The Grommet Honored with Design Influencer Award
E-commerce innovator The Grommet will be honored with the second annual “Design Influencer of the Year” award at the 2018 Housewares Design Awards, on Jan. 30 at Las Vegas Market. Joanne Domeniconi, The Grommet’s co-founder and chief discovery officer, will accept the award.
“Las Vegas Market is pleased and proud to host the 13th Housewares Design Awards and to recognize The Grommet for its leadership position as Design Influencer of the Year,” said Dorothy Belshaw, president of gift leasing and chief marketing officer, International Market Centers. “We feel that The Grommet, which started as a unique product launch program for inventors and entrepreneurs, has evolved to become a powerful retail and merchandising platform. The Grommet’s community of makers, retailers and consumers represents the spirit of the Housewares Design Awards, which reward design innovation and product function. Additionally, The Grommet’s recent acquisition by Ace Hardware makes the company’s mission – and message – even more influential to the buying and selling process.”
Founded in 2008 by Domeniconi and Jules Pieri, co-founder and CEO, The Grommet is a curated, online media platform for launching innovative consumer products created by makers, inventors and entrepreneurs. The Grommet has helped to discover and launch dozens of products that have become household brand names, including SodaStream, FitBit, IdeaPaint, OtterBox and SimpliSafe. To date, The Grommet has launched more than 2,500 consumer products and has amassed a community of more than 3.5 million early adopters and supporters. More than 200 of these innovative consumer products have been exhibited at the Las Vegas Market since 2014, and the company expects to showcase some 75 products at the winter 2018 edition.
An Ace of a Plan
The next step in the company’s evolution will be fueled by the relationship with Ace, which acquired a majority stake in The Grommet in October. Ace Hardware and The Grommet first began working together in 2016 as part of a collaboration to bring new, unique and otherwise undiscovered products from independent makers into select Ace stores. The combination of Ace’s expansive supply chain and network of 5,034 stores, along with The Grommet’s innovative product discovery platform, will provide artisans, entrepreneurs, inventors and other innovators a powerful path to meaningful growth.
“The Grommet has often been called a ‘general store for innovation,’ and we are delighted and extremely gratified to be recognized with this prestigious award,” said Domeniconi, who currently guides the discovery of emerging consumer products in 16 different industries at The Grommet, including housewares, gifts, consumer electronics, hardware, toys, pet products, beauty, fitness, outdoor and apparel. “Our mission has always been to help local businesses, entrepreneurs and independent makers thrive, and we are excited about being able to extend that mission through our new relationship with Ace Hardware Corp. The spirit behind our makers and entrepreneurs is very much at the heart of Ace, with its stores being independently owned and operated by local entrepreneurs.”
The “Design Influencer of the Year” honor was added to the Housewares Design Awards in 2017 to recognize an individual or organization for exceptional design or design influence.
The 2017 inaugural Housewares Design Award recipient in Las Vegas was West Elm LOCAL.
Las Vegas Market is presenting the 2018 edition of the Housewares Design Awards as part of a continuing partnership with HomeWorld Business, which founded the Awards in 2003 to honor supplier efforts within the industry to create new ways to improve everyday living, and recognize excellence in 12 core housewares categories. A new “SMART” category award will be added in 2018 to spotlight products that control, automate and optimize typical product utility and function using connectivity and integrated programming.