Lumi is a brand that distributes solar-powered printing ink for fabrics. The company appeared on Shark Tank episode 622 and tried to convince the sharks to invest in it.
When Genet was 16 years old, she started selling t-shirts and had an entrepreneurial spirit. A few years later, she relocated to Los Angeles in order to sell t-shirts to stores. Genet met Stephan Ango at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design.
Genet and Ango came up with the idea of Lumi and they both tried out the procedure in the building’s laundry room. In order to continue their research and development, they resorted to Kickstarter in 2010 and raised $13,597.
Inkodye started creating a range of products, including home furniture using the Lumi process and developed a kit that allowed people to produce various art projects.
Their second Kickstarter campaign, which initially had a $50,000 goal ended up raising a whopping $268,437! Following that, they joined forces with Puma to open creative factory workshops around Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Since then, more than 30,000 kits have been sold; they are offered at JoAnn Fabrics, Michael’s, and Urban Outfitters. Additionally, they created Lumi Features, a YouTube community where individuals freely post their creative ideas and designs.
The business also provides an app that allows you to order materials, view user manuals, and mock up your designs. The business relocated into a 12,000 square foot factory in the heart of Los Angeles in the summer of 2014, right before Shark Tank was set to tape.
About the Brand
Lumi is owned and run by Jesse Genet. Before being asked to present her ideas on Shark Tank, Jesse had been running the company for more than three years. Since then, Jesse has joined a Silicon Valley startup farm, and her company has prospered.
Lumi is an at-home photo printing kit that uses sunlight to print pictures on materials like t-shirts and other fabrics. It is a solar-powered tool that prints customized and one-of-a-kind designs on clothing and other materials. You may lay a template over the object and then apply the design to the fabric or other product that will then be exposed to sunlight.
Although Lumi was an original idea, printing designs onto paper or other materials using it was not the most efficient method. Since its inception, Lumi’s original goals and designs have drastically changed; in contrast to its competitors, Lumi has now entered a completely diversified market.
Lumi has developed into a tremendously successful company that caters to businesses and producers rather than individual consumers. With an emphasis on connecting textile and product printers with companies that need their services, Lumi has developed into a printing and design company with a low carbon footprint and a transparent supply chain. The business is now valued at several million dollars and serves a wide range of customers.
Lumi on Shark Tank
Jesse appeared on Shark Tank with an aim to receive $250,000 for 5%. She demonstrates the product by creating a tee shirt in front of the sharks. One of the sharks pointed out that there are many firms that can print t-shirts, but Jesse claimed that the cool thing about Lumi was its do-it-yourself element. They made $1 million in sales, but because they continued reinvesting, they made very little money.
The sharks were unable to offer any deal to Jesse due to lack of cash flows. Although the sharks denied investing in Lumi, other venture capital organizations like Y Combinator sponsored the startup instead.
Our Review of Lumi
Lumi has grown to become one of the major players in the custom packaging market. They offer customers a variety of packing solutions like stickers, tape, bubble wraps, bags, boxes, and more. They are trusted by well-known brands including the Wall Street Journal, Cratejoy, and others. Additionally, the Lumi website has a dashboard where customers can follow shipments to fulfillment locations, view order statuses, and navigate through more features. Remember that before users may construct a package or obtain a quote, they must first register on their website. Lumi is a fantastic choice overall if your e-commerce company is looking for some premium custom packaging. There are other simpler things to think about, though, unless you’re sending out tens of thousands of boxes per month.
Utilizing the Lumi Photo Printing Kit is quite simple. When you snap a picture, a black and white negative is created from it. Then all you have to do is paint the fabric with the unique Inkodye. The negative is simply placed on the cloth that has been dyed, and the fabric is then exposed to the sun.
The natural textiles like cotton and silk respond best to the water-based Lumi dyes. Neither harsh chemicals nor pricy equipment are required. The method prints images on fabric using the power of sunlight. After the procedure is finished, you wash the fabric with Inkowash to get rid of any extra Inkodye that remains on it. The print may be machine washed and is permanent. The $35 fabric printing kits typically yield 4 prints.
The simplicity of creating photographic negatives is what we find most intriguing. The negatives for the procedure can be created using a Lumi App and then printed and mailed to the end customer. Additionally, you may construct a photo negative print using their inkjet film (Inkofilm is supplied separately) and an inkjet printer to create your own digital negative.
Pros of Lumi
- Customized shirts at home
- Cost effective
- High-quality results
Cons of Lumi
- High competition
Are There Any Alternatives?
- Artwork Flow
Our Final Thoughts
Jesse and her business partner, Stephan Ango, changed the focus of their company’s mission three months after making an appearance on Shark Tank to packaging for brands. They are still in operation and have a $9 million yearly revenue. The ink is also available on Amazon.
With funding from Y Combinator, Lumi debuted its new software platform, Lumi.com, one month after the Shark Tank episode aired. Lumi.com allows users to order and design unique branding and packaging accessories like rubber stamps and stickers. Thousands of businesses, including MailChimp, Blackbox, ShaveFace, and The Wall Street Journal now use Lumi for their packaging. The three different programs for Lumi include Starter, Growth, and Enterprise.