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Author Archives: Margo

Wholesale Merchandising Manager at The Grommet

  • 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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  • The Merchandising Corner: It's White-Hot In Here

    I’ve worked in all sorts of retail environments – apparel, home décor, online – and one thing they all have in common, they host a “white hot” event or marketing push. When you create a powerfully disruptive white display, whether stark white, shabby chic, vintage white, or somewhere in between, your customers will be moved.

    So why is ‘white-hot” a thing and how do you leverage it to your shop’s advantage?


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  • How to Set Your Store Apart This Holiday Season

    Gaining an edge over other shops in your community—that’s a common problem for Retailers. And during the competitive holiday season, the issue only intensifies.

    How do you set yourself apart? How do you make yourself more than just a shop?

    Events are a great way to showcase your shop in a new light. It makes being at your store less about shopping and becomes simply a time to learn and have fun. It also helps you create an emotional connection with shoppers, which should be right up there with revenue on your list of business goals.

    Luckily, many of the products on our site lend themselves to interactive in-store activities.

    Here are just a few.


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  • A Closer Look at Byer of Maine

    Sleeping cots and bird feeders? It might seem like an unusual product lineup, but Byer of Maine makes it work. And with their unique textures and vibrant colors, it's easy to create a visual, emotional connection with their entire line of goods.

    Hammocks, outdoor furniture, and bird feeders–Byer of Maine ties all of their outside products together with attention to detail and fine craftsmanship from around the world. 


    Their bird houses and feeders double as artwork, made from mango wood or heavy duty porcelain.They have sculptural looks with features that cater to avian needs, while helping humans hang and clean them, too. Continue Reading

  • 5 Reasons to Attend Regional Trade Shows

    A busy shopping season approaches by the day, but currently, you still probably find your store in a sluggish state. You might be wondering how you can make productive use of your time and that is completely valid. We have a suggestion: attend regional shows.


    Now regional shows aren’t as sexy as the national markets held in the summer and winter, but they can be more effective. Here’s how.

    New Makers. Attending regional shows in other regions but your own allows you to take advantage of smaller and newer Makers no one in your community has heard of yet. It provides the chance to offer a more expansive and varied collection of products in your store compared to those around you. Of course, the con is cost. It can be expensive to stay in hotels and travel. If you do find yourself in that predicament, find shows closer to home. You might see more competition, but it also gives you the opportunity to strengthen local relationships.

    Nice and slow. One of the biggest negatives for larger shows is the overwhelming nature of them. There is so much vying for your attention, you tend to get lost and miss things, which is a trade show nightmare. With smaller regional shows you can take your time. You can have longer conversations with Makers, get a deep sense of a product that interests you rather than a brief snapshot, and you won’t be throwing elbows to see a display better. That’s always a plus.

    Build Relationships. Although risky, you're more likely to have better access to brand spanking new Makers and products. You might be able to get customized products for your shop. You could even offer to be beta testers for their products then you both win when you can test out their new lines on your customers. If you help support the little guys, they’ll be more inclined to help you back. Don’t forget, these Makers are learning the ropes of their own line so they're more likely to listen to your feedback. 

    Calmer Networking. Networking is a giant piece of any trade show. At national shows, it becomes a bit of a Western style shoot out as you struggle to whip a business card out of your holster as quickly as possible. The luxury of a smaller show is it’s an easier and calmer time networking with other Retailers and Makers. You can also have longer conversations. Meeting isn’t such a huge issue either because, literally, it’s a smaller show. No need to be racing around five 20 floor buildings.

    Local Flair. Products at regional shows, no surprise, tend to be more regional. So while you're most likely going to be carrying similar products as your competitors, take advantage of the opportunity to build out a better display since you know the area and the people. If you’re in Boston and see some lobster dishes, you won’t be the only one carrying them, but you can be the only one displaying them with a lobster trap. If you’re in Arizona, display some local jewelry on a saguaro. (It's like a cactus.) That will certainly deter stealing. Using local props to display local merchandise, that's where you can beat your competitors.


    Are you a Retailer interested in sourcing innovative products for your store? Apply to The Grommet Wholesale here.

  • 7 Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Store During the Slow Season

    The holiday season is long gone and as a store owner you probably find yourself in a limbo period before the next big spending season that Mother’s Day ushers in. The challenge many store owners face during the slow season is simply driving traffic. Well, we at The Grommet Wholesale, have a few ideas.

    Retail Marketing Ideas From The Grommet Wholesale

    Host DIY nights. Offering your community educational opportunities in crafting, home improvements, or projects can pique interest without the pressure of a sale. People will show up because it is an interesting event and, when there, will naturally get an idea of what your store offers. Of course, getting a sale is what keeps the lights on so look at your inventory and see how you can use what you carry in the project or demonstration.

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  • Your Checklist For A Successful Small Business Saturday

    The busiest weekend of your year is about to start. Are you ready? Make sure you’re set up for success with this list of quick fixes. Everything from alarm checks to bounce back plans –here are 10 tips to prepare your staff, your patience, and prepare for an influx of customers this weekend. 

    Small Business Saturday Tips from The Grommet Wholesale

    Above: Elisabeth Rickenbaugh at the register of her shop Heyday. Learn more in our series of Main Street shops who stock The Grommet Wholesale.

    1. Book your staff and you have on-call staff

    This is not the time of year you want to be short-staffed. Have a plan in case someone decides to call in sick. Prepare for last minute hiccups and have staff members on-call.

    2. Plan food and snacks to keep staff fueled

    Order  delivery or organize a potluck over the holiday shopping weekend. Don’t leave it up to your staff to take care of themselves. When things get extra busy, there won’t be time to run out for a bite to eat. Have the food on hand for those necessary pit stops in between the crowds.

    3. Have backup supplies in place Continue Reading

  • On the Road: Connecting Makers and Retailers

    The Grommet Wholesale Team has (finally) returned from a tour of the best trade shows across the country and despite nearly a month straight on the road, we’re reporting back energized as ever.

    The tour gave us the opportunity to share the stories behind the products on The Grommet (with Retailers) while growing our Grommet community in every direction. Along the way, we also had the privilege of meeting many Makers in person, hearing their stories first-hand, and learning how we can help shine the spotlight on their unique creations.

    The Grommet Wholesale - Connecting Makers and Retailers Kellye Kamp from “Butter” - reinventing the high-end drool-worthy kitchen - opening in Dallas Summer ’15


    We’ve put a lot of energy into teaming up with shop owners who are helping the world “Buy Differently.” Their business ideologies and appreciation for independent Makers directly correlates with what we live and breathe at The Grommet.

    Take Dr. Lynn Murray at Pittsburg State University. Not only does she teach business practices in a hands-on way by hosting a campus store, she is now carrying an array of Grommets. Her students have been introduced to our mission and welcome the challenge of creating a “Buy Differently” sales environment in their corner of the world. We look forward to seeing what they accomplish with their Grommet-stocked shelves.

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