You may know The Grommet—formerly the Daily Grommet—as an e-commerce site that helps designers launch their newest consumer creations.
But if you’ve been following business news over the past few months, you’ve probably also heard from founder/CEO Jules Pieri on the challenges of publicity and fundraising as well as the roles played by women in today’s startup world.
Earlier this month Fortune named Pieri, who calls her company “an online mashup of QVC and Kickstarter”, one of the world’s 10 most powerful female entrepreneurs.
She knows of what she speaks:
The Grommet just celebrated its fifth anniversary, meaning it launched as the 2008 recession began in earnest. In a recent Quartz guest post, Pieri explains how difficult fundraising for startups can be in a struggling economy when venture capitalists shy away from taking risks—a phenomenon that PR pros know all too well.
Beyond highlighting great design, Pieri’s biggest passion may be promoting companies founded and run by women. She recently posted an open letter to President Obama in The Huffington Post arguing that if the government is going to help American innovators, it needs to address the gender inequality in venture funding (only 4-9% of which goes to women).
“I think many tech PR pros are drawn to the field because of how fulfilling it is to tell a startup’s story. The Grommet’s business model is all about enabling inventors—thousands of them since the site launched in 2008—to bring their product ideas to life. Every time we tell The Grommet’s story, we carry the stories of all of those inventors with us. It’s a great responsibility, but also a great privilege.
I’m also personally impressed by Jules’ fearlessness when it comes to promoting female entrepreneurship. Her byline in Xconomy earlier this year, Stop Managing Your Career and Start a Company, is a must-read. I haven’t always played in safe it my career, and reading this article was a vindication of something I’d long felt but couldn’t quite articulate. But as Jules will be the first to tell you, she’s just one of the many amazing women entrepreneurs who are part of The Grommet team.”
Of course media coverage helps any startup, and a strong, established personality like Pieri’s makes for a more compelling pitch. Yet in the wake of Twitter’s IPO announcement and debates about the lack of female executives within its organization, stories like The Grommet’s are even more irresistible for media outlets like Quartz, All Things D, Racked, HuffPo…and even blogs like this one.
In other words: does your firm count stories like Pieri’s among your client roster? Pitch them to us!