You make your list, don’t know where to start—and then fall back on safe (looking at you, ties and socks). So why not gift magic from the source? All year round, from discovery to your doorstep, Grommet products are chosen for quality and personality by our pro team of cool-stuff sleuths, story explorers, and small-biz seekers. Whether you’re gift hunting or just looking to add a little unexpected delight to the everyday, Grommet products are your cure for the ordinaries.
We chatted with Meredith, Grommet’s VP of Merchandising, a.k.a. VP of Finding the Right Thing, to get an insider’s look at how the team finds and selects products for the site, her gift picks for the season, and her favorite brand stories.
Grommet: Can you tell us a bit about how you and your team start the journey of finding up-and-coming brands or cool products to feature on Grommet?
Meredith: Our team of experts dedicate all of their time to bringing you new and interesting products. We connect with small businesses at tradeshows, incubators, and accelerators. We support crowdfunding campaigns. We are curious in nature so we do our own online research. And we have a network of small businesses who also approach us to share their inventions. It’s all about connecting with new and up-and-coming businesses who are working on cool things.
G: What are some of the criteria that you need to check off for a product to make it to the site?
M: Curation is really the magic sauce behind Grommet. We know that consumers have many choices when it comes to buying products for themselves or as gifts for others. That process can be overwhelming and we want you to know that what you see on Grommet has been curated by our team of experts. And when I say curated I mean our team has physically seen the product, connected with the small business, and ensured that it’s something you are going to love.
First and foremost we want to make sure that the products we pick delight our customers. Here are some of the things we care about (and we hope you do too):
- Is it an ingenious solution to a relatable problem? Is it a unique spin on something you’ve seen before, made better?
- Does the product or partner have an invention story? What led to the product’s creation?
- Is it made with intention, either manufactured or designed in the US, utilizing sustainable practices, or a social enterprise?
- Is the product made by a small business?
G: Any Grommet products you’re super excited about this gifting year?
M: What I love about our platform is that we have a little bit of something for everyone. You can give a gift that’s personalized for your recipient showing them you really know and care about them or something more practical. These are a few things that I’m personally excited about:
For the Foodie
For the Lover of Winter and Style
For the Person Who’s More Practical
For the Game-Night Lover
For the Entertainer
G: Some really great names have gotten their start on Grommet. Can you tell us a bit about them?
M: Our whole mission is rooted in the support of small businesses. When a company starts out it’s difficult to find your audience and customers in such a noisy retail landscape. That’s where Grommet really comes in. We not only sell products, but we also tell you a bit about the company you’re supporting when you make a purchase. For small businesses starting out, this is extremely important.
We have supported many small businesses who have gone on to become successful household names and you probably know many of them:
- Duke Cannon
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
G: Are there any Grommet products that you think have a particularly awesome story behind them?
M: There is something really special about everyday people channeling their inner entrepreneurial spirit and creating a consumer product. I have the privilege of meeting so many people who develop something as a side project and it grows into something much bigger than they ever thought possible.
I love the story of The Negg. The founder, Bonnie, invented a hard-boiled egg peeler after a frustrating experience peeling eggs at home to make her famous deviled eggs for a party. She thought there had to be a better way and when she didn’t find one she took matters into her own hands. After some prototyping and research at her local library, she cracked a solution and her product was born. She’s the type of person you want to root for. Not to mention the product is amazing. Whenever I give The Negg to a family member as a gift or tell someone about it I smile and think of Bonnie, and I hope our customers feel that type of a connection too.
Everyone wants to find the perfect gift—and not to toot our own horn or anything, but Grommet products are specially curated to be just that. Instead of the ordinary, give presents that tell a story, do some good, solve a head scratcher, or just make the recipient say “wow, I actually needed this,” all chosen by a Grommet team member who loves that product as much as your giftee will.
Want your big idea to find its place on Grommet? Fill out our application with a little bit about yourself and your product. We’ll be in touch!