People’s Champion Finalist: Eyespace
Has the fashion-conscious eyewear company got what it takes to be your Startups Awards People's Champion?
Start-up name: Eyespace
Founder: Julie Abel and Jayne Abel
Started in: 2013
Based in: Stourbridge, West Midlands
Business description: Fashion-conscious eyewear
The world of optics is in sisters Julie and Jayne Abel’s DNA. The daughters of International Eyewear founders Phillip and Barbara Abel, the siblings have spent over 25 years in eyewear.
With their combined knowledge the pair felt it was high time the traditional industry was reinvigorated. So in 2013 they went for it and by September that year the business had launched with a range of “fashion-conscious, quality frames at extremely competitive prices”.
Sharing key roles – Jayne is an optometrist, while Julie is an accountant – the sisters have assembled a design team from global optical companies, while utilising their contacts to build a reliable supply chain and access to quality materials.
“Meticulous attention to detail is at the heart of all we do,” they tell us. By listening “to literally hundreds of practitioners nationwide” and combining that with their know-how Eyespace has created over 420 ‘intelligent’ styles and now supplies a large range of independent UK opticians.
Eyespace’s team has swelled to 23 and the business has processed thousands of orders.
Julie and Jayne manage every stage of design, manufacture, importation, marketing and distribution for each of the company’s six different House Brands, which have been created to match a range of ages or lifestyles.
“This means we can ensure our customers (and their customers) are satisfied with the best quality product and service, backed by exceptional value. Additionally, as managing directors, we are keenly focused on identifying, winning and maintaining key accounts and contract business in alliance with our expanding sales and marketing teams.”
In addition to its focus on design, customer service with next day delivery, free postage and packing, 24/7 ordering online, and excellent social media engagement have helped to make the company stand out quickly in a competitive market.
Why Eyespace made our 50:
In just one year, Eyespace has become a supplier to the UK’s three largest purchasing groups for independent opticians. The product looks great, marketing is slick, and financials match-up too. A great story.