Wolf Zeitlin, LCI Brands' founder, got his start in the travel goods business when he began manufacturing luggage caddies in 1971. At a time when Pullman Luggage was a favorite among business and recreational travelers alike, Zeitlin's caddy quickly gained popularity as the first removable wheel-set designed specifically for the style.
Airline industry deregulations in the 1970's increased interest in travel, and demand for the luggage caddy grew. Zeitlin sought new ways to address the growing market's travel needs, and within a few short years, LCI Brands was able to provide travel stores with full travel accessory programs.
In 1988, the company was purchased from Zeitlin by father and son David and Michael Smerling. The duo pledged to continue in Zeitlin's tradition of addressing the market's travel needs.
LCI Brands launched the Lewis N. Clark brand in 1990, with Zeitlin's luggage caddy, luggage trollies, and packing totes as core offerings. With a desire to bring additional innovative products to the market, the first product designer was hired in 1992.
The first years of 2000 would see LCI Brands further diversifying its brand portfolio, bringing the market more fun, distinct, and on-trend products, and taking steps to fully control the process of product development from concept to fulfillment. It was also during this time that LCI Brands began offering private label programs for some of the nation's biggest names in the outdoor and travel goods industries.
The success of Lewis N. Clark, and a demand for children’s and women’s travel accessories, prompted LCI Brands to introduce the Li'l Lewis line in 2004, and Belle Hop in 2006. While Li'l Lewis offers products that appeal to children while taking some of the burden off of parents, Belle Hop pioneered the female-focused fashion travel accessory category combining years of travel experience with an eye towards fashion.
LCI Brands’ Mood collection of neck pillows was released later that year, giving travelers yet another option for rest and relaxation.
In 2009, LCI Brands added humangear, a company that specializes in water and food containers, and Pom-ID, which offers colorful luggage poms, to their portfolio. These new brands further enhanced the company's presence and ensured retailers' travel needs were met through one company.
The Lewis N. Clark Uncharted Collection was added in 2010 with the goal of meeting the needs of the adventure traveler through its assortment of DryGear, rain gear, duffels, and accessories.
UrbanGear was released in 2013 as a collection of duffels and tools designed to be used at home or on the go. GoGirl, a Female Urination Device, sought to capture females' particular needs while traveling or camping.
In 2014, Cabeau - a company that caters to the comfort of travelers with revolutionary pillows and other accessories - joined the team. The year after, LCI Brands began to offer MosRepel’s insect repellent as well as the tugo beverage holder.
Additionally, the decision was made to combine the product assortments of Lewis N. Clark Uncharted, Belle Hop, Mood, and Li’l Lewis under the Lewis N. Clark brand to better serve the growing adventure travel market with a focus on the outdoors.
Today, LCI Brands continues to expand its product listing by adding new collections and brands to its portfolio. This will further ensure that retailers can rely on LCI Brands to fulfill all of their merchandising needs.