We believe self-expression is for everyone. That's why we create tools that make it easy for anyone to print their own ideas.
Founded by Jesse Genet and Stephan Ango, Lumi was made possible by a worldwide community of makers and pioneers. This is our story, so far.
The journey begins
At 16 years old, Jesse Genet started a T-shirt company in her parent's basement in Detroit, and began developing a way to print photography on textiles. She called her experiments "The Lumi Process".
Catching the entrepreneurial bug
Early signs of success brought Jesse to to Los Angeles where she began selling her T-shirts to boutiques along Melrose Avenue.
Jesse and Stephan meet
We're a pair of oddballs entering the same product design class at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Between school projects we begin talking about the Lumi Process.
It began in a laundry room
We move to the Brewery Lofts in downtown Los Angeles and begin using the laundry room at Stephan's loft to conduct experiments with photographic dye. It had all of the essentials: washer, dryer, sink, tile floors and a second-hand xenon spotlight purchased on Craigslist.
Our first Kickstarter project
Our results are beginning to look good, but we need the funds to continue the research and development process. Luckily Kickstarter.com had been founded a few months prior. We successfully raise $13,597, one of the biggest projects at the time, and go on to win Best Design Project of 2010. Our rewards include wallets and bags made with the Lumi Process.
We're making furniture
Our project garners us new clients including the furniture company Cisco Home. We work with them to create one-of-a-kind chairs, sofas, pillows and other products printed with the Lumi Process. Our products make waves at the Highpoint furniture show and are sold in several stores including the famous ABC Home in New York City.
The Lumi team grows to four, and for the first time we reveal the dye that powers the Lumi Process. We begin selling Inkodye on our website and launch a video to explain it.
Returning to Kickstarter
Our initial Inkodye sales are promising but to provide a full printing process we created new tools including Inkowash, Inkofilm and our first iPhone app. We return to Kickstarter delivering what we had promised in winter 2009: a revolutionary textile printing process. The project was a tremendous success and raised $268,437.
Shipping our first kit
With a second Kickstarter success under our belt, we ship the new kits, products and app. We even made a fun video with our friends and neighbors at Sandwich Video to celebrate.
Lumi × PUMA
The sportswear company PUMA approaches us with a big project. We collaborate with them to power a new series of Creative Factory workshops in 12 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Over 30,000 bottles of Inkodye sold
We end the year on incredible results. More than 30,000 bottles of Inkodye were shipped to customers in over 100 countries!
The team grows a little more
We add three new members to the Lumi team, for a total of seven! We all put on our jumpsuits and attend our second Maker Faire winning three blue ribbons.
Inkodye picks up steam
Thousands of people are now contributing images of their designs to Instagram and other social networks. A few caught our attention so we created the Lumi Features series on YouTube highlighting amazing creations from the community.
The spectrum grows
Inkodye's color range expands from three to nine and we reveal Inkodye Black, which quickly becomes our best-selling color.
New kits launch in over 1,500 stores
With everything we learned from our own experiments, Kickstarter, and thousands of customers, we launch our best kits yet and partner with major retailers including Urban Outfitters, Michael's and JoAnn Fabrics to launch Inkodye in over 1,500 stores!
Moving into our very own factory
Lumi HQ moves from a 2,500 sq. ft. loft to a 12,000 sq. ft. factory in downtown Los Angeles. Our new machines and growing team helps us put tender loving care into every package that goes out.