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Blenders Launches Blue Light Glasses for Working From Home

Blenders Eyewear isn’t letting a little pandemic slow down its growth.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the consequential work-from-home orders, the San Diego-based eyewear company, which had a revenue of $40.7 million in 2019 and was partially acquired by Safilo Group late last year, launched its line of blue light glasses earlier this month.

“Even though we are a bit late to this party, the timing of this launch was almost perfect,” said Chase Fisher, CEO, who founded the Pacific Beach-headquartered business in 2013. “A lot of people are working from home and spending more time scrolling through their computer screens. So far, it has done well – we’ve sold out of three of the blue light styles in less than a week already.”

The blue light lenses add an extra measure of protection for the eyes, according to the company, and minimize eye fatigue.

New Styles

That isn’t the only new launch from the company, including new styles and expanded category line, in the last few months, he said. Blenders also released new goggles, helmets and accessories for its existing snow line, said Fisher, and also entered the active market, which it hadn’t previously captured, by dropping a full shield sunglass.

Riding on the coattails of these releases and a growth of 30% in revenue in Q1, Fisher said Blenders will be releasing prescription glasses next month, followed by the opening of its second store in Encinitas in the fall.

Manufacturing

While COVID-19 didn’t halt the company’s expansion, it did temporarily slow down its overseas manufacturing, said Fisher, due to supply shortage and bandwidth. Thankfully, Fisher said they’ve been able to catch up, although he is having to pay a premium to get goods over from Asia. The reason for this is there isn’t a full suite of airplanes flying from there to the United States due to the crisis, he said.

To help offset this in the future, Fisher said he is putting a couple of new strategies in place.

“We are starting to put things in place that help offset some of the pressure of manufacturing,” Fisher said, adding that manufacturing in the United States is not an option because of the Blenders Eyewear price point (under $100). “We are having factories produce some of the same products in case one is slow, we have another to go with.”

Significant Increase

Other than an abrupt decrease in sales in mid-March, when COVID-19 first hit, Fisher said Blenders Eyewear began to see a significant increase in sales shortly after. He said he assumes it started then because consumers began to receive stimulus checks followed by unemployment, thus, having excess money to spend at that point.

“Consumers started shopping on sites and e-commerce was more prevalent for new business since retail was closed,” he said, “the weather was warming up and people were not able to travel. All these factors probably contributed.”

And, the company is still riding that wave, Fisher said.

10,000 Safety Goggles

In response to COVID-19, Fisher said Blenders donated more than $100,000 to the Direct Relief fund as well as more than 10,000 safety goggles for frontline and healthcare workers.

It is this philanthropic effort that he believes has kept the company afloat amid the pandemic.

“I will say, brands that did stuff on the philanthropic side, those are the ones that have succeeded,” he said. “That was an important move for us to do and our customers will remember that forever. It was definitely for a greater good and we truly benefitted.”

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