‘Your shades should say something about you. They should tell a story about who you are and the life you love to live.’ These are the two maxims that have served as the underlying principles of Eyewearlabs – one of India’s newest and dare-we-say stupendously successful eyewear brands that has managed to connect with over five million online users since its inception a few years ago.
Starting out in late 2017 with less than 20 orders a day, Eyewearlabs has effectively generated a revenue of over Rs 20 crore (£2,100,000 approx.) in sales. All this, by overcoming old-school channels, manufacturing sunglasses internally, and engaging with customers through various advertising campaigns, some of which feature a phalanx of hot-n-happening Bollywood stars.
We sit down for a chat about all things ‘shady’ with Mehul Jakharia, the young and dynamic founder of the brand.
Tell us about the short, but remarkably successful journey of Eyewearlabs thus far
It is rightly said that necessity is the mother of all invention and this ideology set in motion the conceptualisation of Eyewearlabs. The Eyewearlabs journey was embarked upon to tackle the most prevalent problem in the eyewear industry, which is monopolisation as the industry has always been dominated by big brands. Buying a pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses would seem like a luxury and that is when I realised that this was a very relevant issue that needed to be fixed with a witty solution.
Eyewearlabs was launched in order to bridge the gap between luxury and affordable eyewear for the consumer. We began our research in the right direction and we realised what we needed to do in order to build this bridge. Today, we offer a variety of sunglasses and eyewear at economical prices without compromising on quality and we currently ship over 5,000 orders every month, which is a rewarding feeling for sure.
What are some of the core principles of the brand and how do you ensure that they are followed?
At Eyewearlabs the motto is simple: Trendy, Durable and Affordable. A good pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses should not burn a hole in your pocket, which is why the focus is always on the quality and pricing. By using innovative methods for production it is possible to manufacture products that are durable, trendy and affordable without compromising on quality. The research team at Eyewearlabs is constantly studying current trends and technologies that help the brand manufacture products that are at par with other brands in terms of quality and also comparatively more cost-effective than other brands.
Your latest advertising campaign is one where you have roped in a few of the newer lot of Bollywood stars to be a part of. How and what do they add to the brand’s image?
Well, we have a new campaign coming up this Diwali. Just to give you a sneak peak of our latest campaign: we have a young, dynamic, rough and tough celebrity as our ambassador who perfectly defines our upcoming collection. We should launch our collection in December.
You are primarily an online business, so, how different is the online customer from the regular, high street shopper?
When you have an online business, you constantly face the challenge of gaining a customer’s trust. At first you are a faceless brand, as you cannot directly meet or greet your customers like you would at a store and have a one-on-one rapport with the customer. We faced such challenges too, in order to gain customer’s trust. However, various aspects like social media, live chat on our website and our customer support team, helped us bridge that gap as well.
There are obstacles every now and then but that is what keeps us going and helps us get better. Our customers themselves have enabled us to understand what they want, and they keep us on our toes to meet their needs with reviews and feedback which has played a crucial role.
Speaking of the high street, do you have any plans for a brick and mortar store in the near future?
We are currently available only on our website and via Amazon. We will increase our distribution through online channels. A brick and mortar store is currently not on our minds, due to the current Covid-19 scenario.
What should one look for when shopping for the right pair of sunglasses?
The general rule while picking sunglasses is that it should complement your face. Secondly, it should be polarised and UV protected. Pick shapes and designs that will make your face look more proportional and that enhance your features. And the most important element is the size. You should select the perfect size, oversized or sunglasses that are too small may sometimes spoil the entire look.
Eyewearlabs has an ultra-premium vertical in the form of the 18k gold eyewear range. Could you please throw some light on it?
We are a bridge to a luxury brand, so our customers also need something premium, which is why we started a range of gold sunglasses starting from Rs.50,000 (£517 approx.) We get strong orders from the South Indian market. Because of this, we give a hallmark and certificate of authenticity along with insurance for these sunglasses.
You also launched an apparel range recently. Please elaborate on it and also, are there any other such brand diversification plans for the future?
Over the years, we realised that our customer base would also love to shop for graphic t-shirts and solid t-shirts that would complement the sunglasses. With that in mind, Eyewearlabs started its own range of clothing and we have some great quirky designs right now that cater to a widespread audience. We are planning to expand more and also to launch athleisure wear, we are currently still researching the same and are excited to take it forward.
Images courtesy of eyewearlabs.com.