Lumi Shark Tank: What Happened to the DIY Photo Printing Company?

lumi shark tank
Net Worth$9 Million
FounderJesse Genet
ProductsPrinting and
packaging online
Investment Asking For$250K For 5% equity
Lumi EpisodeSeason 6, Episode 19
ResultsNo deal

Lumi Shark Tank: Imagine being offered $250K from two of the most successful businesspeople (Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner) in the world.

That’s what happened to Jesse Genet, the founder of Lumi, a DIY photo printing kit that appeared on Shark Tank in 2015.

But Jesse surprised everyone by turning down the Sharks’ offers.

Why did she do it? What was Lumi? And what happened to the company after Shark Tank?

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Lumi Shark Tank story and learn the lessons we can take away from it.

Legacy Shave on shark tank

Read Also

Legacy Shave’s Net Worth

What is Lumi Shark Tank?

Lumi is a DIY photo printing kit that appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank in February 2015.

The kit used the power of sunlight to print permanent imagery on any natural material, including cotton, linen, and wood.

The kit was founded by Jesse Genet and Stephan Ango, who are self-taught designers and entrepreneurs.

Lumi at Shark Tank
Lumi Shark Tank

Jesse developed the Lumi kit after struggling to find a way to print her own designs on clothing and accessories.

To use the Lumi kit, users would first create a negative of their image using the Lumi app.

The negative would then be printed on a transparency and placed over the material to be printed on. The kit also included a special dye that would activate when exposed to sunlight.

To print the image, users would simply place the material and transparency in the sun for 10-15 minutes.

Once the dye was activated, the image would be permanently printed on the material.

The kit was also used by artists and designers to create custom products.

What was Lumi’s product?

Lumi’s product was a DIY photo printing kit that used the power of sunlight to print permanent imagery on any natural material, including cotton, linen, and wood.

Lumi's product
Lumi Shark Tank

The kit was designed to be easy to use and affordable. It included everything users needed to print their own photos, including:

  • A special dye that activated when exposed to sunlight
  • A transparency sheet to create a negative of the image
  • A frame to hold the transparency sheet and material in place
  • Instructions

To use the kit, users would first create a negative of their image using the Lumi app.

The app would invert the colors of the image and make it transparent.

Lumi includes a shadow printing kit and a sunfold printing kit.

Jesse also introduced individual bottles for her brand.

You can do four t-shirts from one kit that cost $39.99 and then you can buy refills and do as many as you want.

The Scrubbie net worth

Read Also

The Scrubbie’s Net Worth

Who is the founder of Lumi?

According to Jesse Genet, the dye is a trade secret.

A fellow in the 1950s developed the formula for something that was very similar to essentially what she was seeking.

It took her two years to track down this guy (Initial founder of Lumi).

The initial founder was not using it; it was defunct.

Eventually, Jesse Genet convinced him that if he had any old inventory, she could take it over.

To get the ownership, Jesse paid him $50K.

That’s when she took an angel investment. The investor invested $180K at 10.5% equity.

When did Lumi appear on Shark Tank?

Lumi appeared on Shark Tank on February 13, 2015. The episode aired in Season 6, Episode 19.

On the show, founder Jesse Genet pitched her Lumi DIY photo printing kit to the Sharks.

Backend story of Lumi

Jesse Genet’s entrepreneurial spirit blossomed further during her studies at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

It was there that she met her future business partner, Stephan Ango, and together they embarked on a journey fueled by their fascination with solar-powered printing.

Their laundry room became their initial laboratory, where they experimented with the Lumi process.

In 2010, their shared passion translated into a shared venture.

Captivated by the potential of printing designs using sunlight, they sought funding through Kickstarter, raising an initial sum of $13,597.

This crucial step paved the way for the Lumi process to take shape, eventually evolving into a user-friendly kit.

Through Inkodye inks, the kit empowered individuals to unleash their creativity, transforming t-shirts, furniture, or any desired fabric into personalized canvases.

To further refine their concept, they collaborated with major brands like Puma in “creative factory workshops.”

This valuable experience, coupled with their unwavering dedication, propelled their second Kickstarter campaign to phenomenal success, exceeding their initial goal of $50,000 by a staggering $218,437.

Even before their appearance on Shark Tank, Genet had already established Lumi as a prominent player in the market.

The company’s kits were available in major retail stores like Urban Outfitters, Michael’s, and JoAnn Fabrics, with over 30,000 kits sold, a testament to their innovative product and savvy business acumen.

Lumi Shark Tank pitch

Lumi Shark Tank pitch was one of the most memorable in the show’s history.

Founder Jesse was confident and passionate about her product, and she was able to clearly articulate its value to the Sharks.

The Sharks were impressed with the simplicity and effectiveness of the Lumi kit. They also liked the fact that it was an affordable and eco-friendly product.

Jesse then asked the Sharks for $250K in exchange for 5% equity in her company.

Details pitch of Jesse Genet

Have you ever had an idea for a t-shirt, or maybe wanted to print a logo on anything other than paper?

What if I told you that with the power of the sun, you could print beautiful, permanent imagery on any natural material?

Let me show you why Lumi is unlike anything you have seen.

Simply snap an image, upload it into the free Lumi app, then press negative, and it’ll turn your image into a negative that you can save and print at home or order from us, and we’ll ship it to you.

Now, choose something to print on, maybe an old t-shirt or a tote bag.

Take our sunlight-activated ink, snap the packet, and spread it on.

Now, take your negative and secure it in place.

Just 10 minutes out in the sun will turn this into a beautiful, permanent design.

So, let’s see how this one turns out.

This is now a permanent image; I just need to take this, throw it in the wash, and I’m done.

So, at Lumi, we’re taking photography out of the darkroom and into the sun.

Lumi clearly has a bright future. Who wants to join me?

Jesse Genet

The Sharks’ offers

The Sharks made two offers to Lumi founder Jesse Genet during Lumi Shark Tank pitch.

Kevin O’Leary made the first offer. Kevin had two offers for Jesse.

Buy Ownership (Equity Investment)

Mike claims Jesse’s company is worth $500,000 based on a questionable valuation method and offers to buy 50% ownership for $250,000.

Borrow Money (Venture Debt)

Mike provides a $250,000 loan for 3 years with an 8.5% interest rate. In return, he wants 12.5% ownership of Jesse’s company.

After Kevin’s offer Jesse adds:

The last thing we took was actually a $110K loan with interest, and we paid it back within four months. If there was a fair equity deal, that, if there was an additional loan, I would definitely add like a 2% kicker, a 2 and a half percentage kicker.

Then Robert Herjavec offers $250K for a 15% stake.

Eventually, Kevin and Lori offer $250K as a loan at 8.5% interest + 5% equity.

But here is the counteroffer from Jesse’s side: $250K for a 5% stake + $100K as a loan for an additional 2% stake.

Everyone was out, but it seems Lori was interested in investing in Lumi. This is why Lori again offered $250k as a loan at 8.5% interest + 7% equity. But Jesse was not going to take a loan for 7% equity in the company.

Jesse’ decision to decline the Sharks’ offers was a bold one.

Lumi's Review

What happened to Lumi after Shark Tank?

Lumi continued to grow after its appearance on Shark Tank. The company received a lot of publicity and sales increased significantly.

Jesse also used the Sharks’ feedback to improve the Lumi kit and to develop new products.

In 2015, Lumi launched a new software platform called The platform allowed businesses to create custom packaging using the Lumi printing process.

This was a new and innovative way for businesses to brand their products.

Lumi’s custom packaging business was successful, and the company partnered with a number of well-known brands, including the Wall Street Journal and Etsy.

However, Lumi struggled to raise additional funding in the years that followed.

This limited the company’s ability to grow and compete. In 2018, Jesse announced that she was closing the company.

The company’s pivot to custom packaging

Lumi’s pivot to custom packaging was a strategic move to expand its market and reach a wider range of customers. The company met the demand for custom packaging using Lumi printing.

The custom packaging market was also a good fit for Lumi’s strengths.

The company had a deep understanding of the printing process and a commitment to sustainability.

This made it well-positioned to provide businesses with high-quality, eco-friendly packaging solutions.


Despite its short lifespan, Lumi Shark Tank story is a valuable one, teaching us the importance of understanding your target market, developing a sustainable business model, being realistic about your growth potential, and being willing to make tough decisions.

Genet Jesse, the founder of Lumi, is an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere.

She proved successful from scratch, despite setbacks. Jesse’ story reminds us to pursue dreams and never quit on goals.

Leave a Comment