Shadesclub™ is the world’s first subscription box for premium sunglasses. Each month, they deliver a new pair of sunglasses and accessories to your door. They recently launched on Kickstarter, and we got a chance to interview co-founders Rich Amundson and T.J. Eaton (and long time Shippos) about the story behind the campaign.
Shades are an interesting fashion accessory to focus on. What made you guys think of this idea?
T.J. and I have been in the sunglasses industry for the last 5 years. We run Dicks Cottons and are personally part of the design and manufacturing process for all our glasses.
We just love sunglasses – they’re fun, expressive, and the first thing someone notices about you. But it’s so frustrating when you lose or break your favorite pair. Cheap sunglasses are really poor in quality, and “designer” glasses are so expensive – usually marked up 20 times their manufacturing costs. This industry is archaic, it’s ready for a change.
There are so many different types of glasses to choose from! What’s your creation and selection process like?
With over 5 years of data and experience designing shades for Dicks Cottons we have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t.
We found that our typical customer will own between 5 and 40 pairs of shades, for all sorts of different occasions. We travel the world for inspiration, and design our glasses to fit all the types of destinations and activities we came across.
That’s how we’ll continue to curate glasses: finding the right shades for right occasions, events, and activities you’ll need for each month. Eventually we’ll be having some celebrity curated boxes, but for now, we’ll be handpicking them ourselves.
With Dicks Cottons we’ve set up great relationships with manufacturers and fulfillment teams for several years now. Our glasses are created alongside major brands’ in the same factory, made with precision where it matters – like hinges that self-tighten, and real polarized lenses!
If you’re interested digging in a bit more about the glasses manufacturing industry, I’d highly recommend watching this short video by 60 Minutes on Luxottica, and you’ll see how one company controls the market and sets these “designer prices”. But we’re here to fight that, one pair and one face at a time!
MY NEW OBSESSIONS ARE HERE???? Thanks SO much for the gifts & thank you for taking your time to create these beauties???????? pic.twitter.com/hx6HoSvlmv
— Aggie✨ (@mendiefromnorth) November 28, 2015
Wow, looks you guys have a great following already with Dicks Cottons. What made you guys want to spin off a Kickstarter campaign for this launch?
We launched on Kickstarter because we thought it was a great place for “proof of concept”. People also like getting behind the idea because they can see how many other people are backing it at the same time, and they get to watch the number grow every day. You wouldn’t believe how many people tell us they’d check it every morning to see how it is doing, a much different effect than just launching on a website.
The fact that we already have a great following through Dicks Cottons didn’t hurt though, Shadesclub™ was 400% funded within 4 days! If you check out our campaign you can see all the incredible photos our fans have sent us from around the world.
That’s fantastic. Any last words about Shadesclub that you’d like to leave?
We want Shadesclub™ to let people re-imagine the entire industry with a clean slate. We design shades to be stylish, convenient and fun, while also saving you time, money and giving you the freedom of not worrying about if they’ll break or get lost. We want everyone to have the right sunglasses for all that life has to offer.
We’ve already gone ahead and started getting our initial three-month batch of shades ready so that members will be sure to get their shades on time. Shippo will continue to be our shipping partner throughout the entire process, as they have been previously with Dicks Cottons. We ship internationally as well and are looking to get Shadesclub™ boxes to your door at the beginning of every month.
Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.