Jan Lo is the co-founder and CEO of Lo & Sons, a maker and online retailer of premium travel lifestyle bags. Lo co-founded the company with his mother, Helen, and brother, Derek. After graduating from Yale University (B.A., Social Psychology) in 1998, he attended NYU Stern School of Business (M.Phil) where he also taught Management & Organizational Analysis to undergrads and received a Stern Excellence in Teaching award. At the same time, he became part owner of a successful New York City bar and worked nights as a DJ.
Lo then spent four years in Beijing doing ethnographic research for a product design company and DJing across Asia. In 2009, his mother, an avid traveler, mentioned how difficult it was to find functional, lightweight carry-on bags that were also stylish. Jan suggested she create her own. Helen took up the challenge--and enlisted Jan to oversee design and production. Brother Derek left his job in advertising to handle marketing for the fledgling company, which launched in 2010.
Human-centered design has been central to the company’s product development since the earliest prototypes. Jan researched the market by observing people in airports and interviewing frequent business travelers. That fieldwork led to signature Lo & Sons bag features such as thoughtfully-placed pockets, padded compartments for tech essentials and adjustable sleeves that slide over suitcase handles.
As the company has grown, so has its commitment to environmental and social responsibility. The current collection includes bags made with organic cotton canvas and recycled polyester made from water bottles. Some production is being moved to a solar-powered Cambodian factory aiming to be carbon neutral. Other eco-friendly materials and processes, as well as more forward-thinking manufacturing facilities, are being explored.
Lo & Sons opened a Brooklyn headquarters in 2016.