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  • Great Companies

Sarah Van Berkum: Winner of the 2024 Great Companies International Women Entrepreneur Award

Name: Sarah Van Berkum

Business Name: Luno

Location: Santa Monica , USA

Establishment (Year): 5

Category: Retail

Profession/ Specialty: E-Commerce – Outdoor Camping Gear

Social Media: LinkedIn | Instagram

Company Detail:

Luno has the distinction of being the pioneering and most rapidly expanding brand in car camping gear. The company is on a mission to increase outdoor engagement by providing thoughtfully designed vehicle-based camping gear. Primarily recognized for its Luno Air Mattress, which swiftly transforms the back of an SUV into a comfortable bed, Luno offers an extensive range of products. These include window screens, pillows, fans, storage solutions, and more, suitable for various vehicles such as SUVs, trucks, and adventure vans. All products are designed in the USA, specifically in Bend, OR, by a team of skilled designers and engineers. At its core, Luno is focused on revolutionizing the outdoor experience.

Unique Selling Proposition or Competitive Advantage:

Distinguished from typical camping gear brands, Luno specializes in vehicle-based camping gear. Every item is crafted with an emphasis on craftsmanship, durability, and functionality, aiming for a lifetime of adventures. Luno believes in making camping easy, comfortable, safe, and accessible through car camping. The brand enables individuals to enjoy nature's beauty from their vehicles, offering user-friendly products, attentive customer service, and informative content for an enjoyable journey. Committed to environmental and social responsibility, Luno focuses on minimizing waste, using sustainable materials, and supporting environmental initiatives and DEI causes, pledging to donate 3% of annual profits.

Challenges Faced During the Journey: 

Embarking on entrepreneurship presents various challenges, as highlighted below from a personal experience perspective:

Embracing the Unknown & Overcoming Fear of Failure: 

Starting a business involves confronting fears and uncertainties. For the founder, the business becomes an integral part of their identity, and overcoming fear of failure is crucial. Launching Luno without e-commerce experience was a bold move, leading to extensive learning in social media management, customer support, and more. Reflecting on the early days shows significant achievements despite limited resources. These challenges shaped both the business and the founder's growth into a confident, empowering, and empathetic entrepreneur.

Advice for Women Entrepreneurs:

Stay true to your values and unique journey. Embrace your authentic self in your business approach and leadership style.

Be your own advocate. Negotiate with confidence, showcase your achievements, and recognize your worth.

Overcome imposter syndrome. Believe in your abilities and trust your instincts for success in entrepreneurship.



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