Small Business Spotlight: Fetch Eyewear
All images © Fetch Eyewear.
This October, Res Nova Law is excited to shine its Small Business Spotlight on Portland, Oregon's very own Fetch Eyewear, a designer eyeglasses boutique that donates 100% of profits to animal rescue. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Fetch Eyewear founder and philanthropist Ann Sacks, to learn more about what motivates her, what makes Fetch Eyewear so unique, and how the Sacks family advocates for animal welfare.
A Brilliant Businesswoman & Entrepreneur:
Prior to founding Fetch Eyewear in 2004, Ann was the founder and owner of Ann Sacks—a luxury tile business that Ann built from scratch and grew into a global brand. It all started nearly three decades ago, when Ann took inspiration from a box of Talavera tiles and decided to start a tile business out of her Portland home. In 1981, Ann opened her first showroom in Portland. Within a few years, Ann Sacks tiles became recognized for their high quality and fine craftsmanship. In 1989, Ann sold her business to the Kohler Company. When Ann left the company in 2003, Ann Sacks had twenty stores. Today, Ann Sacks tiles are sold all over the globe, and has international showrooms including in London, Dubai, and Vancouver, BC.
However, Ann's entrepreneurship and business-brilliance did not stop there. In fact, Ann put her decades of sourcing experience to great use when she founded Design and Direct Source ("DDS") in 2006. DDS offers a "sophisticated but affordable collection of tile, stone, and wood that would enable designers to pursue their creative ends while balancing the timing and budget realities of commercial projects." Ann currently splits her time between DDS and Fetch Eyewear.
Fetch Eyewear, Affordable Designer Glasses:
So how did Ann Sacks the tile maven become Ann Sacks the eyewear designer? It all started in 2004, back when there was no meaningful alternative to either shelling out $600-$1,000 on a pair of prescription glasses at the eye doctor—or buying a cheap pair of $10 reading glasses at the drug store. Ann had recently bit the bullet and purchased a very expensive pair of reading glasses herself, and had set them atop her car while she was cleaning it at a self-service vacuum place. Much to her dismay, Ann drove off with her glasses still on the roof of her car, and was unable to find them again. This experience made Ann recognize the need for affordable yet stylish glasses.
Thanks to Ann's many years of sourcing experience, it took her only about half a day of research to realize that she could create designer, handcrafted eyewear using all high-quality materials, sell them at affordable prices, and still make a profit. As it turns out, high prices for eyewear were driven by substantial markups and licensing fees from big-name designers, and not from actual material costs. Thus, Fetch Eyewear was born. By stripping away the markups and unnecessary fees, Ann created Fetch Eyewear on a business model that gets you a complete pair of prescription glasses, reading glasses, or sunglasses starting at only $95. Fetch Eyewear offer classic and modern styles that suit all face shapes, sizes, skin tones, and hair styles. Plus, Fetch Eyewear offers a unique lifetime warranty on all their frames.
The Pixie Project, 100% of Profits to Animal Rescue:
Fetch Eyewear might be great for your vision and easy on your wallet, but the best thing about the company is that 100% of profits go to animal rescue, through Fetch Eyewear's partnership with the Pixie Project. The Pixie Project is a non-profit animal rescue and adoption center located in Northeast Portland, and is committed to keeping animals healthy through veterinary care and pet owner education, and making life-long matches between pets and their adopters. By implementing a careful screening process, the Pixie Project maintains a low pet return rate. (This means that most adopted animals find their lifetime homes.) The Pixie Project also has an on-site clinic, which offers low-cost spay, neuter, dental, and other veterinary services for homeless and low-income pet owners.
You may be wondering how Fetch Eyewear and the Pixie Project became such a power-duo. Well, it turns out that Ann is not the only entrepreneur and philanthropist in the Sacks family. Ann's daughter—Amy Sacks—has inherited her mother's focus, drive, and ability to solve problems, and serves as the founder and executive director of the Pixie Project. Additionally, Ann runs the Ann and Robert Sacks Philanthropic Fund with her husband Robert. Working directly with Fetch Eyewear, the Ann and Robert Sacks Philanthropic Fund makes annual contributions to the Pixie Project that match or exceed 100% of Fetch Eyewear's profits for that year.
All images © Fetch Eyewear.
Thanks for chatting with us, Ann! You can visit Fetch Eyewear in person (and meet Eliot, the shop cat) at 814 NW 23rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97210.
Res Nova Law is an intellectual property and business law firm based in beautiful Portland, Oregon, serving innovative companies and entrepreneurs across the Pacific Northwest. We’re your go-to lawyers for startups and well-established businesses of all sizes and in every stage of business growth. Our legal services include business formation, contract drafting, intellectual property advising and litigation, business advising and litigation, and more. We also offer outside counsel plans for businesses with ongoing legal needs.