La Lumia is an apparel retail/manufacturing company founded by Fashion Institute of Technology graduate, designer, and 25-year fashion veteran Jackie Sencion. Sencion established La Lumia, in TriBeCa, New York City in 1985. She has been designing, producing, and selling her clothing through her store since its opening. In July 2006, Sencion incorporated her business as MAXPAR, Inc. which designs, manufactures, markets, retails, and distributes collections of women's clothing and leather products under the respective brand names: La Lumia, a retail store; JakSen Designs, a contemporary knitwear line; LaLu Leathers, a line of hand-crafted leather bags and other leather products manufactured in Honduras by a co-op of experienced leather artisans from imported and organic leather; and LaLu Jeans, a specialty denim line designed by Sencion.
After 6 years of working in the corporate fashion industry, Sencion opened her retail and manufacturing business La Lumia Clothing as a partnership with accounting expert and sister, Margaret Sencion, in April 1985. In 1986, Jackie launched her private labels La Lumia, JakSen, and Tigerlily. The company serviced a customer base largely made up of neighborhood artists and the large population of women working in TriBeCa's federal buildings. Jackie also custom designed bridal gowns, special occasion fashions, and one-of-a-kind styles.
Revenues were steady until the stock market crash of 1987. This crisis yielded significant losses in the following year. It was then that Jackie began manufacturing her existing plus size line, Tigerlily, for wholesale to bring more income to the business.
As the economy improved, sales increased and remained steady throughout the 1990s. In 1997, to increase sales, the company acquired an expert jewelry salesperson to maintain a new arm of the business. As well, Jackie revamped her private labels, but on a smaller scale. The move resulted in record high store revenues through 1998.
By the end of 1998, the city government had moved its remaining offices further south, moving out another large group of customers. With the neighborhood in transition, office buildings were converted into luxury living spaces. In 2001, the 9/11 attacks made lower Manhattan virtually inaccessible and sales came to a standstill. The following year, the real estate incentives caused a surge in property values, resulting in doubled rents and increased property taxes. Between 2003 and 2004, government and Community Development Financial Institution grants and loans assisted the businesses affected by the events of 9/11, helping handle rising costs and business maintenance. Tax incentives for new businesses and residents accelerated the transformation of TriBeCa into a trendy and upscale area.
When business partner and Jackie's sister, Margaret Sencion fell ill in 2005, business improvement efforts are stalled through 2006. After Margaret's death in May of that year, Jackie reorganizes as a corporation, MAXPAR, Inc that June; also, during which time, she revamps her staff and location.
In order to increase store traffic and revenues, Jackie taps into the skills of her new staff to improve the website and launch new advertising efforts. Presently, MAXPAR, Inc is exploring new technologies and methods of servicing its current customer and targeting new patrons through print advertisement and eCommerce.
MAXPAR, Inc has been steadily implementing the foundations for growth and change. The company's new logo has been a prominent image throughout the company's website and print advertisements as part of a branding awareness campaign. Returning to basics, Sencion moved the store into a new space in TriBeCa more suitable for wholesale and design while still maintaining a retail space for her customers.
- "Jacqueline Sencion." Bilingual Lifestyles Magazine. New York Daily News. March 1998.
- National Community Capital Association. "Study: 3,100 Loans, Grants Totaling $50 Million Made Since 9-11To Save "Invisible" Small Businesses, Nonprofits in Lower Maanhattan." http://www.csrwire.com/press/press_release/20829-Study-3-100-Loans-Grants-Totaling-50-Million-Made-Since-9-11To-Save-Invisible-Small-Businesses-Nonprofits-in-Lower-Maanhattan. Accessed May 2009.
- Jacqueline Sencion. Interviewed January 2008.