June 24, 2014, 11:14 AM

Online marketplace The Grommet launches a wholesale site

The online marketplace for artsy products aims to encourage more online sales of products made by independent craftspeople.

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The Grommet, an online marketplace for artsy and otherwise unique products, has launched its wholesale e-commerce site in an effort to bring more products from independent craftspeople into retail stores.

The e-retailer officially announced the debut of the business-to-business site at an event earlier this month at the White House called Maker Faire. The event celebrates artisans and entrepreneurs, and is designed to encourage young people to make things.

"The Grommet Wholesale provides a critical missing resource to build sustainable ‘Maker’ businesses, by creating a more convenient, organized, and curated platform from which retailers can source the newest and most imaginative products for their stores,” CEO Jules Pieri says. “Makers are changing the face of product innovation and we have to make it easier for them to get to Main Street."

The Grommet launched six years ago and uses video and other methods to tell the stories behind the food, home décor and other products it sells. The Grommet wholesale site has similar features such as video, consumer reviews and product stories, and features what the e-commerce operator calls “curated” products. The wholesale site, wholesale.thegrommet.com, also will enable retail buyers to send direct messages to the artisans who sell on The Grommet.

The Grommet says it has helped to launch 2,000 products for retail sales to consumers. “Within five years, The Grommet wants to ensure that 10% of all products flowing through U.S. retail are originating from independent small-scale ‘Makers,’ who create vibrant jobs and innovative products in every corner of the country. The Grommet believes that its wholesale platform will have a profound impact on making this goal a reality,” the company says.

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