INTERVIEW: Stefano Sarti Cipriani

NYC LIMITED EDITION: Frame Designer Interview Series (circa 2015)

How was your company founded?

FEB31st has been founded in 2009 with the objective to create a brand starting from wooden spectacles. The vision behind the company was and stil is to act at the opposite of what the industry is doing. For this reason we invested two years to develop a wooden frame different, functional and with personality. We then founded a manufactory in north Italy, employed workforces and started the production. Since the very beginning we decided to work without inventory in order to provide to our customers the ability to sell uniqueness, setting our manufactory to fast respond to the market. Today every single FEB31st is made upon request and according to the market desire, under a lead-time of 4 weeks.

Why did you get started in this industry?

We saw that in the optical industry there was in desperate need of different and high quality products and services. High end independent opticians were keen to look for products and services with high added value while the industry was drifting toward branded mass product available everywhere. 

In FEB31st we believe in the retail purchasing experience and so we defined an offer aimed to enable optician to make better the purchasing experience they deliver.

What separates you from the competition?

well, the ability to shape the FEB31s collection according to the market preferences or even to the single customer desires. FEB31s has so far 90 different models in wood. Some of them comes in different sizes while all the models can be produced upon request with acetate temples, asian fitting or adjustable pads. The frames are made out of a 13 wood layers. The optician freely creates the sequence of the layers color combining colors from a palette of 34 different tones.
The same service can be offered to the end customers, who , seeing the models available in the shop, can create his/her own FEB31st creating the color sequence, choosing fitting options and requesting their signature engraved on the temples. Lead-time for FEB31st single custom dedicated is 2 weeks. We move even faster when we know and end customer is looking forward to get his/her unique FEB31st...

How should we explain your product to our clients?

FEB31st is for those customers that seek to be different and believe in unicity in both the product and the service their independent optician is providing.
Buy a FEB31st means own a wooden frame that has been hand made in Italy under a no-mass production, created according to the optician experienced taste or under the end customer desires. In order to enable the optician to deliver a great purchasing experience, FEB31st provides the color chips for defining the colors sequences and a easy to use on line configurator reserved for professionals.

What keeps you motivated?

Fast companies wins against big companies, this is what motivated us in FEB31st. Being able to provide in short time dedicated FEB31st to the market, assistance and new releases based on the market needs drives our company. Being able to work side-by-side with independent opticians in order to provide uniqueness to the market drives our company. Being able to have end customers deciding to express their own personality against the masses drives our company.