Harvard Innovation Labs Companies – i-lab – Lovepop – 18/43
LovePop helps people express their affection for others with magical laser-cut sculptures that burst out of paper cards. LovePop makes you the thoughtful gifter so you always have the perfect gift for that special someone right when you need it.
- LovePop’s Wombi Rose: Retail Strategy Scales Down, Not Up
Say you’ve got a retail concept you think will take off. You don’t have a lot of capital, so you might test it in a kiosk or a truck. Eventually you’d start to do pop-ups and, if things were going really well, sign a lease for retail space, somewhere that gets a lot of foot traffic. Wombi Rose and John Wise want to go in the opposite direction.
Their greeting-card company, LovePop Cards, uses a paper-cutting art form called kirigami to make pop-up designs that look pretty different from the standard fare of Hallmark and American Greetings. They’ve raised $600,000, some of which they used to set up a factory in Vietnam, where kirigami has been called “the new art of Vietnamese youth.”
Now they have the factory and seven kiosks, three of which are in Boston. I caught up with Rose at one of them, just inside the big lobby at Boston’s South Station. The next step isn’t a brick-and-mortar store, he said.
“Our goal is to get in front of the customer where it’s convenient to them,” Rose told me. With that in mind, the company is planning this holiday season to roll out “an even more capital-light” retail model that pops up inside office-building lobbies and next to food trucks.
Their experience making pop-up cards has helped with this. “We think a lot about how do you pack a lot into something flat,” he said.