Two young entrepreneurs are hoping on a bright future with a local sunglasses business. Alexis White and Aaron Robinson are starting CAUZ Sunglasses out of their own passion and a way of giving back to the community.
Like many business start ups, funding of the business is usually the hardest goal to achieve and after facing challenges through traditional methods of financing, they’ve decided to try a funding campaign on a popular crowdfunding site.
The two completed the Sault College Young Entrepreneurship Skills Project last year and set out on their business venture by designing sunglasses that led to the creation of their company Cauz Sunglasses.
Saultonline.com talked to Alexis and Aaron about their new venture and how it all started.
What are CAUZ SUNGLASSES?
Cauz Sunglasses are high quality sunglasses that offer features such as: Polarized/uv400 lenses, spring hinges for maximum comfort, and high quality acetate material for the frames. We will be offering 10 color combinations in our wayfarer style sunglasses and 2 color combinations in our aviator style sunglasses. There is also the benefit of donation 10% of our profits to charity.
WHERE ARE THEY MANUFACTURED ?
We had a lot of issues finding a supplier that’s product met our high quality standards and after many trials and tribulations we managed to find a manufacturer in China who’s product met our high standards.
YOU HAVE DECIDED ON A FUNDING PROGRAM LIKE INDIEGOGO – WHY GO THIS METHOD INSTEAD OF TRADITIONAL FUNDING
Well to be honest this was our last option, we looked into loans but because of the amount of money we need and our age we were unable to obtain any. Another option that we looked into was government grants, again we didn’t fit any of the standards and that’s when we found the Sault College Young Entrepreneur Program. We attended this program with the hope of receiving a $3,000 grant which is awesome but still not enough for our first order. We then looked at Indiegogo as a way to crowd-fund some money. We did our research and found that there were a few other sunglasses companies that were more than successful doing this. We thought that with the great support that we have received from friends and family we had a shot at obtaining our $15,000 goal. What a lot of people don’t realize about crowd-funding is that you as a contributor can receive rewards for helping us out. We are using this as a way that our customers can pre-order our glasses and receive other cool rewards for contributing.
PART OF YOUR BUSINESS PLAN IS TO GIVE BACK – MAKING A DONATION OF PROCEEDS TO A FEW CHARITIES – CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS FURTHER?
Before we even started I (Aaron) knew that if I was to create a business I would like to help others out. I find today big businesses are not helping enough, I also said that my goal with starting this business was not to get rich, but to do something that I could do day in and day out, while making a decent living that I was happy with, and helping out others in the process. So what better way then to give 10% of profits to charity. We are currently partnered with 4 charities which include: Heart and Stroke, March of Dimes, Canadian Red Cross, and Seva. When we launch our website and a customers makes a purchase they will be able to choose which of the 4 charities they would like their donation to go to.
IN THE PAST SUNGLASSES WERE A FASHION ACCESSORY , TODAY THE FOCUS IS ON EYE PROTECTION (and fashion) HOW DO CAUZ SUNGLASSES RATE?
Cauz offers polarized/UV400 lenses which is equivalent to other high quality sunglasses brands like Rayban or Oakley. We don’t see the point of offering sunglasses that don’t protect your eyes!
WHY DID YOU GET IN TO THE SUNGLASSES BUSINESS?
We got into the sunglasses business because we both are always buying new sunglasses like rayban and oakley which are great glasses but also have a huge price tag. We wanted to look into what makes these glasses so good and also why are they so expensive. What we found are these companies have huge brand inflation, which isn’t fair to the customer. Yet people still pay the insane price. However you also get companies that say they use the same materials but when you get them you are super disappointed in the quality. We wanted to give customers both quality and a low price point. I (Aaron) approached Lexi who has a background working with glasses and she agreed. We are both very passionate about sunglasses and the business behind it.
RIGHT NOW YOU ARE IN START UP MODE, WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF YOUR NEW BUSINESS – WILL YOU HAVE A STORE FRONT OR HOME BASED BUSINESS?
Well, as you said we are in start up mode and our focus right now is raising our goal of $15,000 and creating some hype behind our brand. If/When we meet our goal we will be launching our website where we will sell your sunglasses. We hope that in the future we will be able to expand into different styles and colors. Once we get sales under our feet we will look into wholesaling while maintain our website sales.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF THE GLASSES? HOW CAN PEOPLE BUY THEM?
We will be selling our sunglasses for $65, however on our Indiegogo campaign they are listed for $75 and that is to cover shipping anywhere in Canada. There is an additional $10 charge for international shipping. You will be able to pre-order our sunglasses or get other cool rewards on our Indiegogo campaign which we will launch March 1st. Till then we are constantly updating our Facebook and Instagram accounts so we hope that you will follow us @cauzsunglasses. Check out CAUZ SUNGLASSES at http://igg.me/at/cauzsunglasses