Information, helpful advice, and commentary about topics relevant to relaunchers.

Executive in Residence at Daily Grommet

EIR programs offer employers and employees a ramp-up period.

Introduction by Carol Fishman Cohen

Daily Grommet, home  of "Citizen Commerce™," is in their words, "an online marketplace where you can discover and buy inventive, new products and learn their true stories." Grommet is not only breaking new ground on the e-commerce front, but in their employment practices. We wrote about Daily Grommet a year ago; how Founder Jules Pieri took a three-year career break earlier in her career, how Grommet has hired a number of "relaunchers" - our name for people returning to work after a career break, and how Grommet has featured products created by relaunchers. Then the Grommet team went one step further and created an Executive in Residence (EIR) position for a returning professional. Jules Pieri wrote an excellent post about their first EIR experience and agreed to let us feature it as a guest post on our blog. Take a look:Executive in Residence, fo' Real by Jules Pieri

I wrote a post many months ago about the incredibly rich talent pool created by folks who take a career break and want to get back in the game. I proposed that companies create an “Executive in Residence” program to maximize this under-appreciated human resource, and simultaneously give these professionals a quick updating in the technologies that they may have missed.

A few months after that post, we created our first “for-real” Executive in Residence position, for Lara Simon. (Anyone at Grommet knows I am not so keen on idle chatter or speculation. I deeply value brainstorming and fresh ideas, but I value concrete action even more. We had to really DO this EIR program, and not just talk about it.) It’s been a huge success.

Lara came to us with a very rich background. She’d worked directly with the Seth Godin at YoYodyne, the first online direct marketing business. Seth created the idea of Permission Marketing, and Lara was part of the team that gave it shape. She went on to become a Director of E-commerce at Yahoo!, slipped in a JD degree from Boston University, and practiced law long enough to know it was not for her. She then took a career break to focus on her adorable three children (see them–and Lara–here in this Grommet video). After two years at home, she started to miss the crazy startup vibe.

Fast forward to today. Lara’s been working in the Grommet creators/supplier side of our business since September. She spearheaded a massive effort to convert our business model to a drop-ship one, from the previous incarnation as a mixed model of affiliate and drop-ship. Her efforts have directly contributed to a steep climb in our revenues, as we now have full control over the customer order process. The economic justification is clear.

Beyond this, Lara is at just the ideal point in her career to make a meaningful difference at Daily Grommet. She’s energetic, wise, thoughtful, and experienced. Having completed the drop-ship conversion part of our business, she picked up a new raft of responsibilities relating to our supplier base and customer service.

On her side, Lara got to “try us on.” Grommet is not for everybody. The pace and demands of our business are relentless, considering we are READ MORE.


Fashion Playtes, a Salem, MA company for girls ages 6-12 who want to design their own clothes online, has just established an EIR position (unpaid) and is interested in speaking to qualified candidates. To apply, send your resume and a cover letter to

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