San Diego Entrepreneur of the Week: Chase Fisher & Blake Jensen of Blenders Eyewear
SD Entertainer is a huge fan and supporter of entrepreneurs in San Diego. We admire the dedication and long hours it takes to build and develop a successful business. Each week, the SD Entertainer sits down with one successful entrepreneur to discuss the goals, dreams, and plans for their company. This week, the SD Entertainer had the opportunity to speak with Chase Fisher & Blake Jensen of Blenders Eyewear
1. What made you want to get into the sunglass industry? There are both a lot of established low cost and high cost providers, what was your plan to gain market share
We dove into the sunglasses industry purely because it was a product we thought was cool. Sunglasses are both a necessity and a statement of style here in Southern California. We looked around for shades that were quality, cool, and inexpensive. We didn’t see them anywhere on the market so we decided to make them ourselves. We do a good chunk of our sales through our website, www.blenderseyewear.
2. How has living and working in San Diego effected your company?
Our brand couldn’t have started anywhere else. Blenders is truly inspired and guided by the coastal lifestyle here in San Diego. There’s always awesome events going on locally that we take part in. The beach is blocks away from our office in La Jolla. There’s lots of interesting people and companies thriving in the city that we learn from and collaborate with. Besides all that, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun! There’s no where we’d rather live and work than here!
3. Why is it important for young people to continue to strive to be successful entrepreneurs and start their own business?
I can’t speak for anybody else, but for Chase and me, creating a successful business is the only way to achieve the lifestyle we want to live. It’s a lot more challenging and stressful than working for somebody else, but the rewards far outweigh any drawbacks.
If you have an idea, just do it. Don’t wait on anybody and don’t try to perfect everything before starting. Having good mentors around you is hugely valuable so ask for help and learn as much as you can!
5. What are the future goals of Blenders Eyewear?
You’re going to see a TON of great new products rolling out of the Blenders kitchen, as well as a focused dedication to providing a quality experience for our customers in terms of interaction with us, and in the products we make. Everybody has different passions in life, whether it’s music, sports, travel, or whatever. You need a solid pair of shades for all those things. We feel very strongly that those shades should be Blenders! We also have some collaborations in the works with the NBA, NFL, and top festivals like Lollapalooza and The Groove Cruise as well as top DJ’s from around the world. This stuff is super exciting for us and building on relationships like these is a long term goal for the brand. You can get in on the action by following Blenders on Instagram @blenderseyewear.
Every day presents a new challenge. Logistics are very tough and just buttoning up the back end of things so that the whole system runs smoothly. In a perfect world, we would just design awesome shades and do photo shoots on the beach. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.
7. How does marketing/advertising play a role in your business plan? Does having a large internet following effect your business?
Marketing plays a HUGE roll in our business. Generally once people find out about Blenders, they are stoked on it. For us it’s just about getting new eyes on it, and having that visibility for the brand. We’ve been fortunate to get some good marketing exposure on TV recently with ‘The West Texas Investors Club’ on CNBC, as well as the Today Show and appearances on local stations like Fox 5 San Diego and KUSI.
8. How did you come up with the cost for your sunglasses vs other companies?
We just price our stuff at a level that seems reasonable. We’re not going to ask anybody to pay more than we would want to pay ourselves. No matter what brand you buy from, all sunglasses cost roughly the same amount to make. The high price tags you see on most sunglass brands are due to brand inflation and monopoly in the industry. There’s about three companies that make up 70% of the global sunglasses industry. They own most of the big brands, they own the factories, and they own the retail locations. This lets them jack up the prices to whatever they feel like. They’re the Empire and we’re the Rebel Alliance basically. We’re Han Solo.
9. Do you plan on producing any products besides Sunglasses?
Yes. When the time is right, you’ll start to see a variety of products from Blenders, based on the needs of our customers. Probably not a self driving car or anything … but cool stuff nonetheless.
10. If you could have one celebrity/personality endorse your company, who would it be?
You never really see the Pope in sunglasses … he’s probably waiting for a pair of Blenders.