INTERVIEW: Wes Stoody

How was your company founded?

I founded Aframes with the mission of raising awareness and funding for vitamin A supplementation in developing nations. A few years ago, I learned that each year about one million children die or go blind from vitamin A deficiency, and even more shocking, it costs just one dollar for a years worth of supplements for one child. That means you can help save a life with just a one dollar donation.

We accomplish our founding mission by donating a portion of each pair of glasses sold to our nonprofit partner, Helen Keller International. Along with our mission, we focus on creating high-quality, stylish eyewear. That is why our frames are handmade by craftsman using only the finest Italian materials.

What inspires you at work?

Every time we hear positive feedback from our retail partners or an end customer, we get fired up! When friends tell us how many compliments they've gotten on their Aframes, or stores tell us how many they sold this week, it inspires us to continue working hard to create a great and long lasting brand.

What separates you from the competition?

The unique combination of our mission, our quality, and price point separate us from other great, independent brands. After establishing our founding mission, we turned all of our attention to the style and quality of our frames. Our brand aesthetic is strictly minimal and timeless, meaning we do not bend our style or branding to match trends, but instead we stay true to shapes that have looked great in every decade. We have partnered with amazing manufacturers to produce handmade frames using only the best Italian materials. In the end, we decided to keep our margin low in order to provide a great product to a larger segment of the population. We believe this combinations adds unparalleled value to our retail partners.

Which charities are you involved with and why?

From day one, we have been partnered with Helen Keller International. We partnered with HKI because they are the leader in vitamin A supplementation, and one of the most respected NGO's in the world. Please visit their site and donate to their many amazing programs: http://goo.gl/YQtcQp

What's one thing you'd like to share with opticians?

We work hard to create a great brand with the goal of creating more value for you. That being said, we love to hear honest and open feedback regarding our brand and product. This allows us to continue to evolve and develop a brand your customers will love.