Handbag Maker Lumi Taps Crowdfunding As Designers Plan Exit

    Finnish fashion firm Lumi, known for its leather handbags, launched on Wednesday equity crowdfunding campaign, aiming to raise 120,000 euros mostly to finance its Swedish expansion this year and next.

    Lumi also warned the designer-couple behind the brand, Sanna Kantola and Bruno Beaugrand, planned for an exit within next five years. While exit of founders is on the roadmap for almost every technology startup, it is not as natural for a fashion brand which are fully dependent on its designers-founders.

    Lumi, which has reached annual sales of 1.5 million euros without external investment, aims to stand out in a highly competitive and over-crowded marketplace for handbags with its unique design and more environmentally friendly materials than those of its rivals. Lumi said 60 percent of its products are using vegetable-tanned leather, compared to an industry standard of 10 percent.

    Launching on FundedByMe platform Lumi hopes to replicate success of Marita Huurinainen, who raised more than 170,000 euros late 2015 and made a local record in fashion crowdfunding.

    Lumi’s most known product, the Supermarket Bag, features interchangeable straps, which allow you to switch from cross-body position to shoulder position with a snap button. Lumi believes this “functional intelligence” has made it Lumi’s bestseller, with over 50,000 pieces sold globally.

    Lumi has been running its own retail stores since 2007 in Finland, Germany and Japan. In addition, its bags are stocked in over 20 countries through a network of selected retailers, including Merci, Conran Shop, Baycrews, and Le Bon Marche, to only name a few.

    Its key rivals are Nordic accessories brands, Mismo and Sandqvist, the Swiss utilitarian and sustainable brand Freitag, and the UK-based leather bags brand Ally Capellino.