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Start Your Business Success Stories

Here Comes the Sun: How We Doubled Our Eyewear Brand's Funding Goal

COVRY founders Athina Wang and Florence Shin Credit: COVRY

For as long as we can remember, we've struggled to find sunglasses that fit our faces comfortably. Always settling for styles that looked beautiful but fit terribly, we were convinced that the marks left on our cheeks, fogged lenses, and loose frames were just a normal part of wearing sunglasses.

Frames sold in the U.S. market are designed with a standard fit. This one-size-fits-all concept never made sense to us. Facial structures are diverse, which is why we redesigned the standard fit and create our own Elevated Fit®.

With a background in fashion design and production, we began our research on eyewear and realized adjusting specific measurements could change how the frames fit us. After about a year of prototypes, we created Elevated Fit® and started COVRY. But despite having years of experience working with contemporary and retail fashion companies, nothing could prepare us for running our own handcrafted eyewear brand.

As first-time entrepreneurs, we weren't sure where to start. One of our biggest challenges was to find a manufacturer. We knew we had to go overseas to China as the eyewear factories there are multi-generational and create eyewear for some of the biggest fashion designers. But more importantly, we searched for a manufacturing partner that understood our vision and shared our standards for quality and design.

From there, we prototyped our sunglasses for almost a year to perfect the fit. Our exclusive Elevated Fit features longer nose pads, reduced frame curvature, and a narrowed nose bridge for frames that sit higher on the nose and away from the cheeks.

Once we had the final samples, we launched COVRY on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. This not only allowed us to raise funds to place our initial production order, it also gave us the opportunity to test the market. We reached almost 300 percent of our initial goal, raising over $53,000.

As young female entrepreneurs, we're often underestimated and not taken seriously. This can be discouraging, and it has slowed us down at times; but it's also challenged and encouraged us to get out of our comfort zones. 

Since our launch over two years ago, we've grown our e-commerce business, opened multiple pop-up shops in New York City, and have spotted some of our favorite celebrities and fashion editors in our frames. Most importantly, our customers have fueled our growth with their valuable feedback and support.

We're passionate about embracing diversity. What makes us different is what makes everyone so unique. In our business, the concept of standard fit eyewear never made sense to us as facial structures are extremely diverse, so why is most eyewear one-size-fits-all? Knowing that there are so many people around the globe who struggle to find frames that fit, we are motivated to continue creating the most comfortable frames in the market. At COVRY, we celebrate diversity.

About the authors: Athina Wang and Florence Shin are the founders of eyewear brand COVRY.

Edited for brevity and clarity by Sammi Caramela.