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Fun Websites: The Daily Grommet

by christina on June 1, 2010

grommet

I recently stumbled across a neat website that posts a new and interesting product each day -- the Daily Grommet. At first, I didn't think too much about the name, because I was immediately drawn in by that day's product: an energy efficient home composter. Although it was way out of my budget and something I wouldn't rush out and buy, it was still a cool find. (And don't worry, the site posts some budget friendly products too.) What I enjoy most about this site is that in addition to simply advertising a product, it often describes the story that led to the creation of a product, as well as some useful info about the person or company that made it.  For the past couple of weeks, I've been checking out the "daily grommet," wondering what fun product it will be advertising each day... And then I started wondering, what is a grommet?

I looked up the meaning of "grommet" on dictionary.com and found a few different definitions, all of them relating to something ring shaped. The first definition was "any of various rings or eyelets or metal of the like." The rest of the varying definitions all shared a similar meaning but differed in the use and type of material: i.e.  machinery, nautical, military. For function, it is described as "an insulated washer of rubber or plastic, inserted in a hole in a metal part to prevent grounding of a wire passing through the hole." Then I went back to the Daily Grommet site and  tried to figure out the relationship between the dictionary's definition of "grommet" and the use of "grommet" in its title.

At first I had some trouble, and honestly I was about to give up this morning. I looked once more at the definitions the Daily Grommet provided: it is "a wonderful product still waiting in the wings, just ripe for discovery;" "it has great utility, or style, or invention. Or very often has all three;" and, "like any intelligent or beautiful product, it has a great story ready to be told." (Be sure to check out the website to see a complete list of all the meanings for "grommet.") As I was about to give up on finding a connection, the word "utility" suddenly jumped out at me. Although this is just one possible connection, I feel that a grommet possesses a great deal of utility, and that is something that both definitions share. Maybe you can think of some more appropriate or creative similarities, but hey,I think I'm off to a good start.

And when it comes down to it, I don't think it matters too much what an actual grommet is. All that really matters is that the Daily Grommet provides a great space for unique products to be discovered. And as consumers, we also have the wonderful opportunity of learning about a product and understanding where it comes from.

When you have a few minutes, check out TheDailyGrommet.com and find out what today's grommet is all about.

Image thanks to Peretzpup.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jules Pieri June 3, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Christina,
I’m the founder of Daily Grommet and I have to tell you this post of yours really delighted me. I appreciate your sharing both our site, and your personal exploration of the word “Grommet” with your audience.

I think your final conclusion is very apt, for what I intended. I wanted the word “grommet” to represent having taken a product from perhaps undiscovered to a new, heroic state, by telling its story. And making it a “grommet.”

But I also have to reveal that, as an industrial designer, I have a thing for grommets. They always signal utility (Like you said), but also a thoughtful, quality touch in creating a product. And I love them when they show up in crazy places like stationery. I even have a skirt with huge ones all over the front.

Finally, I wanted to chose a name that was easy to say, and looked good, and inspired EXACTLY the kind of quizzical reaction you so charmingly displayed. Thanks so much for sharing your “grommet journey.”

Justin Cambria June 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM

When I discovered the daily grommet, I wondered the same vis-a-vis the name. I understood rubber grommets as essentially being a rubber washer. But I immediately thought of the Wallace & Grommit claymation classic ‘The Wrong Trousers’, as its a personal fave. Also, in Australian slang, young surfers (say under 15) who can rip up the waves are often called Grommits. It;s definitely a thought provoking word.