1. What is the first thing you look at when picking up a pair of sunglasses you've never seen before?
I review the mold first. If it is rough with injection marks, that’s a good sign of bad quality. If it has rubber tips and nose pads, I look to see if the rubber is double injected to the frame or if it’s cheap and glued on. I also will bend the frame slightly to see if it is TR90 or polycarbonate. This isn’t an easy process to learn. It has taken years of experience to be able to do this.
2. What is the first indicator of poor quality sunglasses?
A bad fit is a good indicator of poor quality. When the frame isn’t smooth and polished. Spotting cheap TAC polarized lenses isn’t hard to spot. These types of polarized lenses are very thin and flimsy unlike our polycarbonate polarized lenses which are at least 5 times the thickness of TAC lenses.
3. What do you think is exciting in the industry?
As technology keeps advancing, the materials and manufacturing processes for sunglasses keeps getting better. Twenty years ago when I first started touring sunglass manufacturing facilities overseas, most metal frames were being made by hand. Now these factories are full of computer driven expensive machines that leave no room for human error. Our Taiwanese suppliers are passionate about eyewear like I am--and instead of trying to make something cheaper to make, they instead are always looking for ways to make them better. There is a TON of R&D done on our end and from our suppliers to insure we keep our products innovative.
4. What is the first indicator of quality sunglasses?
A good clean mold that has no rough edges and is smooth and polished. Looking through the lenses, I can tell if the lenses are good quality or if there is distortion. Many cheap lenses are not optically correct and not de-centered.
5. How old were you when you had your FIRST "a-ha" moment about sunglasses?
When I was a kid, I had numerous “a-ha” moments with sunglasses. My father would pay me 50 cents a dozen to put price tags on sunglasses. I could get 30-35 dozen finished in an hour so I had my hands on a ton of sunglasses. I have always geeked out on eyewear. If my wife can’t find me in a retail store, all she has to do is look for the sunglass rack!☺