Mess with Makers, and Jules Pieri will kick your ass. Ain’t playin.

Amazon Sucks.

Jules Pieri is not what you expect. Neither is the impact of my favorite retailer on my fellow entrepreneurs.

Most people see Jules Pieri, and wonder which part of Wellesley she comes from. I know I did, and I’ve known her for a while now.

For those who don’t, Jules is the 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. Know Fitbit, SodaStream and Ideapaint? The Grommet played a key role in getting all of them the early exposure they needed to secure national distribution, as it’s done for hundreds more since (if you don’t know them, check this out:)

Jules started her career as an industrial designer for technology companies and was subsequently a senior executive for big brands including Keds, Stride Rite, and Playskool. The Grommet is her actually third startup, following roles as VP at Design Continuum and President of She completed her undergrad 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, she 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 posts as @julespieri on Twitter and Instagram.

As for that Wellesley thing, turns out… not so much. Jules actually grew up in the mean streets of Detroit, where her dad was an auto maker and her mom was a bank teller. She got out by sneaking behind their backs and applying to a boarding school she was ill equipped to attend, and the journey from overcoming that challenge to becoming the fine-featured, pixie-coiffed Mompreneur we all know and love in the Boston startup scene is really something to hear.

As I said in the headline, our second segment this week is titled “Amazon Sucks.” To be honest, no one is more surprised to be writing those words than me, having been an Amazon customer since all they sold were books. To be honest I’ve LOVED Amazon for a long time. I respect their execution and how they take care of me as a customer, and it’s the default store in our household, which spends more than it probably should online.

When I posted something to that effect on Facebook, though, my homegirl Jules stepped in to set me straight, about the impact of Amazon’s pricing policies on my fellow entrepreneurs. She has some very specific concerns about the way they’ve gone after counterfeiters in particular, and I have to say having spent some time with Jules that I now share them.

If you’re skeptical, that’s great. Hear her out in our second segment today, and judge for yourself. And PLEASE… help spread the word on social media, rate us in iTunes, and be sure and subscribe to How Hard Can It Be? on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts:

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