lookielous in the year 2016

young enough

I never thought that lookielous would not be a big success. I had the idea a year before I actually went for it. I thought certainly someone had already done it. I mean glasses as a hairband is a no brainer. I could not believe that it had not been done and saw this a sure fire thing.

Really I can partially blame Seth Godin, as he is a very powerful motivator. I had read his books and his blog for several years, so I was excited when he was giving a talk in Atlanta and I got tickets.

At the time I had for 17 years, owned and operated a Home staging company. Homestaging is now a household word, but trust me, in 1995 it was not. Let me remind you that in 1995 few people even had email addresses. I had painstakingly started a business, and created a market. I knew little about real estate and staging but, learned as I went along. Year by year managed to increase sales, and my earnings to a more than decent living, working VERY VERY hard. In doing so, I created an business model, marketed said model, learned to price, package and execute the concept. Seth told me I was not an entrepreneur, but a consultant. I really fancied myself a entrepreneur, so this was ego deflating. Also, entrepreneurs wear bow ties and talk tech language. Now a business God had spoken, I was not an entrepreneur, I believed him. It was a bit shaming, but I had a lot of shame (for everything) so I took that as a cue to do something REALLY entrepreneurial.

My pal Kristie had met me in Atlanta and was going to drive back to Nashville for a visit. On the drive home we discussed business ideas and the hairband reading glasses idea won.

Within weeks we had a prototype, a business plan, and started raising money to do lookie lous.

I was super energized by the work and had no problem working my day job and doing lookielous at night. I eventually sold my home staging company to offset my mounting debt from a recession, and divorce.

I found a manufacturer, secured the deal, got the product patented and the name trademarked. Had wonderful photo shoots, worked on lovely graphics and packaging. Things were moving on!! I am an entrepreneur!! Sent Seth an email. Ego back!!!

I did trade shows, some were wildly successful and others were complete and utter duds. I opened 100 accounts that first year.
Advertising broke even, and online sales were trickling in.

I realized after that first year that lookielous were seen as a novelty item. Like a snugli, but not as good. Buyers were not committed to the product, buying only once for fun, but I would not be building a business. Also, the product is not obvious. Even though our display eventually spelled it out, the consumer has to be told “they are reading glasses” .

In the interim we had some complaints. The nose piece was a little sharp. I had the manufacture revise that mold ($$$) and remedied that problem.

Lori Weiss did a terrific piece in Huffington post on lookielous and me. What a great day for lookielous! Our website had over 150,000 hits and it was our best sales day to date. Proving that if people hear about lookielous, they will buy them. Many of those customers continue to order today.

Here is the deal, lookie lous are really, really convenient. I overestimated that people would adapt to a new way to having your readers when you need them. Everyday, and everywhere I go I see folks with their reading glasses on their heads, tucked in a shirt or in their hand. If you wear reading glasses you simply cannot read without them. It seems people would rather be inconvenienced than adapt to a new way. Or maybe they are just too weird looking a la Google glass.

Money ran out, fundraising could not continue. My staff on two moved away for other ventures and I never rehired. I defaulted back to home design work.

Today, I am going to try to start to reconcile what to do next. Thanking the universe for my pal, Ginger, who also happens to be a master life coach, http://gingermoran.com/ , for reaching across states to keep me from drowning in my post menopausal despair. Let’s see what happens. Ego out.


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Fit Matters

lookie lous asian fit

It started with our oversees manufacturer raving about how well lookie lous® fit. Ever since then it’s been fun fitting lookie lous® on Asian faces. We’ve discovered that the unique design offers wearers with a lower profile nose to adjust the bridge of the glasses to fit comfortably.

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kelly kelly kelly kelly kelly kelly kelly

IMG_0232I am Kelly Coty, Canadian living in the states since 77. I was a Val. Worked in the garment district in Los Angeles in my 20′s and then married a guy from Nashville. I started the first home staging company in Nashville, and honed some awesome design skills. Then I stumbled on to an idea, sold the staging company and here we are.

I am the inventor of these cool glasses. I often joke that I started a company based on my own need for reading glasses that I wouldn’t lose. I literally had pairs of reading glasses all over my house but whenever I needed to read, they were never there.

The thought hit me one day after I had been picking up the house. My girls always leave their bows, hairpins, hair ties and hairbands all over the house. As I am cleaning I wrap the hair ties around my wrist, stick the barrettes in my hair and so on. This particular day I was donning my crazy Mom cleaning look with a plastic hairband and several barrettes when I got called to my desk. I needed my readers and on par they were not at my desk. I immediately reached for the hairband thinking it was my readers and the idea hit me..If you put magnifiers in a hairband you would always have your readers when you needed them.

I think normal people have good ideas all the time, but I am far from normal. I saw nothing wrong with basically selling the farm and starting an eyewear company. Can I say at this time I did not even know how reading glasses worked!

I have to say that I never wear traditional readers. I wear my lookie lous 24/7 and am very proud to have the patent on the product and taken it this far.

I do not refer to lookie lous as my child, I refer to my children as my children who are also my best friends. Max 22, Audrey, 20 and Mallory 12.

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Presbyopia? no need to panic, it’s just aging eyes

Are you starting to have problems reading fine print? No, they are not printing smaller it’s your little ole eyes acting their age. Most people start noticing this after age 40, it worsens as you get older. At first it is just difficulty say.. reading a menu in a dim light restaurant, then the text looks super small on your phone. The condition is called Presbyopia. Presbyopia literally means “elder eyes”. The optical industry has recently come up with a new snappier name ” Age-Related focus Dysfunction” Awesome, dysfunction is just what we all want to hear.

As the eyes age (why am I harping on age?) the eyes are less able to focus. It is really a steady decline from age 4. Have you ever noticed how young children often have their faces super close to their coloring? That is because they can focus that close, by age 12 they are 14 inches away from the paper, and now over 40 we need many more inches to focus. It is the hardening of the natural lens and the weakening of the muscle fibers in the eye that cause this condition. If you have it, and many many people do you may need reading glasses.

You may have gone your whole life with perfect vision and then overnight find yourself struggling to read the dosage on bottles of medicine. Now you may need reading glasses. Reading glasses are different than most prescription glasses. These little helpers are available everywhere. These types of glasses are referred to as over the counter (OTC) reading glasses. So much like over the counter pain relievers, they are available without a prescription. (NOTE: READING GLASSES ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR GOOD EYE CARE, PLEASE SEE YOUR EYE CARE PROFESSIONAL FOR ANNUAL CHECKUPS)

Reading glasses are basically magnifying glasses. They will make the fine print bigger. You use them to read or do fine focusing tasks. Glasses for reading come in different diopters or strengths. To know what your strength is you can use a common diopter chart. Click here to use one. Another very crude way to judge is… wait for it….age.

40-45 1.0
45-50 1.5
50-55 2.0
55- 2.5 3.0

So there. Now you know. It is also important to know that you do not wear reading glasses on your face when you are walking around, they are just for reading or tasking. This is why you see people with their glasses on the ends of their noses. This allows them to see distance ( no problemo! ) and then look through the lenses to focus on close up stuff. The result is pretty unflattering!

To make matters worse it is common for people to slide readers on their head, we all do it, especially with our sunglasses.
Reading glasses are not as hardy as sunglassses so a few things go wrong. First you stretch the little hinges so they no longer fit your face. So now the glasses fall off your face, land on the floor breaking or scratching the lenses. Lookie lous are designed to wear on the head (or neck) they will not fall off when you lean over.

The next thing you will notice is the little hinges grab your hair and it is almost impossible to get them out without tearing out a few hair at a time. This is so not cool. Keep your hair, lookie lous have no hinges or hardware so you can have your hair and read too!

Traditional glasses for reading are easy to lose. You are constantly taking them on and off so it is easy to lose track. Most veteran reading glasses wearers have a dozen pair because they are so accustomed to losing them. Lookie lous are designed for function, have your glasses when you need them, where you need them. That is good design.


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Canada loves lookie lous!

The Toronto Interior Design Show with Designboom was a hit! It was great to share lookie lous ® with an audience so receptive to modern design. Kelly had chance to see many happy and great looking customers in their new glasses. Check out the photos below:




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