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.

LIVE from the White House Maker Faire

The Grommet Wholesale Live at the White House Maker Faire

Introducing The Grommet Wholesale: At The White House Maker Faire today!

Today, in conjunction with President Obama at the first ever White House Maker Faire, we are officially launching The Grommet Wholesale Platform. Our goal since we founded the company back in the insanely challenging year of 2008 has remained exactly the same–to level the playing field so the best products can win. Our executive careers at big companies like Keds and Stride Rite told us that the business of product launch was massive–but also very broken. So we set out to build a place where inspired (but often new-to-the-rodeo) product creators had a chance to succeed, and where their stories could be shared with a caring, supportive community. Since our classic startup beginnings, working out of a single room, we’ve been able to build a product launch platform that’s powerfully catapulted over 2,000 Makers and their products.

This is meaningful work–but it’s not enough. So we’re charging out again to revolutionize another part of the traditional retail model: wholesale. It’s overdue for a 21st century makeover and we’re launching a new b2b e-commerce site to do it.

The Grommet Wholesale

Welcome to The Grommet Wholesale. Our platform provides a critical missing resource to build sustainable Maker businesses by creating a more convenient, organized, and curated online platform where Retailers can source the newest and most imaginative products for their stores.

The Grommet Wholesale

Here’s a look at the welcome to Retailers on our site.

Forming a massive sea change in product creation, fifty-seven percent of adult Americans identify themselves as Makers.  Their product development is entirely technology driven and they are seizing unprecedented access to rapid prototyping, crowdfunding, hacker spaces, and small run manufacturing resources to form a vibrant, new American industrial renaissance called The Maker Movement. This means that more worthy products than ever are hitting our pipeline each day and we need to prepare them for scale.  The business of wholesale is a traditional one.  Purchase orders are still written by hand or transferred via email attachments.   Product sourcing often occurs through catalogs, trade shows and sales reps appointments.   These avenues are, and will remain, valuable.  Yet wholesale needs to catch up with today’s digital world, streamlining the process for both Makers and Retailers.

Our furthering of the Maker Movement is even being recognized by President Obama himself as The White House is holding its first ever Maker Faire today.   We’ll be there with big smiles on our faces, to embrace their support and basking in the moment. We have been working in this space before it even had a name.  It’s deeply gratifying to have the Commander in Chief of the nation recognize our central role in enabling the Maker Movement.

storefront-organic

OK I know this shop is a bit OTT for twee charm, but I would really love for Grommets to find a happy home here, and reach the customers of this boutique.

What does Grommet Wholesale mean for Retailers?

Retail is a tough business and if you’re a small brick and mortar shop, it’s even tougher. The competition is fierce and you know that you can’t compete on price alone. The best way for you to continue thriving is to carry unique, distinctive products that consumers truly can’t find elsewhere. We want to help you compete and bring these dollars back to your shop and to those of all the independent Main Street Retailers who are fighting to grow every day and keep their communities vibrant.

We consider it insane that it is far easier to fill the shelves of your own home than it is to stock your store.  The business of wholesale sourcing and buying is stuck in a 1972 pre-internet age.  Who has the time to sort through all the creations out there and then handle the legwork of multiple orders via email and differing systems? It’s time for the wholesale process to become more efficient and we’ve developed a portal designed with busy, time-starved Retailer in mind. As an approved Retailer, you’ll be able to log into our system and browse through our curated collection of new-to-market products that have already been vetted and validated by our expert team.  (We see over 200 ideas a week and only launch five to six as Grommets.)  You can then purchase products from multiple Makers with one transaction. You’ll have more time to manage your shop and get back to serving your customer.

The Grommet Gallery

Here are lots of Grommets on display in the Grommet offices.

What does Grommet Wholesale mean for our Makers?

We’ve proven our commitment and trustworthiness in introducing your special products to our community.  We’ve enthusiastically spread your story to over 1 in 200 Americans (so far!).  Now our Wholesale Platform will give you access to healthy sales channels, allowing you to grow further and recover more time to focus on your products. You’ll be able to acquire new Retailers without endless selling and you can streamline all of your purchase orders in one place. It will be very similar to your current experience selling to consumers on our site. We’ll tell your story to Retailers the same way that we tell it to consumers. The Grommet will take a 15% margin on all orders and there is no cost to sign up. In an effort to ensure that we are connecting you to the right retailers, our terms of service will require adherence to MAP pricing and stipulate resale exclusions on Amazon.

Here's the leader of the Grommet Wholesale project, Jason McCarthy.  He is smiling at receiving our first retailer order.  We are watching this new business in the same hovering, caring way a parent watches their child take their first steps.

Here’s the leader of the Grommet Wholesale project, Jason McCarthy. He is smiling at receiving our first retailer order. We are watching this new business in the same hovering, caring way a parent watches their child take their first steps.

Our end goal is to assure that within five years, 10% of all products flowing through US retail are originating from independent small-scale Makers, who create vibrant jobs and innovative products in every corner of the country. By uniting our dynamic community of Makers, Retailers and their supporters, we can advance this mission through shared values and progressive collaboration.

The Grommet Wholesale, as a ramp from Maker to Main Street, will have a profound impact on access to economic opportunity and entrepreneurship in the U.S.A. and ultimately internationally.

We have hundreds of Makers and Retailers already signed up. Read more about our Wholesale Program here and sign up to learn more today. Thank you for being a part of our story and we look forward to this next chapter.

To read the official press release on our Wholesale Platform, click here.

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