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.

No more “Sh#t on Wheels” *

Hi Grommet friends,

We shared a sweet, celebratory moment with our Housewarming party on June 13.  We were so gratified by the capacity crowd showing up, despite the torrential rains that night.  Even the Mayor of Somerville came to help us cut the ribbon.  We marked the next chapter in our gritty story with great style.

Many of you saw our old space in Lexington when it was perfectly suitable to our company’s size.  You might not realize that we stopped having visitors for the last several months.  This is because we could not fit a single new body in the offices.  We grew from 12 to 45 people in 2,000 square feet.  (Photos below of the team, and my almost-emptied office.)  All of our meetings were held outdoors.  On the steps.  On top of our dumpster.  Wherever we could find a quiet spot.  I am not kidding.  It got so crowded that some of us had to ask fellow team members to  “let us out” if we needed to go the bathroom!

I don’t think we could have lasted another week there.  (And it is why Joanne mentions being grouchy in the video.)

Wait till you see our new funky former-factory building in this lively video.  Joanne and I think it is the coolest, and most expressive company home on the planet.  I am bragging, but not exaggerating.  Thank you to all the friends and family who let Jesse interview them at the party, and for your encouragement and thoughtful reflections.  It felt a little like a graduation party or some other wonderful milestone.  In fact, one Deadhead in the video says, aptly, “What a strange, strange journey this has been.”  True, that.  And it is only just beginning!

Thanks so much for your support and your enthusiasm for The Grommet, for the wonderful companies we discover, and for sharing this special moment in our history.  I am grateful that you, the advance guard, know how to “Buy Differently.”


P.S.  If you ever need any of the following helpers, here are the talented people who created our space:

  • Architect: Vince Pan, Analogue Studio
  • Contractor: Anthony DiCarlo, Siena Construction
  • Broker: Adam Schneier, Boston Realty Advisors
  • Custom fixtures: Various artisans, including Sara Bader and Matt Rink of New Antiquity, who built the wildly creative shipping pallet pods for our team, and also the gorgeous salvaged wood video backdrop.  We found this talented sculptor team on
  • Salvage items: Various members of the Detroit and New Bedford Salvage “mafias” that I got to know when sourcing unique fixtures for our space.  Those were fun weekend field trips.

* “Sh#t on Wheels” is what one of our team members called our old office chairs.  They were virtually all salvaged from the curb or closing startups.  They deserved that name.

The team in front of 6 Wallis Court, where it all began.  We were packed in like sardines.

The team in front of 6 Wallis Court, where it all began. We were packed in like sardines.


My office was by far the most spacious in Lexington. But I shared this space with two other people. It was right next to the front door. So I was receptionist and I signed for most packages. We get a lot of packages.

Closing the door for the last time.

Closing the door for the last time.

Hello new office!  I'll put up a photo gallery soon but in the meantime the video above captures it really well.

Hello Somerville!  This is a 1921 window sash factory.  I love being on the ground floor.  It suits our company, and me.

Joseph Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville, helping us christen the new building.  Could I possibly beam a bigger smile?

Joseph Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville, helping us christen the new building. Could I possibly beam a bigger smile?

Here's where I sit now!  I can think...the introvert will live.

Here’s where I sit now! I can think…the introvert will live.

Finally, we put up a great photo tour on our company blog:  Somerville, MA: Home of Makers, Hipsters, and Our New Office! 

But watch the video first….it shares the heart and soul of our journey.  Thanks for being part of it.

7 Responses to “No more “Sh#t on Wheels” *”

  1. Claudia Thomas

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see the new Grommet home! The video was beautifully done!

  2. carolfishmancohen

    Wonderful Jules!! Huge congrats to you and Joanne and the whole Grommet team. I get chills watching what you’ve built continue to grow

  3. Linda Thompson-Mills

    I am delighted for the whole Grommet team! I am a loyal Grommet fan, have loved all my purchases, and look forward to my daily emails (Grommets, I mean…). I have spread the word with my friends and family. Currently I have a few things on my (mind’s eye) wishlist. I will continue to follow your unique and inspirational company, make purchases, and tell the world!


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