As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

There is a method to our madness

Joel Garcia Sculpture in Papier-Mâché

Joel Garcia Sculpture in Papier-Mâché

One of our clear goals at Daily Grommet is to inspire a “Huh??” reaction to some of our product stories.  Like, “Did those Grommet guys just lose the plot?”  So we deliberately seek out some non-mainstream ideas.  Things that would find a very narrow commercial reception.  Why?  Because it’s fun, sure.  But also because our business success depends heavily on giving people interesting stories that keep them coming back.  We’ve always believed that if our stories are fast and fun and worthy, the commerce part will follow.  Finally, social media offers unprecedented power to “uncover” non-mainstream folks and match them with these unconventional Grommets.  (Narrow does not always mean tiny, by the way.  To pick a sport niche as an example, bass fishing is a $60B industry in the US alone.)

cribbage1Sometimes those potential “orphan” Grommets surprise us and actually sell really quickly, like the Mean and Wroughten cribbage boards.  They were a lovely piece of art, but we didn’t know they’d be snapped up in a matter of minutes.  In exposing that product, we realized that by hitting a fairly narrow game population (cribbage players) we hit a nerve.  A nice one.

On that note, I was really delighted when a man I recently met said to me, “When I saw that soccer-playing, bicycle-kicking Jesus figurine on your site, I realized I could not predict what would hit Daily Grommet.”  That is music to my ears, and especially to Joanne’s, as our Chief Discovery Officer.  We want people to have days that are, for them, just about the humor, or the exclusiveness, or the weirdness of a Grommet.  It’s kind fits with what we hear from people, “You are like my nice little break in my day.”  You don’t always want to have to think about buying something when you just need a bit of relaxation.jesus

Thus–the “Yoga Lady” sculpture.  We loved the story, and being able to meet Joel Garcia the artist.  We wanted to give his US buddy Deb Colburn, owner of NOMAD boutique, a bit of recognition for her deeply committed fair trade practices.  We had no idea if anyone would want to buy the piece.  And no one did!  (I watch all our Grommets avidly all day, but that one more than most. )  In retrospect, showing Yoga Lady a couple days after Christmas probably did not do her justice.  I am secretly glad, though, because she sits on my desk and reminds me of our “courage” mission.  But…..if anyone can come up with a reason why they can offer her a better home than our offices, we can talk.

And, got a kooky idea for us to consider?  Please submit it here, post haste.  I promise it will get our attention.

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