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  • Shop For Your Store Online, Just Like You Shop For Yourself

    You’ve attended trade shows, scoured the internet, and followed all the hot social media influencers to keep on top of new products and trends. But as the first curated, online B2B e-commerce platform for the discovery of products made by independent Makers and small businesses, The Grommet is a digitally enabled way for brick-and-mortar stores to stock their shelves with the same ease of online shopping.

    In other words, The Grommet does all the heavy lifting to find things worth buying and are proven to sell so you don’t have to. Here’s a breakdown of the sections to browse by that’ll make your life as an entrepreneur easier and certainly more fun:

    Category

    Beyond the obvious lists of jewelry and kitchen accessories, products for your fitness-fanatic and budding-foodie customers go beyond the ho-hum gadgets and instead offer unique whatnots at all price points.

     

    Personal value

    Chances are, as a shop owner, your personal values align with the mission of your store. Whether you’re passionate about products made in the USA, made by independent Makers, or made sustainably, there’s a whole section of products that’ll seamlessly fit into your values and on your shelves.  

     

    Specialty shop

    Whatever your niche, there’s a collection to dial in your needs. Bookstores, garden stores, and even wine and spirits shops are one click away from a curated list of the nicknacks and in-betweens to round out your inventory and create eye-catching displays you’d be proud to feature.

     

    Gift type

    There’s the typical lists of him, her, and kids as recipients, as well as shopping by price point as low as $25 up to $200, but sorting by interest opens new gift-giving doors. Categories, such as gifts for the fashionista, techie, or outdoor enthusiast, will only help refine your search to quickly and efficiently stock your shelves based on both your customer profiles and demographics.

     

    Best sellers

    It goes without saying that the customers have spoken when it comes to best sellers. Take the guesswork out of what’s flying off the proverbial shelves by scrolling through a chronological list to connect the trending dots that make sense for your store and its customers.

     

    Curated collections

    Curated collections fill all those hard-to-find items that aren’t necessarily for a particular demographic but rather those impulse buys or must-have gadgets that solve everyone’s shopping quandaries, like a retail starter kit or products featured at annual trade shows.

     

    Shop locally

    The Grommet Wholesale lets you choose from Makers in your state of choice, 47 and counting. Each product page includes the maker’s story and even a product video, in addition to photos and customer reviews to help narrow down your decision.

     

    What’s new

    When you feel like you’ve exhausted all your options, check back to the Wholesale landing page to browse new products as they are added in real time—at least one new product every week, in fact. It takes less time than checking your social media feeds and is way more productive.

  • 8 Ways To Encourage Repeat Business For Your Store

    In a time of online retailers, it’s important not to overlook the power of a brick-and-mortar store. While getting foot traffic in the door might not be the issue, it’s keeping customers engaged and coming back that proves to be challenging. As the tried-and-true formula goes: Understand your customer base and target market, look for ways to differentiate from your competitors, remain relatable and relevant, repeat. Here are some ways to foster that relationship, no matter the type of shop:

    Image courtesy of Getty Images

     

    Focus on Service

    Simply put, shoppers are much more likely to become loyal customers if you offer a better experience than your competitors. Provide an extra service that shoppers can’t get elsewhere, like contacting shoppers when products that are out of stock become available or offering a generous return policy. What’s more, properly training staff to be knowledgeable about products and makers keeps both employees and customers happy. Click here to read our blog post on service.

     

    Create a loyalty program

    Discounts work to draw customers in, but repeat visitors will come back time and time again if they are members of a loyalty program. Money off future purchases or even access to an exclusive event in store or online can often make the difference between whether a consumer shops with you or a competitor. Make the reward worthwhile and easy to obtain to motivate customers to reach it.

     

    Engage online

    Whether in the form of a blog, social media post, or email newsletter that encourages discussion among its customers, you can produce easy-to-digest content geared toward your readers, such as how-to guides, product spotlights, or gift giving guides for specific holidays. You can also entice your customers with new products, best sellers, or in-store giveaways on social channels to get them to come back to your store.

     

    Think convenience

    Offering free in-store pickup or multiple payment options are just two quick and easy ways to make the shopping experience more pleasurable and less painful for the customer. Hire an in-store expert who can offer complimentary consultations on product usage or free alterations or customization with purchase. Think value, not price.

     

    Create comfort

    Shopping doesn’t have to be an in-and-out experience. Encourage customers to stay a while by setting up a lounge area with free Wi-Fi and a charging station. Set up sampling stations or other ways to engage with the products. Sure, it’s fun to try on clothes, but “try before you buy” can work equally well with crafts or even technology.

     

    Offer classes or groups

    A craft shop that offers a knitting group, a fitness retailer that organizes a running club, a craft brewery that hosts yoga, cooking classes at a specialty food store, calligraphy lessons at the local stationery store—these are all simple but fun ways to bring the same consumers back on a regular basis and get them in front of your products.

     

    Engage in the community

    Take advantage of organizations that already exist and align with your store’s mission by sponsoring a local event or donating to a worthy cause that will get your company name in front of current and potential customers. Name recognition, especially in a charitable way, certainly won’t hurt your cause.

     

    Enlist help

    When all else fails, hire a mystery shopper whose job it is to give honest and unbiased feedback about the shopping experience. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh set of eyes to walk through the whole experience from storefront to transaction to share how and why the shopping experience can turn shoppers into lifelong customers.

  • The Grommet Wholesale Restaurant Tour

    Trade show season is approaching and while you may be busy making showroom appointments and planning out your market, have you thought about where you’re going to eat?

    Pasta Da Pulcinella- Atlanta, GA

    Ian Markowitz, Director of Key Accounts, is a true foodie and takes pride in keeping The Grommet Wholesale team well fed while on the road. He’s already started making reservations for our the winter cycle and in case you want to try a new, Grommet-approved spot, here are a few of our favorites.

    Atlanta

    Superica

    If you’re looking for great Tex-Mex fare in an awesome atmosphere then look no further. Superica has two locations but we prefer going to the one at Krog Street Market. In fact, we usually show up to our reservation early to walk around Krog Street and get dumplings at Gu’s Dumplings.

    Pasta Da Pulcinella

    A cozy Italian restaurant with good wine and pasta is exactly what we need after a long day on our feet. The food is delicious and the service is outstanding. Definitely try the Tortelli de Melli, a great combination of sausage and apples tucked into ravioli in a brown butter sauce. You can make a reservation via OpenTable.

    endive Publik house

    We’re a big fan of ordering lots of small plates so we can taste a little bit of everything which is why we like going to endive Publik house. You can make a reservation, but keep in mind they are only open for dinner Thursday through Saturday. Try the Smoked Duck Pizza, well worth it.

     

    Las Vegas

    Lotus of Siam

    If you’re in the mood for Thai food we highly recommend Lotus of Siam which is not far from the strip. It can be busy so we recommend making a reservation. It’s well known for some of the most authentic Thai food you can get in the US and was such a hit they left their spot in a rundown strip mall for their new location.

    Carson Kitchen

    Edison light bulbs and having the menu presented on a wooden board are two good signs of an excellent New-American Restaurant. If the weather’s nice, sit on their outdoor patio but make sure you save room for dessert, their glazed doughnut bread pudding is divine.

    Therapy

    Therapy’s motto “Savor. Sip. Share” is our exact motto. Our favorite bites to share are the Chicken & Waffle Sliders, Fried Mac Croquettes, Street Corn and Charred Brussel Sprouts. Make a reservation on OpenTable.

     

    Dallas

    Rodeo Goat

    Our first stop after landing in Dallas is the Rodeo Goat, a no-frills, low key spot with 20 different burgers to choose from. It can be overwhelming but trust us, you can’t go wrong. No reservation needed.

    18th & Vine

    No trip to Texas is complete without BBQ. We recommend ordering the Two ‘Que Plate so you get to try two BBQ meats and their burnt ends are some of our favorites.

    Pecan Lodge

    Since one BBQ restaurant isn’t enough, especially in Texas, we also go to Pecan Lodge for a quick and delicious meal. Between the Brisket and the Southern Fried Chicken, you’re in for a treat. Order at the counter and they’ll bring out your food. Oh, and be sure to get a side of Mac & Cheese for the table! No reservations needed, but expect to wait to order, but trust us, it’s worth it.

     

    New York City

    Pio Pio

    For a Peruvian fare, we recommend Pio Pio. Peruvian food is a combination of meats and potatoes with a bit of an Asian flair. There are quite a few around the city, but we usually go to the one closest to the Javits, Pio Pio 8 in Hell’s Kitchen. They have a great rotisserie chicken and excellent Aji Verde. To make a reservation call 212-459-2929.

    BEA

    If you couldn’t tell, we love small plates which makes BEA a great restaurant for us. It has a great atmosphere and the food is outstanding with a good cocktail menu to boot and old school movies on the walls to keep you entertained. We recommend the steak and potatoes, a fun take on Steak Frites with a spicy tomato sauce.  Go to Yelp to make a reservation.

    Tír na Nóg

    Hailing from Massachusetts, we are big fans of the New England Patriots and it turns out Tír na Nóg supports Pats Nation, too. The NY NOW Winter show tends to coincide with the Super Bowl so going to a Pats bar to watch the game has become a tradition. Make a reservation on OpenTable. And go Pats!

     

    Do you have any recommendations for us? We’d love to hear from you!

    Comment with your go-to restaurant after a long day at Market.

  • 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.

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