Vail Valley Bizwatch: Church and State produces premium eyewear
Business name: Church and State Optics.
Date opened: Fall 2008.
Owner: Kate Wingard.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What goods or services do you provide? Made in Italy, designed in Vail, we produce premium eyewear for active lifestyles.
What’s new or exciting at your place? We just launched a brand new eyewear design utilizing the most advanced technology on the optic market. We engineered an aviator shaped sunglass by making the entire front frame and the lenses out of nylon, thereby creating a super lightweight, durable and more flexible style that can be worn all day. You’ll never have to worry about eye fatigue or that nagging ear pain you can feel from wearing other sunglasses.
Even the lenses are shock-resistant and shatterproof, a style that’s genius in both design and performance. We have labeled this aviator style “The Nylon” as the perfect all-around shades whether you are hiking your favorite trail, enjoying the outdoors with your friends, or sipping espresso and window shopping. We debuted this new aviator design in a ton of color options at Project trade show in Las Vegas for fall/winter 2013-14, and we will also be at the Four Seasons Resort & Residences in Vail for a trunk show Aug. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. Come check it out after the big bike race!
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Our eyewear is a premium brand that focuses on women’s specific lifestyles. Whether she’s biking, golfing, or cruising down the road. We develop technical accessories without all the fuss and with a fashion-forward style, clean and pretty.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? Our customers are a top priority, of course. We aren’t just another eyewear company, we are the premium eyewear option for women who believe in looking stylish while playing outdoors.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: As a former fashion editor in NYC, I covered the latest trends and happenings in the ready-to-wear and fashion industries. I’m also a natural athlete and total gearhead, so I had been wanting to move to the mountains to try the ski bum lifestyle. It was after I moved to Vail that I realized I could take two of my biggest loves, fashion and skiing, to create the perfect brand of style and performance for women who want to be inspired by their gear.
I began designing ski goggles and have now expanded into sunglasses. I love creating something fresh and cool, perfecting the balance between sport and style.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? I was so poor when trying to start my business that I would steal toilet paper from public restrooms. Now I can afford to share the premium Charmin.