You may slide on a pair of inexpensive shades when it gets sunny, but are you confident that these sunglasses are actually providing UV protection? Or, are the frames simply a few shades darker than your readers?
Looking to solve this very problem, Dr. Travis Zigler launched Eye Love LLC in 2015. His mission was to provide affordable sunglasses that offer its wearers total confidence in eye-damage protection. Today, the company also offers natural eye care products made with love, and the intention is to continually impact eye health worldwide.
Meeting a Market Need
Within the last few years, sunwear (especially prescription sunglasses) has been the fastest-growing specialty category of eye care products. Over 75% of eye care providers have increased their inventory of polarized sunglasses since 2015.
Dr. Zigler says he launched the company in 2015 with sunwear products because – along with recognizing product demand – he saw a vast gap for affordable sunglasses that actually provided proper UV protection.
According to Zigler, most cheap sunglass options – like those you can buy at gas stations and big box stores – hardly offer any UV protection. The inexpensive construction and materials of these glasses result in the UV coating washing off after a few rinses, he says.
“[Eye Love] came out with affordable, 100% protective, polarized lenses, which block glare and help you see a lot better, and they’re still going to be at that $20 to $40 price point,” Zigler explains.
The protective sunglasses company brought in more than $100,000 in the first year of business.
The Shift to Consumables
In May of 2016, Zigler attended the Freedom Fast Lane Tribe event. He was in the audience as fellow Backroom member Dr. Stephen Cabral was promoting his supplements and products.
Zigler remembers a fellow audience member asking Cabral why he was selling other people’s products when he was, in fact, the expert. Zigler couldn’t help but consider the same question for himself.
“A light bulb went off in my head, and I went back in my clinic and looked at our shelf where we sold supplements and other products,” Zigler recalls. “I asked myself, ‘How can we make every single product that we sell ours?’”
That moment marked a shift in Eye Love’s business model. After that event, Zigler expanded his product line to include consumables. Next to sunglasses, he added dry eye products like soaps, eye masks, eyelid sprays and supplements.
But that’s not the only change he made to Eye Love’s products. Zigler also began offering only products with natural, organic materials – a priority that, until recently, was typically unheard of in the optometry space. Unlike some other eye care vendors that sell products with unpronounceable ingredients, Zigler says his products only include a minimal amount of high-quality ingredients.
“The optometry space is ready to be disrupted. It’s owned by a couple businesses that only care about profits because they’re public,” Zigler says. “They don’t care about the organic, natural movement that’s going on in the space, and that’s where we’re stepping in to fill that void.”
Zigler initially offered his products on Amazon, but has since moved his product line to Eye Love’s website, where he also blogs about dry eye syndrome, macular degeneration, general eye health, and Eye Love’s foundation, Eye Love Cares.
Love Your Eyes, and Love Others
Along with Eye Love, Zigler and his wife Jenna also operate a foundation dedicated to quality eye care in Jamaica. When you purchase a pair of sunglasses or a consumable product from his company, Zigler donates part of the profits to their foundation. The Eye Love Cares Foundation funds exams, cataract surgeries, glasses prescriptions and general clinic operations.
ELCF also funds an annual scholarship for one optometry student who’s shown a willingness to go on mission trips and work with international patients.
Zigler’s end goal for ELCF is to build, maintain and staff a permanent clinic in Jamaica and eventually take the model worldwide. He’s incredibly passionate about ending preventable blindness – which currently affects 703 million people worldwide – and says he wants his customers and others to know how simple this can be.
“What you and I take advantage of, like going to the Dollar General to buy a pair of readers – third-world countries like Jamaica can’t [do this],” Zigler explains. “For example, a fisherman can no longer fish if they can’t line their hook because they can’t see it. If you throw a pair of readers on them, they can see again, and they don’t have to get on the streets and beg. They can continue to work and support their families.”
On the site, you can also donate $25 to purchase an eye exam and glasses prescription for someone in need.
If you’re interested in joining the Eye Love community, Zigler has provided Capitalism.com readers with a special discount. Visit http://eyelovethesun.com/capitalism to check out the Eye Love catalog and enter CAPITAL3 for 30% off your purchase.
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