LifeGear Design, Inc

Creator of LiteGear® A 21st Century Approach to Travel Gear


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Creating #TravelFreedom

Travel is no longer a rare luxury.  More people than ever are traveling around the world for work, vacations and personal growth.  However, most luggage and accessories are decades behind in addressing the frustrations with today's travel challenges and hidden costs.  LiteGear is the solution to making travel easier and less expensive.

LiteGear is a unique and innovative system of lightweight and durable travel bags, accessories and tools that work in concert enabling travelers to pack for extensive trips in any of our Carry On luggage.  We call our system Travel Freedom™ - Freedom from checked bag fees, lost luggage, airline damage, long waits at the baggage carousels and Freedom to quickly change flights as circumstances change.

With a successful Kickstarter campaign, an extensive and growing network of retail partners including hundreds of AAA stores, Nordstrom and QVC - We are on a very sharp growth trajectory. We invite you to read along to get to know us - who we are and where we're heading in this exciting adventure.

Our Journey

We have started the fouth year distributing our LiteGear brand and are ecstatic with its continued popularity and growth.  Clearly our success is directly attributed to this solution-based system of travel gear that we call Travel Freedom.  

But our creativity and forethought hasn't stopped there.  In our continual tracking and anticipation of the latest travel challenges, we are the first and only brand to design bags that are compliant with airline regulations for Personal Items.  We have all heard the Gate Agent say "You're allowed one carry on and one personal item", however, the definition was unclear until recently.  Most boarding gates now have a sizer-box for Carry-On bags AND Personal Item bags - If your bags don't fit you will likely have to pay to check them.  Our Mobile Pro (introduced on Kickstarter) and Rolling Mobile Pro are both airline compliant for Personal Item requirements.

And we continue to leverage our skills, team and facilities to provide design and sourcing services for private label opportunities in bags, accessories and rainwear.

Our Story

LifeGear Design, Inc. was founded in June, 2013 by Magi Raible and a small group of investors. Following the sale of the Kiva brand, we were inspired to start a new company that would leverage the remaining private label sales opportunities and utilize a talented team to create a full-service design and sourcing company. Early on we determined that there was a huge opportunitiy to create a new brand of solution-based travel gear for the modern traveler. With a combined 60+ years of experience in the travel and outdoor industries, we evaluated the market to find a gap in product and price-point offerings.  In the spring of 2014, we launched a new brand, LiteGear®, at the International Travel Goods Association show that resulted in immediate sales. 

LifeGear Design’s Private Label business remains an integral balance to the branded business. 

Milestones

In December 2014 we launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development and inventory of our Personal Item bag, the Mobile Pro. ( https://goo.gl/4SCSTH )  In January 2015 the campaign goal was surpassed by 35% with the support of over 200 Backers.  A year later we started another Kickstarter campaign for the Rolling Mobile Pro, however, the initial response from our retailers was so strong we terminated the campaign and accepted advance purchase orders  to ship directly to major customers across the country.

The attention garnered from the press, retailers and consumers from our Mobile Pro campaign put a spotlight on our brand resulting in an immediate spike in sales that has continued year after year.  

In January 2017 we were contacted by QVC representatives interested in our Travel Freedom system.  By June 2017 we received a purchase order for LiteGear product to support an October 2017 show date.

With 50% - 100% year-over-year growth and new opportunties presenting themselves regularly, it is abundantly clear that we need a significant capital infusion to fund inventory and receivables

How We're Different

Our business model is unique with the combination of branded and private label sales.  The benefit of private label sales include:  1) They are self-funding  2) They absorb a portion of the fixed overhead costs and 3) They increase our buying at factories.

LiteGear’s price points are approximately 30% lower than competitors with similar products while maintaining a solid gross margin of nearly 50%.  This gives us a strong volume advantage in an open price-point niche in specialty retail stores.

We have been diligent in developing a multi-country supply chain including China, India, Italy and the US which allows us to be flexible in sourcing product based on ever-changing global economic and political climates.

Many of our products are made with fabric from recycled plastic bottles giving us an advantage with millennials, the outdoor market and international community.

Most of our products are cross-over designs that fit well in many other markets such as Outdoor Retailers, Sports Shops, Book Stores, Gift and Home.

Growth Opportunities

Current Distribution: While LiteGear branded products are already sold into about 80% of the independent specialty luggage and travel retailers in the US, we are converting many of these retailers to the full Travel Freedom collectIon of products. 

Outdoor Retailers: Travel is an integral part of the Outdoor experience. Retailers such as REI, Dick’s and West Marine all offer some level of travel bags and accessories, therefore, as our resources grow these are some of the next market segments we will pursue.

Lifestyle Retailers: Retailers such as Plow and Hearth, Container Store, and Bed Bath & Beyond are looking for ways to increase their incremental sales. Several LiteGear products fit in just about any retail environment

Big Box Retailers and Regional Department Stores: We are currently working with retailers such as Staples and QVC to sell LiteGear and are in discussion with department stores such as Dillard's and Belk.

International Opportunities: We have secured a partner to sell LiteGear to the emerging middle class in China, with a current population of 1.4 billion people. The potential here is incalculable. We are meeting with PriceSmart in July for LiteGear distribution in Central America. Additionally, we are working to secure LiteGear intellectual property in Europe and the UK to pursue sales opportunities there. 

Team

Magi Raible - CEO/Creative Director

34 years of experience in all aspects of the Outdoor and Travel industry  


Starting her career at The North Face in an entry-level position in 1983, she quickly rose to a management position and ultimately the Director of Product Development & Sourcing. In 1992 she left The North Face and co-founded Kiva Designs, Inc (KDI) and the Kiva brand. In 2013 as CEO, she sold the Kiva brand, founded LifeGear Design, Inc. (LGD) and started the LiteGear brand. She currently sits on the TravelGoods Association Board of Directors. She has a passion for travel around home and around the world and loves outdoor activities such hiking, backpacking and camping.


Cabrini J Chavoya - Director of Communications

18 years experience in early childhood development & 16 years in business management 


After leaving a career in early childhood development, Cabrini joined KIVA in 2001 as office manager. She quickly took on HR responsibilities as well as customer service management for private label customers. She currently works at LifeGear Design assisting in private label sales, general office & HR management, is an advisor to the CEO and runs social media for the company. In her free time Cabrini enjoys reading, cooking, yoga, laughing, music and time with family and friends.


Marilyn Martin - Controller

20 years experience in all aspects of Accounting & Finance 


With over 20 years of experience in accounting & finance and business management, Marilyn manages all aspects of the accounting department and is part of our long-range planning team. The combination of smart and funny make our accounting department professional yet approachable. Her life's loves are her family and traveling internationally.


Veronica Leher-Woerz - VP Sourcing

13 years experience in global sourcing for Outdoor and Travel Industry 


A native of Argentina, she spent her young adult years traveling throughout Europe - She has been to 5 continents and over 30 countries. She joined KIVA in 2004 assisting in the sourcing department. With her talent, experience and personality, she leads all product sourcing for LGD as well as contributing to private label sales and product development. Living in the Napa Valley allows her to indulge in her passion for food and socializing in an international community.


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