When picking a product, I often hear people toss around the words “fashion” and “function” to describe their purchasing priorities. For me, there’s a third category that warrants equal consideration: the fiscal element. Luckily, one brand that has a tremendous impact of my life discovered how to ace every single one of these divisions. Warby Parker literally affects how I see the world. Yes, literally- not figuratively. They are an eyewear brand whose goal is to provide modish, high-quality eyesight for significantly less than other brands and to impact the world positively while doing it.
The problem that commenced the creation of this company was the outrageously high price of a crucial product: glasses. The co-CEOs discovered this issue when one of them lost his frames while backpacking, and due to the (previously) expensive nature of the product, had to complete his first semester of grad school in the haze bad vision creates [see the rest of the story here]. They identified that one company had a monopoly on the industry and was creating, “artificially high prices” for the public’s only option. Solving this problem, the team now offers designer eyewear at substantially lower prices whilst simultaneously providing eyewear for those in need with every purchase. Their process is a win for the customer, a win for those in need of eyewear, and- through the buzz it’s created- a win for the company.
Although their number of stores is increasing, online is still a large contributor to Warby Parker’s sales. Glasses, which must be looked at in correlation to each individual’s face, are difficult to pick without having them there in front of you. Warby has two ways to workaround this. The first is a virtual try-on system where you upload a photo and and get to see the glasses on you virtually. The second is Warby offers their customers (and even just potential customers) a service where they send five frames to your home to try them on in person. These innovative methods make online glasses shopping possible and a highly-effective alternative if there isn’t a Warby store near you.
Another key elements of their brand is the atmosphere and community they’ve built. Everything about the brand, whether it be their packaging, website, store, or social media feeds portrays a unique blend of hipness and innovation. The are frequently community events, such as button making parties and concert series, hosted in their quaint and quirky storefronts. It’s very obvious Warby Parker thinks that fun should be a part of the glasses buying process, and honestly, the promotion they do of these events makes me want to be best friends with every single one of their employees. And the community! When I see people in Warby frames I can’t asking about them which without fail has always led to a pleasant, friendly conversation. This cool company has a lot of cool customers.
The best part about Warby Parker’s is that they wrap up fashion, function, social consciousness, and fun, into one neat looking and fiscally-responsible package. What more could a girl with poor eyesight ask for?