Reimagining Gift Giving by Reducing Paper Waster One Gift at a Time
Milestones to date:
|For some entrepreneurs, they come across an idea and become fixated on making it become a reality. Linda Longobardi is that kind of entrepreneur. One day she was watching her niece’s children wrap random objects in the house with conventional gift wrap and tape. When they were finished, Linda was horrified by the amount of wrapping paper on the floor waiting to be thrown out. She thought there must be a better way to wrap gifts to eliminate so much waste. Thus, ReGift the Wrap, LLC was born.
Linda has created a brand new, patent-pending product that she believes is “the future of gift wrap.” It’s made from colorful stretch fabric and allows the user to wrap a gift in seconds without the use of tape or scissors. It also fits odd-shaped packages as well. As an added bonus, it’s reusable to the recipient and thus becomes “a gift around the gift!” Linda estimates it can be reused up to 50 times, so the recipient can then “gift it forward.”
Soon after the idea came to her, Linda started working on the concept and researching manufacturing options. She started working with CTSBDC Business Advisor Michelle Koehler in April 2016 for help with importing, bringing a new product to market, and for general business counsel. “Linda has been a go-getter from the start. She did a lot of research prior to coming to the CTSBDC. With Linda’s hard work, tenacity, and resourcefulness there is no stopping her,” explains Michelle.
After finalizing her prototype and securing her manufacturing partners in China, Linda started selling her product in January 2017 through Etsy, eBay, wholesale accounts, and at tradeshows. In the summer of 2017, ReGift the Wrap debuted on Zulily, an ecommerce website with over 5 million customers. The product started selling through the United State and has since been featured on Zulily four times.
In her first year of business, Linda was featured in Glastonbury Life, Hartford Magazine, and on HAN Network’s “The Drive” web series. She launched an ecommerce website, updated her packaging, and worked with UConn’s Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Law Clinic to secure a trademark and file 3 design patents. Going into 2018, she plans to grow her market reach and will be participating in reSET’s Impact Accelerator program for social entrepreneurs.