INTERVIEW: Blake Kuwahara

Travel - where are you going? Who are you bringing?

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

I just got back this week from a trip to Dubrovnik, Budapest, London, and Paris. London and Paris were for primarily for business (but I did manage to sneak away to flea markets in both cities), but Dubrovnik and Budapest were both strictly for pleasure. Both are architecturally rich and filled with creative energy with a bit of a BoHo sensibility. I had to take a couple flights to get there, but it was well worth it. I went with my buddy Dave Koz. Dave's a multi-Grammy nominated jazz saxophonist (and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame) who I met at a KATA Eyewear trunk show in Miami Beach over 20 years ago. We've been best buds since. He was finishing up a 3-week UK tour so this was a much need vacation for him, too. We have friends in both cities (a jeweler in Dubrovnik and musicians in Budapest) so we got much more of a locals' take than the hop-on-hop-off tourist bus experience.


Who or what inspires you outside of the optical industry?

My 100 year old grandmother. She was living independently until a year ago when she fell and broke her hip. At 99, she underwent a delicate hip replacement surgery, but has had a remarkable recovery and can now walk again with the aid of a cane. She was a noted artist (painter and landscape architect) and still has a curious, creative mind. She is feisty as hell and challenges everything that doesn't make logical sense. She's always stressed education, travel, art, design, and the importance of enjoying what you do. Every time I see her, she asks me "are you having fun?". I think that's a question we should always be asking ourselves.


Tell us about a favorite quote.

Find a way.
— Diana Nyad (long distance swimmer)

I think the quote says it all.


Current favorite song/artist?

A friend of mine just sent me James Taylor's latest CD and highlighted the lyrics

And so although I know we are only small
In the time we have here
This time we have it all

It was a nice reminder to enjoy and to be present in the moment.

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