Entrepreneur Linda Longobardi recently launched Regift the Wrap, LLC. The Glastonbury-based startup is participating in the 2018 reSET Impact Accelerator program, which is designed for entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development.
Linda discussed her involvement with reSET and the ways in which her startup is making a social impact.
INNOVATION DESTINATION HARTFORD: When and why did you start your company?
LINDA LONGOBARDI: I launched Regift the Wrap in January, 2017
The inspiration came to me several years ago when I was watching my niece’s children wrapping and unwrapping random objects in the house. At the end of the night, there was a large crumpled up heap of wrapping paper on the floor. I knew as a society, we could do better. I started making tubular “sleeves” out of colorful stretch fabric that could easily slide over a gift box and tuck itself in without tape or scissors. As a bonus, it was reusable for many years to come.
IDH: Tell us about the startup and what makes it innovative.
LINDA: I import and custom make tubular colorful stretch fabric sleeves, coordinating stretch bands and accessories to wrap a gift in seconds. The product can be “gifted forward” and reused by the next 50 people who are lucky enough to receive it. It’s the gift around the gift!
IDH: Why did you become involved in the reSET Accelerator Program?
LINDA: I was urged to apply to this amazing program from three different people who were working with me in different capacities. Each one couldn’t say enough about the accelerator and felt my business would benefit greatly from it. I am thrilled to be accepted in the 2018 class.
IDH: In what ways is your company making a social impact?
LINDA: When I researched statistics about wrapping paper, gift bags, bows, and other accessories, I found out that we spend approximately $3 billion a year on these products. In the month of December 30 million trees are cut down to produce paper wrap. And, right after the holidays, four tons of the discarded paper gets tossed into our over-burdened landfills.
Using stretch fabric to wrap your gifts eliminates waste and simplifies your life. And the recipient of your gift gets two gifts—the one inside the box and one outside the box. Everybody wins!
I am committed to this wonderful business because we must start being more mindful of what we are doing to the planet. We must come together and create solutions to the problems we are facing. This is not a hard thing to do.
IDH: What has been your biggest challenge as a start-up?
LINDA: My biggest challenge is getting my product and its message out. No one really knows reusable stretch fabric is an option, so they are not searching for it online or in stores. I believe once they understand their choices, they will begin to “shift the way they gift” and purchase fabric gift wrap instead of wrapping paper.
IDH: What resources do you need most to move your company forward?
LINDA: I am more of a “concept” person and absolutely love creating things and solving problems. Having said that, I would benefit from people who have brought products to market and understand business better than I do. I would love a business partner at some point and may also seek investors.
IDH: What is the best advice you have given/received?
LINDA: The best advice I can give is to not be afraid of getting out of your comfort zone to fulfill a dream.
The best advice I have received is much harder to answer because so many people have given me such amazing advice. I would have to say my three wonderful daughters have encouraged me to pursue this because of its positive impact on the planet (as well as its ease of use).
Learn more about Regift the Wrap
- Find out more about startups participating in the 2018 reSET Impact Accelerator:
- Bare Life – Food and Beverage Startup For Healthy Eating
- CNG Fit, LLC – Startup Brings Fitness/Dance Workouts to Wethersfield, CT
- FieldOwler — Startup Provides Risk Management Software for Businesses
- florapothecarie — Startup Launches Natural Beauty Line
- Project Ray – Startup Makes Smartphones Accessible for the Visually Impaired
- SKYWIREme – Startup Provides Messaging Solutions for Nonprofits and Growing Businesses
- Two Happy Homes – CT Company Provides Co=Parenting Tools