Magazine article Working Mother

A Clear Vision

Magazine article Working Mother

A Clear Vision

Article excerpt

It was easy for me as an optician to call around to friends in the industry for the cutest and comfiest specs when my daughter, erin, almost 2 at the time, needed glasses. But nothing fit her. you see, erin has Down syndrome. i made a drawing of the adjustments she needed and took it to frame reps, but the feedback was always the same: there wasn't enough need for these.

to the contrary, there are more than 500,000 people with Down's in the u.S. alone, some 1 in 700 births. By preschool age, 87 percent of kids with Down's need glasses. they have low muscle tone (the eye is a muscle, too) and need a lot of visual corrections. Plus they have lower nose bridges, their eyes are set closer together, and their ears are small and low on the head.

A typical frame doesn't balance right; it drops on the nose and kids have to look over the top, which means they can't see through the right part of the prescription. this causes a lot of frustration, and kids get headaches and don't want to wear their glasses. So i designed frames with a lower bridge and temples, wider end pieces to compensate for wider faces and shorter ear pieces that don't hang back over the ears.

in 2008, erin got a resistant staph infection and needed to be in the hospital. when i lost my job for requesting time off to be with her, i thought, I will stay home and create a company for these special-needs glasses. it took about four years to find a manufacturer to work with me. the first batch of frames arrived on erin's ninth birthday, after being lost in a warehouse for three weeks.

we go to every Down's conference we can to show our frames, and last year we did $260,000 in sales. Parents tell us their children are wearing glasses comfortably for the first time, even as toddlers! we now also have distribution in the u.k., germany, Australia and new Zealand, and it just keeps growing. i want to expand into a full line, so i'm putting every bit of profit back into the business to do that. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.