Springtime. Renewal. Rebirth. New clothes, new sunglasses. It’s a perfect pattern.
And how many times these past few weeks has your head turned like a crank when just the right pair of sunglasses cruised right by you?
Apart from the usual high-priced brands and the $5.99 gas station selections from the Chevron Unleaded Collection, those slick-looking sunglasses are often and invariably from the Warby Parker store in Old Pasadena.
According to Warby Parker legend, one of the founders once lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. Because glasses are just so expensive, especially for a young college student (and everyone else), that unlucky founder spent the first semester of grad school without them.
Others on that fateful trip had similar experiences and were dismayed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t cost more than tuition.
So they created an alternative. They designed their glasses in-house, and set up a business model of engaging directly with customers and bypassing far more expensive eyeglass manufacturers.
The goal was obviously to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear cheaper than college tuition. They seem to be on track so far.
Along with a healthy combo of style and value, the company has now also distributed more than eight million pairs of glasses through their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.
According to the company, 2.5 billion people around the world need glasses but don’t have access to them; of these, 624 million cannot effectively learn or work due to the severity of their visual impairment. Thus, their simple solution.
This spring the company is touting their new collection of frames, from a sophisticated Gallery Collection, and 46 playful new frames dedicated to spring, your favorite season. The company also sells its own brand of contact lenses, “Scout,” if you’re not in the mood to be framed quite yet.
Clear up your world and do the same for a stranger. Sounds like a nice way to begin spring.
Warby Parker Pasadena, 106 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 465-7911. www.warbyparker.com