make making cold brew easier and cleaner.

     

    Like what you hear? Listen to the rest of the Meet the Maker Podcast series here then rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes.

  • Meet The Maker Sheila Kemper of Livliga

     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 Sheila Kemper Dietrich. Sheila's family had struggled with their weight for years. As the former executive director of Denver’s American Heart Association, she knew how important it was to stop super-sizing and start right-sizing their meals. So, she designed portion control plates to guide them and founded Livliga. 

    Tell us more about your design inspiration.
    It all started with my favorite measuring cups. I wanted to figure out a way to help me measure my food and see what specific serving sizes looked like as I served up and ate a meal. I wanted to see how I could create a design that would be attractive, subtle, yet exacting, so it would reflect the measurements from that measuring cup.

    How do you get around creative blocks?
    Walking. Fiddling. Talking. You have to give ideas room to grow and for problems to be solved. Sometimes that means taking a long walk to clear the brain and reboot. Other times I find, just like with solving a puzzle with puzzle pieces, it takes fiddling with a design from a variety of angles until the solution pops out. I am also someone who believes more brains make for better solutions so I enjoy sharing and talking things through until that creative block evaporates. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Rene and Simone Xavier of Sigma Beauty

    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 kicking off 2018 by catching up with Simone Xavier of Sigma Beauty. Simone, along with her husband Rene, with backgrounds in civil engineering and molecular biology, teamed up to identify an urgent need and design a solution. And the result is an innovative way to clean your makeup brushes–a makeup brush cleaning glove. Hear more about what it's like behind the scenes of Sigma Beauty.

    In this Meet the Maker interview, meet the husband and wife team behind Sigma Beauty.

    What has been the most surprising aspect of starting a business?
    The most surprising aspect of starting Sigma Beauty was the way our love for engineering and science has helped our customers solve beauty problems. Being different and developing outside-the-box solutions has been our most valuable asset and helped us build a devoted fan base that’s as hooked on innovation as we are.

    What advice would you have given yourselves 10 years ago?
    Get organized and be ready to grow fast. Stay true to your core values. Remain committed to excellence and innovation, and it will pay off. Quality is a universal language spoken by customers around the globe.

    In this Meet the Maker interview, meet the husband and wife team behind Sigma Beauty.

    Where do you find design inspiration for new products?
    Our product design inspiration is heavily influenced by our customers’ needs and our engineering and scientific backgrounds. We listen to their problems and work hard to provide them with a smart solution. We put ourselves in our customer’s shoes and often find that our own needs are a very good predictor of products that will be useful to them. We pay close attention to industry trends and try to be ahead of the curve, introducing products that will address the trends in a distinct and unexpected way.

    In this Meet the Maker interview, meet the husband and wife team behind Sigma Beauty.

    What is the most challenging aspect of starting a business?
    When a business grows relatively fast, building the perfect team might be considered a challenge–one that is passionate about the brand, and is as committed to its success as we are. We have been very lucky to be able to build a dream team at Sigma. 2019 marks our 10 year anniversary, and there were challenges throughout our growth process, but these challenges were always solved by professionalism and commitment from our great team.

    In this Meet the Maker interview, meet the husband and wife team behind Sigma Beauty.

    What is the best advice you've ever received?
    Invest in quality and success will come. This has been a core value for our company. We do not launch a product unless we believe it is the best it can be for our customers. Our commitment to providing our customer with high quality product is at the center of every decision we make. Continue Reading

  • Meet the Maker: Michelle Silberman of ChocAmo

    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 recently caught up with Michelle Silberman from ChocAmo. Back in the 7th grade, Michelle  and her best friend had the idea to combine milk and cookies in one treat—cookie cups. Flash forward to today, and Michelle’s chocolate chip childhood dream is a tasty reality thanks to her college entrepreneurship course. Learn more about her journey below.

    Meet the Maker of ChoAmo

    Tell us more about your design inspiration.
    I've always been a lover of two things–family and incredible food. What started as a project in an Entrepreneurship Class at Drexel University has turned into a delicious obsession of sourcing the best ingredients and brainstorming infinite ways to bring THE perfect Cookie Cup to anyone and everyone who is a fan of the all-time classic snack of cookies and milk. Sound deliciously amazing? It is…worth every sip and every delectable bite!

    Coming from a first-generation household, Michelle’s passion for cooking delicious food that brings family and friends together is pure tradition; it's part of her soul. She found that no matter who was sitting at the table, as long as every dish is made with quality ingredients and love…great food has a magical way of bringing people together.

    For me, creating the trade secret Cookie Cup is more than just food innovation, it is a piece of my family merged with my love for inspiring connections, baked together and served up for sweets-lovers everywhere! 

    How do you get around creative blocks?
    We recently began to implement a weekly Cookie Cup Snack Time Brainstorming session with our ChocAmo Family (the team) every Monday at 3:00 p.m. This allows all members of the team to share their perspective and creative solutions while snacking on delicious treats. It is the perfect remedy for even the slightest trace of Monday blues, and allows everyone to build a creative synergy. 
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    Meet the Maker on The Grommet
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    What three personality  traits do think have helped you become a successful entrepreneur?
     Adaptability - The ability to think creatively and adapt to what is happening in the business. This also goes hand in hand with problem solving.

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  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Sarah & Anna of Tactile Craftworks

    How do you commemorate your travels? Photos? Videos? Souvenirs? How about etched journals?

    On this episode, we talk to Sarah Kirkham and Anna Warren the creators of Tactile Craftworks. They handcraft and laser cut journals that pay tribute to your favorite city. American-made for a lifetime in Milwaukee, WI, these products have Anna and Sarah’s fingerprints on them from start to finish. If you’re wondering what incredible chemistry between two founders sounds like, this episode is for you.

    Like what you hear? Listen to the rest of the Meet the Maker Podcast series here then rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes.

  • Meet the Maker Podcast: Tania Boler of Elvie

    Ever wonder how you exercise a muscle that’s vital to your health but impossible to see? On this episode of the Meet the Maker Podcast, Tania Boler, inventor of Elvie, is going to enlighten us all on how to get kegels of steel and why they're important.

    If you’re on a quest for a stronger core, better sex, postpartum healing, or bladder control, listen as Tania and I dive into the benefits of Elvie, the world's most personal physical trainer.

    Tania is also giving one lucky listener a free Elvie! See below for details.

     

    Like what you hear? Listen to the rest of the Meet the Maker Podcast series here then rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes.

    WIN your own Elvie! 

    *UPDATE: Our randomly selected winner is Tracy. 

    TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post.

    *We will select one random commenter as a winner on 11-19-2017.
    *Winner must have US shipping address.

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