In 2001, Luke and Mariella Peters lives looked much different than how they do today. From Microbiology and Motherhood to Misting Fans and Mini Fridges, this duo made a leap into the world of business ownership – a decision that would change the course of their lives for the next 20 years. To understand the full story of Newair, however, one must go back before the big leap was made.
Luke and Mariella were never strangers to hard work and the effort that it took to be successful. Mariella came to the USA with her family at the age of 9 from Peru. Luke was a serial entrepreneur since his childhood. As one of 12 brothers and sisters to a working-class family, he had to earn everything that he wanted. At the young age of 10 he started his first job at his parents’ donut shop and later as a local newspaper delivery boy for the Orange County Register. By High School he was busy building his first enterprise, Pool Heaven, which he would later sell to a friend and is still a thriving business to this day.
That brings us back to 2001. Luke was a recent graduate of Long Beach State University where he had earned a B.S. in Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry. He had started a job as a Hazardous Waste Scientist for the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). While Luke was working at DTSC, Mariella was busy raising their first two children.
Fueled by a desire to do more, the duo committed to put the necessary work in to build an entrepreneurial venture and the beginnings of what would evolve into Newair was born as an online Yahoo Marketplace. The beginning days of Newair consisted of Mariella ordering products from Grainger and then she would redistribute the same day to consumers. In the early days, Luke would spend his evenings researching trends and learning how to program his Yahoo Marketplace store. In what is a mark of the cutting-edge vision of Newair, they built out an online consumer marketplace for Grainger products before Grainger had built one.
Over the next 20 years, he would guide Newair through six different facility relocations, three different business model transformations, the .com “tech bubble burst,” the 2009 financial crisis and more recently the CoVid-19 crisis.
What started out of the humble beginnings of a young family with a dream but has flourished into a company that has over $50M in revenue. What started out as the intrigue of an online marketplace has led NewAir to be a dominant force in digital marketing. What started as re-selling product from a recognized Industrial/ MRO leader has turned into a brand known for launching uniquely designed and innovative products like the recently launch NIM040SS00 “nugget ice maker” which is its fastest selling new product in 20 years.
A decision to leave the security of a paycheck has led to Luke being installed as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Housewares Association in 2020.
Now the year is 2021 and the “whatever it takes” approach the company was founded on 20 years ago is the sentiment that courses through the veins of every employee who walks the halls of Newair. This mindset has its roots in the founders. Specifically, a mother of two who set up operations in the family’s garage and would often have to chase down UPS trucks, kids in tow, because the garage did not have a UPS pickup.
Luke and Mariella Peters live in Huntington Beach, CA with their 6 kids, 4 dogs and numerous extended family close by. As a family they like to travel, surf, mountain bike and other outdoors activities. When Luke is not in the office he can be found with his family, where he is coached over 20 team sports and has even helped them start an entrepreneurial venture or two.
To celebrate Newair’s 20th anniversary and it’s founders, we launched the Limited Edition Newair Anniversary Series 100 Can Beverage Fridge. It brings together innovative design and tried-and-true features to create a mini fridge as unique and one-of-a-kind as the origin story of Newair.