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SOLO Eyewear Blog

SOLO Summer Social Went Off!

The SOLO Summer Social was awesome! We want to thank a few people for the success we had. First off to the W hotel, we could not have put on such an amazing event without your help and space. We encourage anyone in San Diego to take the time to go down and hang out on their rooftop lounge. Sun, cold drinks, and cool people; what more could you ask for? Secondly we want to thank Good on Ya drinks for supplying our guests with some delicious natural beverages. Third, Jackson Breit was one hell of a performer and musician, and we certainly owe him one for making everyone laugh, cheer, and sing along to great music throughout the party. Finally- we want to thank every one of you who came out, and especially those of you who bought SOLO's and supported our mission to give. If you didn't make it, no worries, there is always next year! 

SOLO Summer Social

We hope you’re getting excited about the Summer! We sure are at SOLO Headquarters! Over the last few months we have been preparing to release our new line of sunglasses, and we are excited to announce that they are here! Please meet the new frames in the SOLO family.

Any of the new frames in the family can be purchased on our website or in our retail locations. If you prefer to see them in person, you can drop by the “SOLO Summer Social” tomorrow, June 21st to purchase a pair in person! The event is going to run from 5-7 pm at the W Hotel Sky Beach Lounge in downtown San Diego. Entry is free- so stop by, listen to some live music, support our mission to give and come check out our new line!

 

Fathers Day is On Sunday

Before I was around, my dad used to race bicycles professionally. I was super proud when I found out he placed 10th out of 5,000 contestants in a race he did a few weekends ago in NYC.

While on the subject- this Sunday is fathers day! These days it’s almost impossible to find a unique gift; one that excites and surprises, and your old man probably doesn’t need another BBQ apron. As you may know SOLO has just introduced a whole new line of sunglasses for summer. We think your dad would love all of them, however, there are a few that stick out from the rest. 

Give him something that no-one else has! Every pair of glasses from our “artist series” is made individually, making them all one of a kind. And of course we still incorporated all the features you love, including recycled bamboo frames and spring loaded hinges. Check out "the wave."

Does your dad look like this?

Yes you say? Well that's super bitchin' - you should be proud because Hasselhoff is the man. And the rest of you needn't fret- because SOLO has you covered. 

Give your dad a pair of our signature "Hoff's" and he will be towing boats out of dangerous waters with his teeth in no time at all. 

 

Speaking of boats, if neither of these glasses are floatin' yours, we have our entire collection available on our website.

 

Have fun this Sunday enjoying your family and spending time with your Dad. 

 

 

 

National Bike Month Coming to a Close!

 

Have you noticed more people riding their bikes lately?

 

That’s because May is National Bike Month. With June just around the corner, there are only a few days left to get in on it.

 

Here are a few ideas to get you stoked.

 

  1. Grab a few friends, pack some food and drinks in a backpack and go for an adventure on your bike.
  2. Ride your bike to work or school like this fellow from London.
  3. Ride down a mountain.
  4. Embrace your inner hipster and learn how to do a “track stand” on a fixie.
  5. Finally, if you’re going to go for number three just don’t be this guy.

 

Have fun knowing you’re emitting zero emissions and staying healthy!

 

SOLO wants you to get outside and ride your bike!

Hand-woven Treasures from Guatemala

At SOLO, we believe in making an impact in our world. In addition to restoring vision, we strive to support other socially conscious efforts. We are excited to announce that we are partnering with a group of Guatemalan women to provide you with beautiful, handcrafted sunglass bags and cords. On Friday, November 29th, we are giving away these beautiful hand-woven bags and cords to our first 25 customers who purchase a pair of SOLOs.  

The group of Guatemalan artisans with whom we are working consist of several industrious women. These women have honed their weaving skills to produce beautiful products and support their families. We are thrilled to partner with them to support their efforts by paying fair wages and exposing their products to international markets. 

 

Meet Maria, pictured above. Maria specializes in crafting the multi-colored sunglass cords. Maria lives and creates her magnificent handicrafts in San Antonio Palopo, Guatemala with the group of women weavers. 

Juana, pictured above, and her family craft the sunglass bags with recycled fabrics. "Rural Guatemalan women never used to earn much from their craft, but now they're selling internationally and seeing their lives transform."  - Counterpart International

Be the first to receive these gifts this Friday by shopping the SOLO Eyewear collection HERE. The first 25 customers will also receive free shipping and gift wrapping. Support these Guatemalan Artisans and our Vision to Give today!

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SOLO in India: Being Inspired by Others


Recently we sat down with the founder of LV Prasad Eye Insitute, Dr. Rao. He gave up a good life as a doctor in the U.S. to come back to India and help prevent the blindness among the poor.

Dr. Rao risked his life to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the quality of life for the poor, while concurrently setting a higher standard for underdeveloped countries worldwide.

Dr. Rao is a remarkable man. We were told that a prominent political figure in India had called him and asked to be seen. Dr. Rao replied, “Sure we can see you, but come on a Sunday so that you don’t disturb my other patients.”

His institute has serviced over thirteen million people to date and prevented nearly 200 thousand people from going blind.

His poor patients don’t pay anything. They receive the exact same quality of service as his rich patients who pay top prices.

“Starting out, everything we did was unheard of; people told me I was crazy and that it would never work,” said Dr. Rao.

A humble man, every year he speaks at the top conferences across the globe, but still flies economy.

Dr. Rao told us of his endeavors with the LV Prasad Eye Institute. He wanted a hospital that focused on the people in it. He felt things were sort of backwards in other institutions and sought to fix that. For instance, in India it is customary to address elders, professionals, doctors and politicians as sir or madam. But Dr. Rao insists that in his institution only the patients are addressed with that courtesy.

Dr. Rao worked hard to establish the institution in a different way than others had in the past. He said that in India it is common to bribe the government, but he decided never to go that route to avoid becoming a “pawn in the government’s hands.”

“I’m a beggar with a bow tie. I believe that money is not a hindrance,” he said of himself.

Because of his “unconventional” ways, many elite people were upset with his approach. He said that politicians with armed guards would come to the hospital expecting to be treated better than the other patients, and upset that everyone was equal in the hospital. Dr. Rao even received bomb threats over the phone.

Yet, he believed in giving eye care to everyone who needed it and wouldn’t let anyone stop him. Everything he does is to benefit his patients, his number one motivating factor.

On his desk were two books. Before leaving, I asked him if he found much time to read. He said not really, however, recently a man came to visit with him. The man heard that Dr. Rao’s eye hospital provides free food for the visiting poor patients.

Ten years ago, this man had invested some money, which recently matured to one hundred thousand rupees. He donated all of that money toward the food that feeds the poor.

Dr. Rao said that this man was poor.

“He could have used the money to improve his quality of life, but he gave it,” said Dr. Rao. “This means more to me than the millions that the rich people donate. These are the kinds of things that inspire me. You guys inspire me.”

We are proud to have Dr. Rao as a partner and hope to have as great of an effect on the world as this amazing man.

SOLO in India: Helping the blind see

 

Over the past few days we have met some remarkable people, and have heard some incredible stories.

After visiting the school, we went with Jachin, our L.V. Prasad Eyewear Institute guide, on a house call to check on a patient. After traveling about 45 minutes out of the way on tiny dirt roads through terrifying traffic (which consisted of pedestrians, cyclists, livestock, rickshaws and cars), Jachin announced that we’d arrived.

We jumped out of the van and I glanced down this small dirt road to see a man with a walking stick. Jachin quickly filled us in. We were about to meet Venkataya, a 38 year-old man who recently went blind. LVPEI had assigned him a “Vision Guardian” to teach him how to be independent. His Vision Guardian was a very shy, young woman. Despite her mild temperament, you could tell she had a profound impact in Venkataya’s life. She was teaching him how to navigate his village, determine amounts of currency, but most of all she was giving him hope.

Jachin informed us that Venkataya’s wife took their two children and left him because he was no longer able to provide for them. We asked Jachin if Venkataya would ever “see” them again. Jachin said, “We must teach him a new trade so he can start earning. Once we do, I will find his wife and children and we will try to bring them back.” We know Jachin will deliver on his promise.

After spending some time with the man, we got back into the van to visit a secondary care center.

The building was nice, but what impressed us the most was the tenacity of the patients. We met one man who was recovering from a cataract surgery he had earlier that morning. A staff member translated for us. We learned that the man had a severe cataract that caused him to become blind in one eye nearly a year ago. He was unable to work in the field due to the vision loss. He had another cataract that affected the vision in his left eye. He expressed that he most looked forward to working again after he recovered from the surgery.

“I could manage if I lost a leg. Losing an eye is different. I need my eyes to work,” he said.

We met another woman with a severe cataract in her right eye. She was using the wall as her guide. She had no vision in her right eye and you could see the cataract developing in her left eye. The lady was scheduled to receive a cataract surgery that day. She was terribly nervous. We tried to speak with her.

The staff member asked her, “What do you look forward to seeing when your surgery is completed?”

“Anything,” she replied.

Her life was about to change. She was blind in that moment but fortunately, LVPEI would restore her vision in a matter of hours through cataract surgery, absolutely free of charge. Even her medications and post-op treatment and check-ups were free as well.

SOLO Eyewear is privileged to support such a great organization. Through LVPEI, we were able to fund 25 cataract surgeries for people in need.

Our next stop will be Aravind Eye Care System in Pondicherry where will be able to fund 67 additional cataract surgeries.

We owe every bit of this journey to you. Thank you for supporting us!

-SOLO team