BOONTON, New Jersey (WABC) --On shelves. On-line. And lighting up Instagram. Photographer Allan Shoemake's "LuMee" is on fire!
"I came up with the LuMee while Skyping my daughter. They were always complaining they couldn't see me. It was too dark." said Shoemake.
The Boonton-based dad glued Christmas lights around his laptop and the prototype for the chargeable light up cellphone case was born.
And who doesn't love to look good more than one of the most photographed women in the world?
"Someone sent me a picture, and said I think Kim Kardashian is using your case. I was like no way," said Shoemake.
The reality star used the LuMee case but Allan was careful NOT to repost her with his start-up product without permission. One of his tips, be careful with copyrights which may come back to bite you.
Lacking the capital to pay for an endorsement, the company saved money by instead waiting for the celeb to seek them out.
A partnership was formed with Kardashian and the LuMee went global.
"We doubled our sales in 1 month in January after Kim came on," said Shoemake.
And she brought with her smart suggestions, like a brighter light.
"I think it's important to stay true to the brand but also understand that other people's experience is valuable." advises Shoemake.
Lacking experience in marketing, Allan says giving up control to find the right people in design, packaging and sales was key.
They moved from Boonton to Park City, Utah to be closer to their CEO and other start ups, but LuMee's head of customer service is still their Jersey neighbor and friend.
A secret to their success, not growing too fast and working hard.
"Don't quit. Be prepared to go as hard as you can. It may not work out. But as least if you've given it your all you have no regrets," says Shoemake.
I'm not only using this for selfies, it's a great menu and flashlight. Allan's biggest tip for budding inventors, if you think you have an idea, you have to execute, if it stays in your head, it just remains an idea. Take the steps to bring it to life and light.