When a company starts out, it needs two things: capital and customers. As you can imagine, it’s hard to secure capital unless you already have customers.
The idea for The Grommet was to bring the customers.
It was October 2008 and we wanted to spotlight innovative, interesting, and disruptive products. We wanted to tell their stories, engage new customers, supporters, and evangelists. We wanted these products to find their way to the people they were intended for. And we wanted to speed up the Maker’s launch process to see if they had a hit on their hands.
The reality is the odds are against any small business bringing a new product to life. Even after you come up with an idea and create a product, the work is far from over.
You have to find ways to fund its production, break through the clutter to get people’s attention, and then distribute your product through online sales and store shelves.
Entrepreneurship is a perilous journey. You need tenacity, grit, and perseverance in spades.
But for those who persevere, the rewards are well worth it. Our team of 90 at The Grommet sees it every day. We see how these Makers and entrepreneurs are innovating, building businesses, and creating jobs. We see how they overcome challenges every day, figuring out how to move their business forward. With the number of small businesses on the decline over the last two decades, we know it’s not easy. But we celebrate every company who prevails.
The Grommet is making a difference for thousands of start-ups and small businesses. Now, with more with 4 million members of our community—and many more discovering products on displays at a thousand Ace Hardware locations—we’re fulfilling our mission. To level the playing field to help the best products win — and help innovative small businesses succeed.
To date, we have launched more than 3,000 products. Many have gone on to become household names. Alex + Ani, Bananagrams, Bombas Socks, Crazy Aaron, Duke Cannon, FitBit, Food Should Taste Good, GoldieBlox, IdeaPaint, Lovepop, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, OtterBox, PopSockets, Quell, SimpliSafe, SodaStream, Squatty Potty, S’well, Withings, Yogibo, and others.
In celebrating our 11th birthday, we’re celebrating 11 Makers who made it big. We sat down and watched some of our launch videos and put together a highlight reel of our favorite moments. We’d love to hear if you remember them, too!
You, The Grommet community, have always played a vital role in the success of all the companies and products we launch. You’re more than “the customer.” You’re a supporter. You help each of these companies grow, expand, and thrive. You’re helping these Makers overcome the odds. That’s a big deal. That is voting with your dollar.
We know you can not buy every discovery that we reveal, no one can. But you help us every time you mention us. Every Facebook post and Instagram mention or, better yet, telling your friends or family. Show them what these Grommets can do.
At The Grommet, we don’t talk about small businesses because it’s trendy or convenient. We do it because we’ve spent 11 years helping them grow and we know how difficult it is to launch a business. We know because we did it ourselves!
So, take a moment with us and celebrate their success!
—Jules Pieri, Co-founder & CEO
—Joanne Domeniconi, Co-founder & Chief Discovery Officer