On the morning of 28th August 2019, one of the founders of Lovepop – Wombi Rose had an inspiring talk show at SURFSPACE about “HOW TO GROW A CONSUMER PRODUCT BUSINESS”. With the great experience involving consumer products from Lovepop, Wombi captivated the audience with lots of great stories about the process of starting and developing this business, as well as many useful lessons for a startup such as working with the team, partners, and investors, etc. Interestingly, this idea was originally from Vietnam, while the business is located in Boston with products manufactured in Danang. 

 

Lovepop was founded in Boston five years ago by Wombi Rose and John Wise who met each other at a training to become naval architects. It is a famous startup producing unique laser-cut 3D pop-up cards that are designed on a shipbuilding software and handcrafted in the ancient art form of kirigami. Every card of Lovepop always aims at creating a surprised, unforgettable moment and shared the connection between giver and receiver. With impressive growth, Lovepop made a splash on US Shark Tank in late 2015 and received an investment of $300,000 from Kevin O’Leary. 

 

Source: Lovepop’s website (https://www.lovepopcards.com/). This looks familiar to you, right? Yes, you can find the similar pop-up 3D cards in Hoi An where you can buy with 50,000 VND. However the designs are very old- fashioned

 

 

The business idea of Lovepop got inspiration during a field trip in Vietnam with Harvard Business School, Wombi and John discovered hand-crafted paper cards sold on the streets and were immediately impressed by this incredible paper art form. After returning to Boston, they gave those cards to family, friends, even strangers and received delighted reactions from everyone, so they decided to form the idea of opening Lovepop which is specialized in 3D greetings card production. Currently, John and Wombi chose to design, and handcraft each card in both Boston, where they started their business and Danang City, where they first discovered the ancient art form of slice form kirigami.

 

Wombi Rose (on the left of the photo) – Ha Trinh Quoc Bao (on the right of the photo)

 

According to Danang Today, Ha Trinh Quoc Bao – Founder of Lovepop Vietnam (on the right of the photo) met Wombi and John during his part-time job since 2015, then he took the opportunity to cooperate with them to set up a Lovepop factory in Danang. In April 2015, the first factory was officially inaugurated in a small room which measured 40 square meters, had 02 laser cutters with only 10 employees. However, thanks to Bao ‘s effort to improve manufacturing efficiency day by day, Lovepop cards made in Vietnam were sold well in the US. Therefore, Bao started expanding the factory. From the 40m2 room, Lovepop Vietnam now owns a 1.4-hectare factory in Hoa Khanh Industrial Park. Till 2019, Lovepop has produced 13,000 cards/day and had 50 staff in the US and nearly 500 employees in Vietnam

According to Business Insider, thanks to O’Leary’s investment, Lovepop said its sales had surged to more than $8 million from $300,000 in 2017. And after one year, Lovepop sale revenue increased to $36 million. Wombi also told us that design-focused is one of the contributing factors to their success.

“I came back to Vietnam after 5 years, the designs of pop-up cards they sold on the street are still the same as when I saw them,” said Wombi.

Meanwhile, Lovepop has a creative director and creative team in Boston to look for trends and ideas for their card design innovation. Thanks to the idea of licensing Disney’s movie, Star Wars, and other trendy characters, Lovepop keeps creating more beautiful cards to meet the tastes of US consumers.

Here are key lessons for entrepreneurs: with the same idea, a different business model together with product innovation can generate much greater revenues.

 

Lovepop’s website for those  for those who feel interested: https://www.lovepopcards.com

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About Human of SURFSPACE :

At SURFSPACE, we believe in the power of people, ideas and connections. Located right in the heart of Danang, SURFSPACE is not only coworking space, it is a creative community space with the mission to connect people for inspiration, ignite creativity within individuals and fostering collaborations. We often feature our members on “Human of SURFSPACE” blog. If you want to share your stories, to inspire and to connect to like-minded people, don’t hesitate to contact our Community Manager, Jennie at dzung.ly@dnes.vn.

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by Nhi Nhi

14 September 2019