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    After Shark Tank, Frameri online optical finds success

    Cincinnati, OH—If you caught a recent episode of ABC’s Shark Tank, you may have gotten a look at eyewear’s latest startup company.

    Frameri is an online optical retailer that offers moderately priced frames and lenses—but what makes it different is that the lenses are interchangeable between frames. The wearer can pop out the lenses and snap them into a different frame in a matter of seconds. Or the wearer can pop out the clear lenses and opt instead for tinted lenses, turning her frames into sunglasses.   

    Related: Blink in-home vision test worries ODs

    Konrad BilletzFrames run $99 per pair. The frames come in three different shapes with a wide range of color options. Plano and single vision lenses are $50, while progressive lenses run $250. The lenses are polycarbonate, AR-coated, EMI-coated, scratch resistant, and smudge resistant. Frameri offers 10 different tints for sunglasses lenses and runs its own optical lab in-house.

    Founder Konrad Billetz says that even after wearing glasses since he was a kid, he didn’t know much about eyewear. But the price, the inconvenience, and the limited choices were always a problem, so he set to find a way to improve the experience for glasses wearers.

    “We put together a team of industrial designers, computer nerds, and smart geeks, and we figured it out,” he says, speaking exclusively with Optometry Times. “We want to make glasses for people who wear them. How can we make them better? What are the problems that people run into?”

    After a year of research and design, the company officially launched last July. From the beginning, Billetz says, it was about coming up with the best design to meet the needs of the wearer.

    But what further differentiates Frameri from its online optical competition is that the company has plans to offer its frames in traditional optical shops.

    Next: Bridging the gap between optical and e-commerce

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...

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    • AmberGuyton-Baran
      The option to switch frames is intriguing, but I cannot say I am impressed by the use of polycarbonate lenses. Yes, they are more impact resistant, but the optics are not impressive and they can have an adverse reaction to petroleum products (which include hand and face creams as well as cosmetics). I would rather see them using Trivex, plastic, and high index (1.6 and higher). For people with higher prescriptions and more astigmatism (like myself), polycarbonate is not going to be a good option.

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