An interview on Making with

Jules Pieri

Founder & CEO, The Grommet

About Jules

Jules Pieri is Co-Founder and CEO of the product launch platform The Grommet. The company’s Citizen Commerce™ movement is reshaping how consumer products get discovered, shared, and bought. Jules started her career as an industrial designer for technology companies and was subsequently a senior executive for large brands, such as Keds, Stride Rite, and Playskool. The Grommet is her third startup, following roles as VP at Design Continuum and President of She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and people tell her she is the first designer to graduate from Harvard Business School, where she is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence. Jules was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013. In June, 2014, Jules was invited to the White House Maker Faire to launch The Grommet Wholesale Platform, connecting Makers with Main Street Retailers. She writes a personal blog at, and the “CEO Unplugged column on She posts as @julespieri on Twitter and Instagram.

What is Making?

Making is creating the solution to a problem.  Making is pushing the boundaries of product innovation. Making is not waiting for someone else to build a great product, but taking the initiative to build it yourself.  

Who are Makers?

Makers are everyday people with a great idea and a greater drive to bring that idea to life. They are individuals, they are families and friends, and they are small businesses that will transform our economy over the next decade.

Why is Making important?

The growth of small businesses, local economies, jobs and manufacturing in the U.S., all of that is tied to Making. It is a multi-billion dollar business opportunity and a limitless industry waiting to be tapped.

What is an exciting example of Making and why?

All the tools available for making: laser cutters, 3D printers, makerspaces, crowdfunding platforms; these resources are turning Making into a very accessible endeavor. Many Makers on The Grommet have taken advantage of them. Makers like iSkelter ( ), which handcrafts ventilated lap desks in the US or Moff ( ), a wearable smart toy infusing technology with the boundless potential of a child's imagination. The future of Maker industries gives millions of others the chance to follow in those footsteps and we are all poised to benefit from them.

How is Making transforming education?

Making is one of the greatest learning experiences possible. It is about collaboration, creativity, and an endless capacity for curiosity. The earlier those principles are learned, the better because they will then form a natural way of thinking.

How can Making change my community?

According to The 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent at independent stores, $68 returns to the community as opposed to $43 at a national chain. Makers are impacting retail choices, and as a result, the choices of us as consumers. With more Makers, come more opportunities for our purchases to make an impact in our communities.

How does Making solve big problems?

It is the cog of the Maker Movement—what's been deemed the next industrial revolution. Making will bring production back to the U.S., create jobs, grow economies, and it will create a global community of dedicated people re-shaping the future of buying and selling goods.