I'm the Co-founder and CEO of The Grommet. We launch undiscovered consumer products. It's also the birthplace of Citizen Commerce. I write about design, cultural anthropology, and start-ups, mostly.

Jules Pieri Profile

Jules Pieri is Co-Founder and CEO of the product launch platform The Grommet. The company’s Citizen Commerce™ movement is reshaping how consumer products get discovered, shared, and bought. Jules started her career as an industrial designer for technology companies and was subsequently a senior executive for large brands, such as Keds, Stride Rite, and Playskool. The Grommet is her third startup, following roles as VP at Design Continuum and President of Ziggs.com. She completed her undergraduate degree summa cum laude at the University of Michigan and people tell her she is the first designer to graduate from Harvard Business School, where she is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence. Jules was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013.

Jules is frequently tapped to speak on consumer trends and technologies, social media, design, and entrepreneurship and has done so at many such institutions as HBS, SCAD, and MIT and at conferences, such as Internet Retailer and SXSW. She’s been featured in media outlets, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Fortune.

She writes a personal blog on these subjects at www.jules.thegrommet.com, and for a column named “CEO Unplugged”on Inc.com. She tweets as @julespieri.

27 Responses to “Jules Pieri Profile”

  1. Kelly

    Dear Jules,

    I came across your blog a few weeks ago and have enjoyed what I have read. I hope you can help me with a random question:

    What companies do you know of in the San Francisco Bay Area that are similar to IDEO?

    I have been a designer at Landor Associates for the last three years. I am soon looking for a new adventure. I hope to move to the San Francisco area and work with more user centric design.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Kelly

    Reply
  2. Sally Hughes Doherty

    Jules,

    I came across this blog from your profile in LinkedIn where I have been scouring for potential partners to my own Web 2.0 startup.

    I love this blog – it incorporates many of my own interests and passions.

    However, I feel inclined to leave a post specifically because of our shared experience living in Ireland and moving back. I met my husband in Cavan (although he is from Donegal) while running a study abroad program. We moved to Galway where I taught at NUIG and GMIT, and moved back to the East Coast in late 2001 (which made returning almost moot because it was literally 2 weeks after 9/11).

    I love your list of whats great in the US by comparison .

    These especially in what you are glad to find again now at home:

    –Endless reserves of American optimism and idealism
    –Schools which value individual thinking and creativity more than rote memorization
    –People who say what they mean—nothing more and nothing less
    –Businesses that answer their telephone and do what they promise to do

    and what we thankfully left behind:

    –Mindless, senseless litter and vandalism
    –A tendency towards insecurity and petty begrudgery in the face of other people’s success

    I am smiling now at the memory of the many Irish who thought I was completely mad when I picked up their trash, handed it to them, and showed them the nearest bin.

    One of the things I loved most about living in Ireland was that it helped define for me just what was American about me and what I appreciated about it.

    Still, we miss Ireland for many things. We hope to find a reason to spend 2-5 years there again for our children (we have 4) but only with the knowledge we will return again.

    I look forward to checking out your web 2.0 biz. All the best !

    Sally

    Reply
  3. julespieri

    Hi Sally,

    Great to get your feedback and hear that you shared some of our own reactions to Irish expat life. I laughed at the idea of your handing over trash to the person who just dropped it. I was many times tempted to do so, but lacked your courage. I came really close when a teenager left a glass bottle in a precarious place, but then I noticed his knacker hairdo and tatooes and decided to quietly (meekly, really) handle the bottle disposal myself. Good luck getting back…I share your hope and ambition on that front. After we make Grommet successful, some years down the road…:)

    Reply
  4. Diana Fandel

    Hi Jules, This comment has nothing to do with the above…so maybe I’m breaking protocol. But needed to tell you I’m using the SoapNuts — purchased from the Daily Grommet of course — and love them. And Clean Cotton always makes me think of you. I check out the Daily Grommet “daily.” :-)

    Reply
  5. Ruth Drinkwater

    Jules,
    I found you through searching for discussion/facts related to the value of design/art to the UK economy. I have, anecdotally, heard that design is increasingly important to the economy – have you any idea how I can find out what it is worth please? Or, at least, how much some people have estimated it to be worth?
    Having found the Daily Grommet, I think I might be revisiting it!

    Thank you,

    Ruth

    Reply
  6. julespieri

    Oh Man Ruth…that is the Holy Grail for the design profession… to quantify our value! I am afraid I don’t have an easy answer for you on that one. If you find one, let me know please!

    Jules

    Reply
  7. Doreen O'Brien

    Hi Jules,

    Not sure if you will remember me, I used to work with you at keds back in the day! I was reading the February 2009 issue of lola, and saw you in their “Your Advice” section on page 30 about “How Do You Find Happiness Every Day?”!! Great advice about finding happiness in the “simple things”, how very true. I hope you are well!

    Doreen O’Brien

    Reply
  8. julespieri

    Hi Doreen!

    Of course I remember you–and I am sure you remember Joanne too. Have to admit I have not seen the Lola issue so I don’t remember what I said! I’ll have to search it out. Thanks for re-connecting.

    Reply
  9. Nayna Kaushek

    Jules,
    I heard you speak at the HBS ‘New Path’ panel this evening. Your words and valuable advice truly inspired a mother of three, who just moved to Lexington from the Bay area, and is looking to get ‘back in the game’. Thank you for that. I love your website and can’t wait to receive daily updates on new products. If you ever need a volunteer, please free to email me. I would love to help in anyway I can. Good Luck and see you around town!
    Nayna Kaushek
    nkaushek@yahoo.com

    Reply
  10. Bob Kagle

    Well, Jules, after our business mind meld yesterday, I learn today that you are from Detroit!! I am from Flint of all places!!

    This is getting weird!! :)

    Looking forward to meeting you soon!!

    My best,
    Bob

    Reply
  11. ArthurFontes

    I followed your link on twitter to get here. Nice site I enjoyed browsing through it.

    It must be beautiful in Maine right now.

    Reply
  12. julespieri

    @Arthur
    Thanks for the kind words. It was indeed beautiful in Maine over the holiday weekend. Even when the weather was bad…it’s still beautiful.

    Reply
  13. Lynda Keeler

    HI Jules,
    I’ve been lurking on your blog for some time and really have enjoyed your observations on design, start-up life, funding, ecommerce…you name it. I’m headed next week to Boston for the Internet Retailer Conference and wanted to see if you will be there. I’d love to meet and share stories of running an ecommerce company.

    Reply
  14. Steven Kopstein

    Hi Jules-

    Thanks for your website & blog – I posted it on my facebook page.

    Love supporting the smaller, unique businesses as I come from a line of entrepreneurs.

    Anyway – I came across this guy who makes traditional coffee grinders by hand in Texas and thought you might be interested.

    http://texascoffeegrinders.com/

    Hope you’re having a great day. That ice-cream looked terrific, by the way.

    Steven

    Reply
    • julespieri

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for lending your support to our Grommet creators. You know the blood, sweat, and tears they spend to get their products to market.

      I forwarded the Texas Coffee Grinders idea to our Discovery team. Thanks so much for providing it. And yes….the ice cream was amazing. I shared it with a big group on the day after Thanksgiving. It went over very well.

      Reply
  15. Jack D'Alelio

    Hi Jules

    I just wanted to give you a quick shout out. I’ll be tagging along with my brother, Ed at Larry Gennari’s open house tomorrow evening. (I’ll be the guy who looks as though he feels uncomfortable in a suit jacket.) I’ve been told to bring along a few samples of my patent pending product. I managed to survive the one-minute elevator pitch I gave at last month’s meeting of the Inventor’s Association of New England so hopefully I’ll be able to answer any inquiries you may have!

    Jack

    Reply
    • Jules Pieri

      Hi Jack,

      Larry told me you will be there. I look forward to meeting you. I saw your post on the Inventor community site and replied, but my comment has not been posted yet.

      Reply
  16. Werner Kunz

    Dear Jules,

    wow, It is pretty hard to get your e-mail (seems to be on purpose ;-)

    thank you very much for the great evening yesterday. Your talk was pretty inspiring and I enjoyed our conversation afterwards. Thanks also for the kind comments about UMass Boston on Twitter.

    Would be great if we can keep in contact and I like to get back to you next fall for a potential guest speaking in my class. I’m also playing around with some ideas about a research center around innovative services. Your case is an excellent example for it.

    All the best and hope to cu soon again

    Werner

    Reply
  17. bib

    Hi, Jules. I’m interested in the belts. Do you have any additional designs?
    Bob

    Reply
  18. Sandra Davidson

    Hi Jules I really loved your new site and found several things that I thought my grandson would like he is blind and so very hard to buy for but to my dismay you don’t mail to Canada. Will this change in near future? Sandra

    Reply
    • julespieri

      Sandra, This is a sore spot for us too. We used to ship to Canada and had a ton of great customers there. But we found the Canadian Post impossible to deal with… endless lost packages and huge import charges made it a very difficult experience. So we reluctantly transferred our international shipping to Bongo International. You can sign up for an account with them and ship to Canada via Bongo. I will say it is not inexpensive so I don’t love that solution for all Grommets but it can be a good solution for the lighter weight ones. Let me know if that works out for you.

      Reply

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