Thursday, February 6, 2014
Warby Parker: An Eye for an Eye Never Looked So Good.
Warby Parker is an eyewear company that offers something more than just glasses. Not only do they produce relatively inexpensive, botique-style prescription lenses, but they also expand on exisiting buisness prototypes to create a people-oriented, morally-driven company.
For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker pledges to donate a pair to someone in need. Now this isn't an all-together, completely innovative idea. Toms made this idea hugely popular and successful a few years back. Warby Parker, though, expands this one-for-one deal. They cut out the middle man by creating their own designs and selling directly to the customer. Most high-end companies hire designers and manfacturers, and they then jack up the prices on their lenses, which range from anywhere from $200-$500, to cover these costs while still turning an enormous profit. Additionally, Warby Parker is mostly web-based and works to avoid optical shops that mark up prices. Some people may not be
comfortable buying glasses online without trying them on, but Warby Parker works around this. They have a "home try-on" program that allows you to have 5 pairs of glasses shipped to your home for five days, and it's completely free. You can then buy the pair you like, or ship all 5 pairs back for free. Warby Parker's method allows them to sell high-end, fashion-forward lenses for $95 for a profit while still donating a pair for every pair of lenses sold.
The company was founded by four close friends - Neil Blumenthal, Andrew Hunt, Jeffrey Raider and David Gilboa - all with the idealistic goal of bringing prescription eyewear to those in need. They have a self-proclaimed "penchant for outrageous outfits, an affinity for vintage collectables and a desire to make the world a better place." They friends creatively worked out a way to fit all these traits into Warby Parker. They used Kentner's analogy transfer their real world interests and concerns into a global company.
The group seems to pride themselves on the culture of their company.With their Grand Central scavenger hunts, catered meals and weekly happy hours, the company works to "create an environment where employees can think big, have fun, and forge ties with the community". Not only have they altered the eyewear industry and delved into an underappreciated area of need, but they are also shifting the workplace norm.
In a lot of ways, Warby Parker just built off existing ideas. But isn't this creative in itself? Warby Parker's founders combined the best the business and creative worlds had to offer and created a powerhouse company that offers high quality products while still making it their mission to give back to the world.