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  • 2018 Summer Trade Show Schedule

    The blue bins filled with samples are packed and stacked. Flights and Airbnbs are booked. And the merchandising plan is set. It’s time for the Summer Trade Show circuit.

    Starting next Monday, we’ll be crisscrossing the country with dozens of our best selling products. If you’re at any one of the shows listed below, make sure you stop by and say hello. We’ll have product demos, show specials, and, of course, our trademark Grommet Wholesale charm.

     

    Informal poll: should we start making tour date t-shirts like bands do? Leave your answer in the comments below.

    Before you leave, check out our six tips for conquering any trade show.

    And when you get back, learn about what you can do to promote your purchase and excite your customers about what's new. 

    Finally, follow the action of each show on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

  • 7 Product Learnings from Our First Brick and Mortar

    In October, we opened our first Grommet store and after a whirlwind holiday season, there are so many stories to tell from that experience. Of course, what you as a store owner really want to know is what sold and what sold that surprised us.

    Sure, some top sellers like Pinch Me, Duke Cannon, Peeps, Aftershokz, and Chateau Spill had great results, but there were a number of unexpected products that stopped our guests in their tracks and made them say,"now THAT'S interesting." 

    So, without further ado, here are the top 7 products surprises and my thoughts on why they performed so well. 

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  • Harness the Power of Social Media to Promote Your Purchase

    After spending hours searching for new products for your store and days spent anxiously awaiting their arrival, they’re finally in your hands and all you want to do is tell everyone about them.

    If you’re familiar with social media, you know just how easy it is to spread the word about your new arrivals, best sellers, and seasonal hits. But if you're not active on social media, here’s something to consider: it can be one of your biggest assets AND it’s easy.

    You may be hesitant to post your first picture, self-conscious of your follower count, or even nervous about how many 'likes' you get, but the easiest way to overcome those qualms is to just start. Simply taking 15 minutes out of your day to snap a picture & post it, can help in generating more of a following.

    Social media is a great opportunity for you to build your store’s brand and tell your story. It serves as an extension of your store and should be used with the goal of encouraging your current and prospective customers to visit you.

    Here are a few ways to do it.

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  • Understanding Section 179 for Your Small Business

    Most small businesses point to access to capital as the number one hurdle in growing their business. With it, they can hire, purchase inventory, upgrade equipment, and increase marketing efforts. But even the application for that funding can be cumbersome.

    To help you or another small business gain access to capital, our affiliate partner Kabbage reviews basic business information to understand performance and deliver flexible funding online or through their app. It's a modern-day solution to an age-old problem.

    Courtesy of Kabbage

     

    Their site is brimming with helpful resources for small businesses from their blog to case studies to their small business toolkit. But here, we're going to focus on one specific issue: section 179.

    Section 179 applies to tax deductions for business depreciation of property. While it won’t increase the overall deduction you can take, it does give small businesses an option to take their deduction more quickly. With Section 179, a company can deduct the full value of certain business equipment purchases in the same tax year that the purchases are made, instead of spreading it out over many years.

    We asked Kabbage to break down the details of Section 179 to help make it clear and simple.  
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  • You are the Key to a Successful Small Business Saturday

    You are the last person we need to be telling that Small Business Saturday is this weekend. You’ve been spending the last few weeks readying your store, inventory, and mind for the rush of holiday shoppers and us hyping it up won't do anything to change that.

    The only thing left to be said is you, yes, you, are uniquely prepared to have the most successful Small Business Saturday your store has ever seen. And that is because your store has something that no other store on Earth has — you.

    You bring a knowledge, expertise, and personable approach that is unmatched. Those characteristics are the engine of your store, let them power each interaction you have with a customer whether they’re merely browsing or unloading an armload of merchandise. We certainly hope it’s the latter.

    You’ve read enough “Retail is Dying” headlines this year to make your head explode. We don’t need to tell you this either, but Retail isn’t dying. It’s changing. It is craving a personalized approach that offers something a website can’t — you.

    You have the ability to create an experience for a shopper that can leave a lasting impact. From suggestions to information to stellar service, these experiences will shape the foundation of Retail’s next chapter. And we can’t wait to see what you do to usher it in.

    If you’re looking for specifics, we have a few other blog posts with last-minute tips for Small Business Saturday. We’ve found demos with our products to be particularly engaging with customers. If you’re looking for inspiration for how to bring any of our products to life, browse our site and watch our videos to learn more about the use cases for each.

    The Grommet opens it's first retail location in the Natick Mall

    As a store owner, the 96 hours post-Thanksgiving are a blur traveling at hyperspeed. With customers’ attention being vied for at every second, making an impression, let alone a sale is like trying to harness a tornado. We are here to be a resource in any capacity we can and we look forward to gathering our own learnings from our stores in Natick and Boston so as to improve our own service. 

    But for now. Best of luck. We are rooting for you. And we are thanking you for supporting local Makers and your fellow small business owners. You are helping shape our economy and country and we’re glad to be working alongside you.

  • As Retail Reaches Its Tipping Point, Double Down on Service

    If you’re a small business owner, much of the recent news surrounding retail is grim (see: boarded store fronts, ghost town malls, the internet consuming in-person sales). Retail, one of the largest contributors to our economy, is reaching its tipping point, and with each new acquisition made by an e-commerce giant, the tipping point draws nearer.

    The world of retail is changing. Technology has made it possible for goods to be delivered by drone, there’s no going back to the hey-days. But the rise of technology does not spell the end of Main St. and brick and mortar retailers, it just means it is time to adapt.

    In a world where technological convenience reigns, the only check on its pervasive rule is service—the strength of service can be flexed in many ways.

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  • 3 Years, 7,800+ Products, 1 Steadfast Goal.

    We've made significant progress in building a bridge that connects product Makers and Main St. Retailers. The Retail industry is one of the largest pieces of our economy and its success has a positive impact on all of us.

    If you're looking for new, innovative products for your store, look no further. From portable phone chargers and front pocket wallets to therapy dough and hair tie bracelets, our range of products can add a unique collection to any shop. And our site was built for you to stock your shelves with these products as if you are online shopping for yourself.

    Shop by values important to you like Made in the USA and sustainability, support entrepreneurs and inventors, and introduce your customers to something they've probably never seen before.

    Over the next year and beyond, we look forward to further elevating product innovation and strengthening the small businesses that comprise our cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

    Thank you for your support.

  • When it comes to MAP pricing, you snooze you LOSE

    As a store owner, you know the ease of online shopping is a double-edged sword. Sure, it’s convenient, but for business owners, the underbelly of counterfeited products, price discrepancies, and showrooming, replace the thrill of finding a sale with the disappointment of losing one. The main culprits are usually on Amazon or eBay, selling the same product you are for less.

    These retail giants hijack MAP pricing, leaving you with inventory that’s difficult to move because you’re selling at the actual price. Your overhead costs don’t allow cutting margins to compete. And if sales continue to decline, you’re less inclined to take buying risks that might differentiate you and pay off down the road.

    We call this scenario L.O.S.E. – the Loss of Online Sales Effect.

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  • 2017 Summer Trade Show Schedule

    Summer trade show season is upon us, folks. At The Grommet office, we are packing up the metaphorical tour bus with some of the newest additions to our catalog and getting ready to hit the road. If you're planning to attend any of these shows, stop by our booth and say hello. We'd love to meet you!

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    June 21 - 25: Dallas Market Center (TM 634)

    July 13 - 17: AmericasMart Atlanta (3-2-900)

    July 20 - 24: LA Mart (Lobby)

    July 30 - Aug. 2: Las Vegas Market (P1-1104)

    August 4 - 8: Minneapolis Mart (233- 4)

    August 15 - 17: Independent Garden Center Show (1522)

    August 17 - 19: Ace Hardware Show (3684)

    August 19 - 23: NY Now Market (NC1/Lobby)

     

    Before you hit the road, be sure to review our six tips for successfully conquering any trade show.

    Catch the action of each show by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • 4 Retailers Tell You How to Start a Gift Shop

    Maybe you've walked into a store and imagined a new career or you’ve wanted to be your own boss for years and are ready to make it happen. There are countless reasons for wanting to own a store or gift shop, but it's important to know what to expect and how to prepare. For that, we turned to some of our Retailers to dole out their number one piece of advice for those looking to open up shop.

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    Marie Canfield of Larkellen. Reno, NV

    "Start with an idea. For me, that was American made. Once I focused on that, I started looking for the type of products I wanted to sell that fit under that umbrella. While American made was my core, I branched off to other values I believe in. For instance, anything not American made is fairly traded or made from recycled materials. The idea evolved over time, but I always made sure, I wasn’t selling anything I wouldn’t buy for myself or as a gift. If I do that, the passion I have to run the business every day disappears. So have a really solid concept, love it, and run with it."

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