Pair Eyewear is making the most dreaded accessory, glasses, a necessity for every back to school shopping list. The key component is individuality. With Pair, children can customize their glasses on a daily basis to be a statement of their personality, which can help encourage children to wear their glasses in school. Pair offers five base frame shapes for children ages six to 14 and a choice of up to ten colored interchangeable top frames per style. These overlays snap on magnetically and can be swapped in an instant. Parents shop with their kids from the comfort of their own home through the hassle-free direct-to-consumer model, turning a stressful optometry shop trip into an exciting online experience. Starting at just $95, including prescription lenses, Pair glasses are a much needed alternative to the overpriced and bland eyewear available today. With 25% of US children wearing glasses, according to research from The Vision Council, it’s more important than ever to ensure that glasses are accessible and affordable.
Founded by 23-year-old Sophia Edelstein and Nathan Kondamuri, while undergraduate students at Stanford, Pair Eyewear enlisted the help of Lee Zaro as Head of Product, formerly at Warby Parker, to help refine their innovative magnetic frame design. “It all started because of my own experience,” co-founder and co-CEO Nathan says, “I used to have trouble paying attention in class because I would hide my glasses out of embarrassment. Knowing the striking link between vision and classroom learning, it was obvious that we needed to do something about it.” Determined to craft a solution, the Pair founders conducted hundreds of consumer interviews and discovered that even when children had been prescribed corrective lenses, they would often refuse to wear them in school, citing concerns of teasing from classmates and suggesting that glasses were just not “cool.” These social stigmas carry educational burdens; The American Optometric Association notes that good vision is a key to school success.
Sophia and Nathan discovered that acquiring affordable glasses is only part of the hurdle that parents face; the next is ensuring that children wear their glasses in school. Negative perceptions towards eyeglasses and reports of peer bullying discouraging the use of glasses were discovered to have direct negative effects to classroom learning, according to a Southern California researcher-led focus group. The conclusions, as published in “Use of Eyeglasses among Children in Elementary School” from The American Journal of Health Promotion underscore the importance of embracing individuality as a key factor in changing this viewpoint.
Pair Eyewear’s innovation does not stop at customizability. With their unique free Home Try-on Kit, children can try on cardboard cutouts of Pair’s five frame shapes before purchasing. Pair will ship them so customers can try and purchase glasses in the comfort of their own home. Better yet, children can keep the kit, saving parents the hassle of returning expensive frames when they’re busy buying school supplies. Pair also makes sending in a prescription as hassle-free as possible: simply snap a photo of your prescription or send in the name of your optometrist and they will call to confirm the prescription on parents’ behalf.
Plus, through Pair Eyewear’s “A Pair, For a Pair” program, Pair donates a pair of glasses to a child in need for each base frame sold through their partnership with EYElliance. “We want to give even the youngest of children the opportunity to create positive social impact” says co-founder and co-CEO Sophia.
Pair is available directly to parents at paireyewear.com. Frames for glasses start at $95 (including prescription lenses) and for sunglasses at $35 (including polarized lenses) – prescription sunglass options are also available. Colorful tops are available at $24.95 and come in stripes, polka dots, colorful tortoiseshell options and more.
About Pair Eyewear
Pair Eyewear designs customizable prescription and non-prescription glasses and sunglasses for kids. Pair glasses have a base frame and interchangeable top frames that snap on and off via a magnetic mechanism. With initial options of five base frames and 50 top frames, kids can quickly and easily change up their look, anytime, anywhere. Pair Eyewear was founded by Stanford graduates Nathan Kondamuri and Sophia Edelstein.