A PASSION FOR CHILDREN'S EYEWEAR
CHILDREN ALSO APPRECIATE BEAUTIFUL THINGS..
About the founder of BBIG
|“I took over my father's business in 1996 after qualifying as an optician and optometrist. The first thing I did was upgrade the store. My father wanted to represent all available brands and had about thirty in his collection. I wanted to carry fewer brands, with a focus on the truly exclusive ones. But instead of the traditional high-end brands like Gucci and Rodenstock, I opted for true designer brands.”|
How it all began...
|“This decision automatically defined my target group. I was sure that at least some of my clients had children who didn’t want the childish Disney styles and clinical frames covered by their insurance policies in favor of stylish glasses with a more mature aesthetic. These simply didn't exist at the time, until I met a French manufacturer at a trade show in Paris. While he didn't carry the frames I was looking for, he liked my story and was willing to create a small series for me for a great price. 'Just tell me what you want,' he said. So I did. I started with one style in three sizes and five or six different colors, for a total of thirty frames. That was in October 1999. The frames arrived in January the following year. I then approached all of the people who'd asked me about children's frames in the past, as well as existing clients who were likely to have children. Less than a month later I made another appointment with my French manufacturing contact. I wanted to place new orders for the existing frames and have him develop six new frames as well. He laughed at me and said: 'These are never going to sell. It's a waste of money.' To which I replied: 'Just make these for the same price as the first series. It'll be fun and you'll make some extra money to boot’.”|
The birth of BBIG
|“This is when the ball really started rolling. Other opticians heard about my popular children's frames and were interested in buying them from me. At first I told them no, but after fielding similar calls from some thirty or so opticians, I started to reconsider. So I ordered more frames and hired someone to go on the road and sell them for me. That was in August 2000. I remember thinking at the time that I'd be happy if I found fifteen or twenty sales outlets by the end of the year. I ended up with thirty-five. In 2002, I was so busy that I was forced to make a decision: the store or BBIG. The choice was obvious.”|