Jesse Genet of Lumi Shares Three Practical Steps for Planning Your Packaging

Share this post

We often learn new things about ourselves while working on creative projects. Jesse Genet launched Lumi, a line of light-sensitive ink kits, over the course of two Kickstarter campaigns. In the process, she discovered that she loved solving the logistical puzzle of shipping things. So she shifted her company's focus to helping other creators design beautiful packaging for their projects. We asked Genet to share some tips on how to plan for packaging and shipping before you launch a Kickstarter campaign.

 

For many Kickstarter creators, packaging is an afterthought. With all the work that goes into creating your project and building an audience, it’s easy to arrive at that triumphant moment when you’re ready to ship and suddenly realize that you have a lot of unanswered questions. Will your rewards arrive safe and sound? Can you stick to your shipping budget? When your rewards land on doorsteps around the world, will the packaging reflect the creativity and excitement of the project itself?

My introduction to packaging came via the two Kickstarter campaigns I ran for my first product, an art supply kit called Inkodye. My first campaign in 2009 had 188 backers. I was in college at the time, and my homework suffered as I packed rewards at night. By the time I launched my 2012 campaign, I had added some collaborators to my team and felt far more prepared. We raised more than five times our funding goal and ended up with 3,525 backers. The success of the campaign was exciting — but behind the scenes, I was totally overwhelmed. We managed to produce all of our rewards on time, but quickly realized that we hadn’t properly planned our packaging and postage expenses.

I spent more than 25 percent of the $268,000 I raised during my second Kickstarter campaign on postage. That extra expense really hurt, and nearly emptied our bank account. With better planning, I could have cut my packaging and postage expenses in half.

My own packaging and shipping mistakes made me realize how hard this stuff is, and inspired me to launch Lumi.com in 2015. We want to make it easy for any creator to ship their rewards using beautiful packaging and an efficient supply chain. We also produce a weekly show on YouTube called Shipping Things — it’s our cheeky way of sharing tips, tricks, and techniques for shipping pretty and helping people understand packaging and logistics.

With Lumi, I’m building the company I needed when I ran my first Kickstarter campaign. And I made the three videos below with Kickstarter creators in mind. I hope they’ll help you avoid my expensive mistakes and encourage you to plan your packaging and shipping before you launch your campaign.

1. Make a packaging budget 

How much should you budget for packaging? It’s a simple question, but the answer can be surprisingly complex.

2. Choose the right packaging 

Now that you know your budget, how are you going to spend it? Treat your packaging as an extension of your project: use it to complement what you're shipping and engage your audience. (But don’t forget: your first priority is making sure your products will arrive in one piece.)

3. Plan for shipping costs 

Don’t finalize your packaging until you know how much it will cost to ship. Shipping rates are complicated, and changing dimensions by even half an inch could save you thousands of dollars. You might need to crack open a spreadsheet to get this part right.

Putting your idea out into the world is a big deal. And how you (literally) deliver on that idea is pivotal to maintaining the excitement and momentum you built during your campaign. Packaging isn’t just about logistics — it can also be a way to keep telling the story of your creative project. With some careful planning, you can ship your rewards in safe packaging that looks great and makes your backers — and your budget — happy.

For weekly tips, tricks, and strategies related to packaging and shipping, subscribe to Lumi on YouTube and follow us on Instagram.

Line icon alert icon Artboard Copy 8 arrow-down icon arrow-down arrow-left icon arrow-left arrow-point-left icon Fill 1 Copy 5 arrow-point-right icon Fill 1 arrow-right icon arrow-right arrow-up-right icon icon--arrow-up-right copy bar-chart icon Artboard Copy 6 bell icon Combined Shape Copy 5 book icon Artboard Copy 3 bookmark icon Fill 1 brand-assets icon Artboard Copy 13 cart icon Artboard Copy 4 chat icon chat check icon Fill 1 Copy 6 circle-back icon Fill 1 Copy 13 circle-forward icon Fill 1 Copy 16 circle-k icon circle-k circle-left icon circle-left circle-right icon circle-right clipboard icon Artboard Copy 12 clock icon Combined Shape close icon close closed-caption icon Fill 1 compass icon Combined Shape Copy 2 conversion icon conversion delta-down icon Fill 1 delta-left icon delta-right icon Fill 1 delta-up icon Fill 1 duplicate icon duplicate embed icon Combined Shape Copy 6 eye icon Combined Shape Copy 12 facebook-contained icon Facebook Contained facebook icon Facebook logo flag icon Fill 1 Copy 3 gear icon Fill 1 Copy 14 global-africa icon Fill 1 Copy 9 global-america icon Fill 1 Copy 10 global-asia icon Fill 1 Copy 17 graph-bar icon Combined Shape Copy 9 graph-line icon Combined Shape Copy 16 heart icon Fill 1 Copy 8 help icon human icon icon--human icon--alarm icon icon--alarm icon--alert icon icon--alert icon--arrow-down icon icon--arrow-down icon--arrow-left icon icon--arrow-left icon--arrow-right icon icon--arrow-right icon--arrow-up-right icon icon--arrow-up-right icon--arrow-up icon icon--arrow-up icon--backer-badge icon icon--backer-badge icon--bell icon icon--bell icon--bolt icon icon--bolt icon--bookmark-outline icon icon--bookmark-outline icon--bookmark icon icon--bookmark icon--calculator icon icon--calculator icon--calendar-check icon icon--calendar-check icon--calendar icon icon--calendar icon--campaign-outline icon icon--campaign-outline icon--check icon icon--check icon--chevron-down icon icon--chevron-down icon--chevron-left icon icon--chevron-left icon--chevron-right icon icon--chevron-right icon--chevron-up icon icon--chevron-up icon--circle-around icon icon--circle-around icon--circle-back icon icon--circle-back icon--circle-forward icon icon--circle-forward icon--circle-loader icon Page 1 icon--circle icon icon--clipboard icon icon--clipboard icon--clock icon icon--clock icon--closed-caption icon icon--closed-caption icon--code icon icon--code icon--collapse icon icon--collapse icon--commissions icon icon--commissions icon--compass icon icon--compass icon--confirmation icon icon--confirmation icon--conversion icon icon-conversion icon--cpu icon icon--curve-right icon icon--curve-right icon--cross icon icon--cross icon--delta-down icon icon--delta-down icon--delta-left icon icon--delta-left icon--delta-right icon icon--delta-right icon--delta-up icon icon--delta-up icon--download icon icon--download icon--ellipsis icon icon--expand icon icon--expand icon--external icon icon--external icon--eye icon icon--eye icon--facebook icon icon--facebook icon--filter icon icon--filter icon--flag icon icon--flag icon--frown-filled icon icon--frown icon icon--gear icon icon--gear icon--globe-africa icon icon--globe-africa icon--globe-america icon icon--globe-america icon--globe-asia icon icon--globe-asia icon--graph-bar icon icon--graph-bar icon--graph-line icon icon--graph-line icon--happy-filled icon icon--happy icon icon--heart-outline icon icon--heart outline icon--heart-thin-outline icon Fill 1 icon--heart icon icon--heart icon--home icon icon--home icon--home-with-door icon icon--human icon icon--human icon--humans icon icon--humans icon--image icon icon--image icon--inbox icon icon--inbox icon--info icon icon--info icon--instagram icon icon/instagram icon--lightbulb icon icon--lightbulb icon--link icon icon--link icon--lock-black-bg icon lock-icon icon--lock icon icon--lock icon--mail icon icon--mail icon--meh-filled icon icon--meh icon icon--menu icon icon--menu icon--message icon icon--message icon--mobile icon icon--mobile icon--overflow icon icon--overflow icon--pause icon icon--pause icon--pencil icon icon--pencil icon--pin icon icon--pin icon--pinterest icon icon--pinterest icon--play icon icon--play icon--plus-human icon icon--plus-human icon--plus icon icon--plus icon--prohibit icon icon--prohibit icon--project-budget icon icon--pull-quote icon icon--pull-quote icon--question-filled icon icon--question-filled icon--question icon icon--question icon--reorder icon icon-reorder icon--reply icon icon--reply icon--save icon icon--save icon--saved icon icon--saved icon--search icon icon--search icon--section-break icon icon--section-break icon--small-k icon icon--sound-hi icon icon--sound-hi icon--sound-lo icon icon--sound-lo icon--sound-mute icon icon--sound-mute icon--star-outline icon Star Outline icon--star icon icon--star icon--subtitles-captions icon icon--subtitles-captions icon--text-bold icon icon--text-bold icon--text-bullet icon icon--text-bullet icon--text-italic icon icon--text-italic icon--textalign-centered icon icon--textalign-centered icon--textalign-right icon icon--textalign-right icon--thumbs-down icon icon--thumbs-down icon--thumbs-up icon icon--thumbs-up icon--thumbsdown-outline icon icon--thumbsdown-outline icon--thumbsup-outline icon icon--thumbsup-outline icon--trash icon icon--trash icon--tumblr icon icon--tumblr icon--twitter icon icon--twitter icon--unlink icon Artboard icon--unlock icon icon--unlock icon--update-freeform-round icon icon--update-freeform-round icon--update-freeform icon icon--update-freeform icon--update-pinned icon Artboard icon--update-qa-round icon icon--update-qa-round icon--update-qa icon icon--update-qa icon--upload icon icon--upload icon--video icon icon--video icon--youtube icon icon--youtube icon-imagealign-center icon icon-imagealign-center icon-imagealign-left icon icon-imagealign-left icon-imagealign-right icon icon-imagealign-right info icon Combined Shape Copy instagram icon instagram copy kickstarter icon Artboard Copy 5 leaf icon leaf lightbulb icon icon--lightbulb link icon Combined Shape Copy 8 loading-spin icon lock icon Combined Shape Copy 4 mail icon Combined Shape map-pin icon Fill 1 menu icon Group message icon Fill 1 Copy 12 mobile icon Page 1 Copy 2 pause icon pause copy pencil icon Combined Shape Copy 3 pin icon Combined Shape Copy 11 pinterest icon pinterest play icon play copy plus-human icon icon--plus-human plus icon Fill 1 Copy 7 question icon Combined Shape Copy 14 search icon Fill 1 Copy 11 shapeshift icon share icon Fill 1 Copy slash icon solid-arrow icon solid-arrow sound-hi icon Combined Shape sound-lo icon Combined Shape sound-mute icon Combined Shape star icon Fill 1 Copy 2 stopwatch icon Group 2 thumbs-up icon Shape tools icon Shape trash icon Combined Shape tumblr icon tumblr copy twitter icon twitter copy user icon Artboard Copy 10 volume-up icon Artboard Copy 9 warning icon Combined Shape Copy 10 write icon Artboard Copy 11 x icon Fill 1 Copy 4 youtube icon Combined Shape