WHO AM I?
My name is Jake. I came from a low-income family and simply needed a job and cash. I left school at 16 because I did not want to go college and even though education was free, I could not afford the school trips, to learn to drive, or do anything social without having a job on the side. I was not good at balancing a job and college studies. I took the first apprenticeship I could, and started working in Optics thinking it was only going to last 2 years as it wasn't very interesting.
Fast forward 5 years, I had graduated with a degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing and I am now studying Optometry.
Whilst studying for my first degree, I was introduced to the world of independent eyewear and was amazed. There were so many unique brands from all over the world using materials such as acetate, wood, buffalo horn, and even gold!
Eyewear had taken my interest and the desire to start my own company within Optics began.
THE BIG DREAM
A couple of years ago, I decided my dream was to become an Optometrist and create an eyewear brand.
I find that the problem with eyewear is that it is assumed one size fits all. However, if I asked a person with size 11 feet if a size 5 is okay, I would be laughed at. So why is it okay that a 'medical device' (yes, glasses are medical devices!) is okay to come in one size?
I'm sure I am not the only one who struggles to find something that fits and it's frustrating.
in the 1900s, it was common to go to a tailor to get a suit made to fit you, have shoes made to fit you, and spectacles made to fit you. Since then, everything is mass-produced.
I want to make it easier for people to find a pair of glasses that fits them like a pair of slippers that feel so comfortable you don't want to take them off.
Now, it is safe to say most businesses in the fashion industry are not sustainable. I am not saying this idea is sustainable, but I want to improve the way we do things.
Most plastic eyewear is made from acetate. High-Quality acetate is made from cotton and is classed as fairly sustainable (depending on manufacturing).
When a pair of specs is made, only 20% of the 170x70 slab is used which is not great. However, there is a way around this:
- Acetate can (in theory) be recycled again and again rather than put in the landfill.
- Off-cuts could be made into accessories such as earrings, glasses chains, and pendants
And after this, you get your lovely new glasses, and two years later you need another pair. Then your old specs get thrown into a draw till they get thrown away. Not Ideal if we are trying to be sustainable.
This is where the next part comes in...
THE RESURRECTION ROOM
Most of the time, the only problem with old glasses is the prescription is out of date. Therefore lovely spectacles get forgotten about, thrown away, or (hopefully) recycled.
But, what if they could be given a new home?
The Resurrection Room is a selection of spectacles that have been abandoned due to unforeseen circumstances, and revived into masterpieces and can be reloved by someone else! This is another subsection of Caprice.
As handmade eyewear can be expensive, I thought we should start easy and attempt to cater to every market, providing refurbished eyewear as good as new.
This pair of RayBan Spectacles were severely bent, they had white residue from sweat and some scratches. Here, they look brand new.
We plan to sell these, as well as lots more on our website, coming at the end of feb.
HOW TRR WORKS?
How The Resurrection Room works:
- We take old frames by buying old eyewear online, donations through customers, companies we team up with, and more
- We diagnose the frame Illness and treat it with the right care whether it is a good old adjustment, sanding and polishing, or just a hug
- We then take photos, put them on our website, and ready for you to purchase!
(Any lenses left in the specs before being collected and recycled).
I started the original crowdfunder https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/capriceatelier early this year. We are not changing the main goal
We need to expand. The tools required for making frames and reviving them are pricy and I only have hand tools from my silversmithing equipment. It is all time-consuming. However, I have taken the first steps to start this business:
- We have set up a lens supplier, HOYA, who are an independent manufacturer of high-quality lenses. We will provide the option of prescription lenses at checkout, providing you have an in-date prescription (to keep things legal!).
- We are currently developing our website (www.capriceatelier.co.uk) so that you can purchase your products from us.
- We are currently in talks with a recycling company that is very passionate about sustainability. We are looking to find new ways to help them with recycling eyewear (more details coming soon).
- We have set up supply chains for eyewear materials for the future and repair consumables.
- We are setting up a repair and rehabilitation service for old and broken spectacles. So if you have a pair you love but are falling to bits, stay tuned!
SO WHERE DO YOU COME IN?
As I said, my ultimate goal is to create a luxury eyewear brand where everything is handmade. These steps make this dream a reality. Caprice will not only be a store of new eyewear but resurrected eyewear and jewelry accessories whilst trying to be sustainable.
Equipment is expensive to keep this up, and we are looking for your help to fund this project.
WHAT WILL THE MONEY GO TOWARDS?
- Tools and equipment to make life easier when refurbishing glasses and making handmade eyewear.
- New ways to resurrect eyewear.
- Material costs, such as acetate, hinges, screws etc.
- Upkeep of our great connections with suppliers.
- Costs of eCommerce, recycling, software, etc.
Bringing eyewear manufacturing into Britain is more sustainable than bulk buying eyewear overseas. Refurbishing old eyewear not only gives a good pair of glasses a new home but stops them from being thrown away. As they say, start small, think big!
Thank you for considering to support whether that is by contrabuting to funding, sharing or simply reading this far.
WHAT'S UP FOR GRABS?
Resurrected Raffle! £10.00
- Good old-fashioned raffle to win £150 voucher towards a new pair of glasses.
The Gift of Giving £50.00
- Gift £50.00, receive a £80 voucher towards anything on our website!
New year, New(ish) me £200
- Gift £200.00 and receive a £300 voucher towards anything on our website!
Handmade for you, with love £450.00
- Get yourself a pair of handmade specs when they release! Retailing at £549.00
Bespoke, the best poke £800.00
- Access our bespoke service - We come to you to make a pair of spectacles!
(Includes: A pair of spectacles with single vision lenses made to measure, consultation to your home and a fitting of your new spectacles, in total worth well over £1200)