The Grommet Company Overview
The Grommet’s headquarters are located in Somerville, Massachusetts outside of Davis Square. As part of making its new headquarters a home, The Grommet brought in multiple galleries of the products it has launched, workstations made of shipping pallets (like those used to ship the kinds of products we sell), antiques, and tools and technologies from various eras of manufacturing.
With a dynamic and lively work environment, The Grommet offers a culture of collaboration, mentorship, and learning, with exposure to the startup industry in Boston and an opportunity to learn through frequent information and expertise sharing, event-attendance, and presentations by our team members.
Jobs at The Grommet
Co-Founder And CEO
Jules spent her childhood days reading every single biography her Detroit elementary school offered, filling her head with gigantic ideas about how each and every person can impact the world. This inspires Jules as she leads the Grommet. She's building a Citizen Commerce-powered platform to help people support the kind of products that align with their interests and values. Jules' confidence in attacking seemingly impossible challenges was formed at a young age. Her first trip to Europe was not a mere visit...she moved herself to Paris right out of college. Similarly, she relocated her family of five to Ireland for the first half of this decade. Why? Why not?
The Grommet is Jules' third startup. Jules started her professional life as an industrial designer working for computer enterprises. She soon realized the majority of our economy is shaped by consumer products companies, so she followed the action over to consumer brands as an executive at Keds and Hasbro. Jules is told she is the first industrial designer to get a Harvard MBA, where she is now an Entrepreneur in Residence. Jules was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013 and in June 2014, she was invited to launch Grommet Wholesale at the first-ever White House Maker Faire.
- University of Michigan, BFA Industrial Design, Graphic Design
- Harvard Business School, MBA
- Design Continuum, Vice President of Sales
- Stride Rite, Vice President of Strategic Planning
- Ziggs.com, President and COO
- Avid hiker, theatergoer, and rescuer of greyhounds
Co-Founder And Chief Discovery Officer
Someday a business book will be written on why trust is the most important asset one can build in a company. And when that book is written, Joanne will be a central case study subject. In her every action, Joanne is working to deserve the trust of the Grommet community. She is personally driven by the idea of creating a business with deep purpose - one that is stitching together transparency and community to serve up meaningful, adventurous stories around products. Joanne continually raises the bar of what it means to be a great Grommet and to have a company holistically reflect the values it represents. Which translates for our makers to: "I have your back."
Joanne has extensive experience creating and launching consumer products and spent over 20 years at Stride Rite Corporation where, as Vice President of Product Development her career culminated in a company turnaround, achieving a record $385mm business in a single year and 11 straight quarters of improving sales and profitability. Joanne loves building things in a team setting and thrives in fast paced, creative environments.
Given Joanne's flawless inner compass and courage, it's no surprise that her great grandmother was the first woman in Massachusetts to hold a motorcycle license. Joanne is breaking new ground too, in reinventing how products are launched. And she does it with caring and trust, running on all cylinders. In June 2014, Joanne was invited to the first-ever White House Maker Faire to launch The Grommet Wholesale Platform, connecting Makers with Main Street Retailers.
- Grew up in Lynn, MA and is the first woman in her family to attend college
- Simmons College, BA Retail Merchandising and Business
- Vice President of Product Development – Keds Corporation
- Mother to 3 wonderful boys and Sydney the dog
- Loves 'Camp' - a place on the lake in Maine
- Favorite saying: "I push big rocks up steep hills and I love it."
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
Vice President, Grommet Wholesale
Vice President, Engineering
What is it like to work at your company in terms of your culture?
We are very close as a company. Teams work closely with one another and through that work develop deep bonds. With all of the products launched that require testing, you're bound to end up in the cross-fire of a dog toy that shoots out tennis balls or a miniature drone mid-flight. Managers, including Jules and Joanne, have a constant open door policy and employees at any level are encouraged to voice thoughts and ideas. The result of all this is a group of people coming into the office ready to work their hardest not just for the company but for the person next to them.
What’s the best way to get your foot in the door at The Grommet?
We want team players that have a great attitude and want to work hard, in an environment that is constantly changing. The best way to get an interview with us is to send a cover letter that tells us about you and your passions. The best way to get a job with The Grommet is to come prepared to the interview – know what we do and why it is important, and let us know how your contributions are going to help us achieve our goals. If you’ve got a great idea for a future Grommet, tell us about that too!
What can someone expect during the interview process?
First round interviews are over the phone, generally with the hiring manager. From there, we bring in our top applicants to meet with as many people as possible at The Grommet. No worries, this isn’t to waste your time – we want to see how you interact with different types of people, even people here at The Grommet that you might not work with on a regular basis. In doing this, you can get a feel for what the office culture and environment is like, and we can be sure that our team members think you would fit in. The final interview is with either Jules or Joanne, depending on what the position we are hiring for is.
What can people expect over the course of their career at The Grommet?
You can expect to work hard and learn as much as you want to learn. There is huge opportunity for someone who says, ‘I see a problem, can I fix it?,’ even if it’s not your problem in the first place. Jules and Joanne, and the rest of the team, constantly takes advantage of teaching moments, sharing stories from their past experiences, or explaining why something we tried either worked really well, or didn’t work at all.
Are there any favorite activities that the employees do together outside of the office?
We try to do as many events as a company and as a group of friends as we can. Past holiday party locations include Downeast Cider, the Vanderbuilt, and Black Rose. We've brought a team of 15 to the Build Entrepreneur Games two consecutive years, we have volunteered to cook dinner at a homeless shelter, and we have participated in a spruce-up of the Somerville Community Growing Center. We also frequently go to events around the area, such as Beer Fests, 5k’s, the Somerville theater, and random bars just because we want to hang out.
Are there any fun facts or unique stories that you can share about The Grommet or individuals that work there?
We give out a bloody knee award every quarter. This award came about after Jules took a spill at an event while accepting an award. As embarrassing as it was (and she is happy to tell the story), she got up, and kept smiling. After Jules’ event, the bloody knee was born to celebrate someone who has gone above and beyond, overcame a huge obstacle, etc. At the end of every quarter, our operating team meets and secretly decides who should get the award, and then the announcement is made at the next team meeting. Some of the recipients did things such as keep our marketing streamlined with 400% YOY revenue growth, built our entire wholesale launch in just a few months, and had a huge deal blow up after we popped the champagne. It’s always a secret until the last minute, but almost never a surprise as to who the winner is, and it keeps us all on our toes, knowing there’s a chance we could be the next bloody knee recipient.
Do you have any unique benefits or perks?
The Grommet regularly holds after work socials (including “Wine Wednesdays”), in-house education “Lunch & Learn” sessions, a day-long summer outing, and seasonal parties for all team members. The Grommet also offers in-house yoga classes, a running club, and various team sporting events. In addition, all team members are able to test new products that The Grommet’s Discovery Team are considering and a 30% discount on all products that it sells, perfect for yourself or for gifting family and friends.
What’s on tap or in your fridge?
It depends on who went to the ‘packie’ last! We always have some sort of wine, and an assortment of beers. We don’t have a draft yet, but we’re working on it!
If you hate the idea of a dynamic workplace, a vibrant company culture, and fun, you'll hate The Grommet, but I digress. I wanted to work at The Grommet because it seemed like an opportunity where I would enjoy the work I did and meet people I would thoroughly enjoy working with. I was right. It's been a personal and professional jackpot.
I really care about The Grommet’s mission to put an end to faceless business and highlight the people behind the products. I love what I do. Every day I get to be creative and work with things I like the most: colors, layouts, typography, and beautiful imagery taken by our in-house photography team.