I first heard about 141 on the NW Optical Professionals Facebook site, and what I saw prompted me to search out their booth at the recent Vision Expo West. Founders Shu-Chu Wu and Kyle Yamaguchi were there displaying their wares in a small booth in the Galleria with a clean and simple presentation.
First – 141? One for one? That's right, that's the premise of their entire business – when you buy one of their frames, they commit to buy one pair of glasses for someone in need. They went on a mission to Taiwan in January, 2010, and gave away – for free – 200 pair of glasses to people recovering from a massive typhoon in 2009. They also recently partnered with the Lions Club, Hoya and others in Portland to give away free glasses to people with no health insurance, and a demonstrated need for health care.
Portland has a bit of a reputation on the west coast, and even has it's own humorous TV show, “Portlandia” that lampoons what may be the greenest little big city on the I-5 corridor. The truth is that it truly feels like the majority of the citizens of Portland care about each other, about the place they inhabit, and being intentional about the choices they made. They value small, local, and real. Neighborhoods exist in reality, in the way people care and interact, not just in a name of a few geographically proximate blocks.
So it seems only natural that a company like 141 would spring forth from such a setting. Shu-Chu is the genuine article, the passion for her product, her company and her mission creating this entirely new concept – as they say “No portions of proceeds. No percentages. You buy one, we give one.” Simple, classy, elegant and fabulous!
Ok, so what about the products? Right now they are fully immersed in zyl frames, funky, chunky with a nod to retro. Classic but original colors made just for them. Lots of great styles, with more new designs on the way. While they appeal to all ages, my bet is that these frames will fly off the shelves of shops whose clientele is 20 – 40, and socially conscious.
Whether you are looking to sell these frames, or looking for a place to buy them, check out their website at www.141eyewear.com
Disclaimer: I have received no compensation in any form from 141 eyewear for this review, nor do I sell them (at this time). Photo used by permission.
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