Jesse Genet created the first Lumi photo printing kit in her friend's laundry room to continue to create tee shirts, something she'd been doing since age 16. She unveils the newest version of Lumi in Shark Tank episode 622. She calls the method for the photo printing kit “the Lumi process.”
What Lumi does is make inks that allow people to print on fabric using sunlight activated ink. You can dye tee shirts, use shadows to create images, or even print photos using a Lumi photo printing kit. They even have an app that lets you mock up your creations on a smart phone and order 12″ x 12″ negatives for your creation. You'd take the negative, apply the patented Lumi Inkodye, and set your creation in the sun. In a short time, you'll have a custom tee shirt that's ready to wear!
Genet has quite a background including not one, but two wildly successful Kickstarters that raised over $280K. There's also a world-wide community of creators that share their art with members of the Lumi community. In a relatively short period of time, Ms. Genet managed to create a revolutionary printing process that merges old school photographic methods with new school technology.
Starting from ground zero, Genet took Lumi from concept to world-wide distribution in over 100 countries, 1500 stores and on Amazon. The possibilities are endless with Lumi, limited only by your imagination. With 9 ink colors and over 1 million shared designs, people are embracing the Lumi process. They even partner, on occasion, with other companies to help them design their fabric printing needs.
My Take on the Lumi Photo Printing Kit
With 5 kids and an artistic streak in our family, we've done many tee shirt printing projects over the years. When the kids were little, we'd have a “make your own tee shirt” component to their birthday parties. Tie Dye was always popular in the summer: I have tie dye shirts dating back to the 1990's that my kids made for me. We would have LOVED Lumi “back in the day.”
We make tee shirts every summer; this summer, instead of tie dye, I am going to get a Lumi photo printing kit or two to create our yearly tee shirts. The process is relatively easy and the design options are practically infinite. I'm looking forward to it!
People are always looking for fun, new ways to express themselves and Lumi gives us a whole new universe of options. The Lumi process works on any fabric, so it's not limited to tee shirts. You can print on anything from a fabric furniture slip cover to canvas.
What strikes me most about Lumi is the intelligence Genet and her team bring to the business. These aren't some college kids with an off-beat idea for making tee shirts. The Lumi team created a whole new printing method from scratch AND figured out how to sell it. While reading their story, I got the sense that perfecting the process first was the most important aspect of this business. Recognition and sales came after getting the product right and explosive growth was the result.
I wouldn't be shocked if Lumi got offers and turned them down. Ms. Genet doesn't strike me as the type of person who will de-value her company because a Shark tells her what it's worth. Whatever offers she fields, she'll evaluate carefully; she's not here to “save” her business, she's here to strategically grow it. I am solidly IN on Lumi!
Do Sharks See the Light?
I predict Genet will come across as a knowledgeable and savvy entrepreneur with a firm grasp on all aspects of her business. Whatever she asks for, it will be spot-on for valuation and for the amount. The fact the product itself is so revolutionary ought to produce multiple offers. Any one of the Sharks should want to be part of Lumi.
I predict multiple offers, but Ms. Genet isn't going to de-value her baby for the sake of doing a deal. Either way, Lumi is a winner.