“Packaging is the new storefront,” says Jesse Genet, who founded Lumi with fellow industrial designer Stephan Ango in 2015 to sell bespoke packing materials—colorful cardboard boxes, eye-catching mailers, logo-printed masking tape and tissue paper, and more—to upstart direct-to-consumer-goods companies looking for an edge in a retail landscape dominated by Amazon. Though Lumi, which grew from 4.7 million shipped units in 2016 to 25 million in 2017, is a DIY platform (clients upload and design their own graphics), Genet excels at coming up with novel solutions to tough production challenges. A few recent clients she’s helped:
The Field Company: After the cookware purveyor’s signature product, a six-pound cast-iron skillet, took off on Kickstarter, the founders approached Lumi for help in getting it to customers efficiently. “Most people would’ve wrapped it in bubble wrap, but that would’ve been wasteful,” says Genet. “We developed a corrugated box that cradles the skillet and [conforms to] its exact profile.”
Rockets of Awesome: For the two-year-old children’s clothing brand, Lumi helped devise a whimsical, briefcase-shaped box that doubles as a coloring book. “Their design team came to us with the idea,” says Genet. She and her staff found affordable cardboard that could withstand water on the outside and take to crayons on the inside.
Sakara Life: The upscale lifestyle food company, which sells ready-to-eat meals and wellness-focused snacks and supplements, approached Lumi to help make its detox- and beauty-themed kits feel more special. “We worked with our structural engineer to create a new cardboard box with an insert that fits the contours of each product,” says Genet. “When you open it up, it feels thoughtfully put together—worthy of the high price point.”