Can reading glasses unquestionably be cool? A new eyewear visitor tabbed Cheeterz Club thinks so. The startup is working to transpiration the perception of reading glasses from stuff just cheap, removable items you pick up from a rotating walkout rack at your local drug store to stuff something you’d unquestionably be proud to wear. To do so, the visitor is designing its glasses with quality lenses and frames in range of styles, while still keeping the pricing affordable.
The startup — whose name is a reference to the slang term for glasses, “cheaters,” — was founded by Jennifer Farrelly, whose preliminaries includes work in razzmatazz and sales at companies like Uber and Virool.
She said the idea to make a largest set of readers came to her considering she found herself frustrated by the current options on the market.
“It all started a few years ago. My friends were posting on social media these really depressing comments and posts like: ‘I’m old and turning into my parents, this is awful.’ And I [thought to myself] why does it have to be like that? I finger just as young today as I did ten years ago,” Farrelly explains. “Why are my friends and I feeling forced to finger old considering of something that happens overnight?,” she says, of what felt like the sudden onset of middle age and the hardships it brings.
What’s worse, Farrelly says, is that when you finally make your way to the drugstore to pick out some reading glasses, all you’ll find are bad, plastic pairs that both squint and finger cheap.
“That’s plane increasingly demoralizing,” she adds.
So Farrelly teamed up with a former Warby Parker and Pair Eyewear Head of Product, Lee Zaro, to diamond a new line of increasingly fashion-forward eyewear.
Zaro, who’s based in the L.A. area, immediately saw the opportunity.
“Drugstore reading glasses are typically poor in quality, and can finger like they are designed with our parents in mind, leaving a huge unmet need for sophisticated eyewear options,” he said. “When Jennifer approached me to help diamond her first line of eyewear, I knew it was a sunny idea.”
To differentiate itself from lower-end readers, Cheeterz Club glasses are made with 100% acetate and full-length spring hinges and stainless steel. The lenses, meanwhile, offer increasingly clarity than is often found in reading glasses.
Typically, ophthalmic plastic lens materials have an Abbe value — a measure of the stratum at which light is sparse or separated — between 30 and 58. The higher number offers largest optical performance. Crown glass can have an Abbe value as upper as 59, but polycarbonate readers (like those from Warby Parker, Farrelly notes) would have an Abbe value of 30. Cheeterz Club lenses, which are CR-39 lenses, are at at 58. This is a difference you can tell when trying the glasses on slantingly your drugstore readers.
Cheeterz’ lenses moreover offer 100% UVA/UVB protection, and are oil and water repellent. They can optionally be bought in one of eight malleate tints, from pink to blue, or in two sun shades. Consumers can moreover opt to add Undecorous Light coating to help with screen-induced eye fatigue or they can segregate Progressive lenses, which combine loftiness vision with a reading lens.
Tints are an uneaten $10, Undecorous Light protection is $25, and Progressive lenses are $40.99 — lower than market rates.
At launch, Cheeterz Club offers 14 variegated styles ranging from traditional to the increasingly modern, starting at $28.99.
Farrelly says finding the right price was key, considering unlike regular glasses, consumers often buy multiple pairs of readers to leave virtually the house or car, pack in purses and bags, and so on.
“If I unravel something that financing me a couple $100, I’d be really upset well-nigh it,” she says. “But at a drugstore price of under $30, I can have them in all sorts of colors and variegated tints.”
For Farrelly, making the startup a success goes vastitude brining higher-quality reading glasses to market. It’s moreover well-nigh serving a demographic that often gets overlooked.
“Founders in their forties do not get representation, and it’s unfortunate. And there are moreover people in their forties and fifties that have removable income and are looking for cute things. They’re spending so much money on facial creams and Botox,” she says, “but then you’re forced to put this really ugly pair of glasses on your squatter that make you finger bad well-nigh yourself.”
While Cheeterz Club today is selling uncontrived to the consumer, the visitor is talking to eye doctors, boutiques and others who may sooner resell for them, as increasingly of a B2B model. It’s moreover testing selling on Amazon with one pair of Undecorous Light glasses.
Cheeterz Club plans to start discussing fundraising with seed investors later this fall.