To celebrate our 9th birthday we caught up with our CEO and Co-founder, Riley Stricklin, to get the inside scoop on his experience building and running Lume Cube.
How did the idea of Lume Cube start?
"The original idea was for a small, portable light for GoPros and iPhones. All lighting on the market for creators was designed for larger cameras and studios, so we saw an opportunity to design the first-ever lighting device intended for smaller content creation devices like the iPhone and GoPro."
When did you know you were onto something?
"While we were working on other jobs/projects, we created a few prototypes and threw them on Kickstarter to see what type of reaction we would get. We set a goal to raise $56k and thought if we could do that, maybe we had something. We ended up raising $50,000 within the first 72 hrs of the kickstarted campaign (it was crazy!), and after 30 days, we had $229,000 in the bank and pre-sold over 4,000 units. After that, we knew we had to go for it!"
What are you most proud of in all 9 years of Lume Cube?
"I’d say that we’re still here and not only surviving but thriving. I’ve seen so many brands come and go in my 9 years, and it certainly hasn’t always been easy, but we’re still alive and growing every month. It makes me extremely proud is be able to employ over 20 people and continue building a team that I truly believe in. BUT, if there was a single moment, I'd say seeing our product on the shelf of the Apple Store was a big one. Not many entrepreneurs experience being in a store of that caliber, so I must say that was pretty epic"
What has been the most fun part of building your business?
"The people I’ve gotten to meet and work with over the years. Being in a creative market (our customers are creators), it has brought so many amazing people into my life and friendships that will last a lifetime."
What are some mistakes you would advise others to avoid when building a business?
"Oh boy, I think we’ve made just about every mistake in the book. The biggest thing I can say is to know your numbers and financials. Those numbers are the lifeblood of a company. We’ve made some mistakes in the past because we didn’t truly know the costs associated with certain things, and it almost took us down."
What has been your favorite Lume Cube product?
"I think I’m most proud of the Ring Light Pro that we launched in 2022. That product took over 12 months of design and development, nearly 20 prototypes, and you can really tell. It’s the most intentionally designed Ring Light on the market, and we can barely keep it on the shelf these days!"
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome at Lume Cube?
"Changing market trends have really challenged the business. In the early days, our products were an accessory to other products (GoPros, Drones, etc.). When sales on those devices slowed down, so did our sales. It forced us to innovate and develop new products in new markets. Many companies that were GoPro accessory companies have since gone out of business, and we had to pivot to survive."
What are big milestones that Lume Cube has accomplished?
"Too many to count! From our first $1M month about 3 years ago, to our first 1M view video on Instagram, to seeing our product in the Oval Office on the President’s desk, to being on the Today Show…there are too many to count! I’m incredibly proud of the journey that has been this company."
What can we expect from Lume Cube in the future?
"Bigger and brighter products! We’ve got some really fun stuff in our product pipeline that I think our customers will love."
Head over to our Instagram to enter our 9th Birthday Giveaway! We're giving away prize packages to nine lucky winners to celebrate each year of Lume Cube!