Aristotle Loumis, founder of Ellison Eyewear, wants you to go on an adventure. Not only that, but he wants you to do it in style, without worrying about losing expensive glasses. Aristotle shares how a trip to Greece inspired Ellison Eyewear, the socially-minded luxury eyewear company that encourages you to “See the world through a different lens.”
What is your business, and what problem you are solving?
Ellison Eyewear is a socially driven, luxury eyewear brand. We design and manufacture all of our eyewear. The first of its kind, we provide lifetime coverage for loss, theft or damage for all purchases with our innovative Club Ellison membership program.
We strive to be successful with three main pillars: We obtain the highest quality materials imported from Italy, lens from Carl Zeiss, and make it all by hand in Greece. Also, with every product purchase, Ellison gives sight back to somebody in need.
Ellison has attracted A-list advisors and investors, and has been featured in INC, Business Insider, NY Post, Life & Style Magazine, CBS, Fox News, and many more for its novel approach to addressing global problems.
What inspired you to start your company?
It took me only one adventure during my first trip to Greece and one pricey pair of "designer" sunglasses (now at the bottom of the Mediterranean sea) to realize it’s not healthy or practical to be enslaved by mass produced pieces of plastic. Losing things is a natural part of life and fear of losing a material item shouldn’t limit our experiences, adventures and encounters with people. However, large sunglass manufacturing companies employ this model all the time, reaping huge profits from mass production.
What is your mission?
We set out to create a sunglass company that embraces the natural act of loss and will never punish our customers for what life throws at them. Instead we welcome it. When we lose something as people, we often find something special in the process. Fear of losing your shades should never limit that process.
As a company we promise our customers a lifelong membership to get replacement access to handmade sunglasses while never having to sacrifice on style, quality or luxury. At Ellison, we want to remove silly, but very real anxieties about losing glasses while encouraging people to get lost in order to find something great.
Who is in your core team? How did your team come together?
Our core team is comprised of hustlers from all walks of life, who are passionate about the shared mission to make the best glasses and do good in this world. On our team we have my Co-founder, Ravi Patel, as well as John Roa, our Technologist. We are also fortunate to have Greg Lechner and Bryant Keil as our Growth Strategists. Greg is a former VP at Luxottica and Lenscrafters and brings extensive industry-specific experience. Bryant is the former CEO/Founder at Potbelly.
Please explain your edge over your competition?
Ellison Eyewear targets and solves the three largest pain points unaddressed in the eyewear industry by providing lifetime coverage on handmade frames from loss, theft, or damage.
We firmly believe that you must “lose” yourself, in order to find something great.
Do you follow any unusual routines, including any that you share with your team?
Every year we send our team individually, or as a group, on an impromptu, purpose-driven trip. Whether it be one of our impact journeys, or one of our US expansion tours, we firmly believe that you must “lose” yourself, in order to find something great. So, just when one of us is getting comfortable, it’s time for an adventure to reconnect with our values, and purpose. We call this our “Lost and Found” mantra.
Constantly putting yourself in uncomfortable positions will not only be the quickest way to personal and professional growth, but will also be the quickest way to “succeed”
What’s the thing you believe to be true that no one else agrees with?
Expanding on our company “Lost and Found” mantra, I believe in the ability to find beauty in the journey, not the destination. The trials and triumphs, losses, and the victories. Constantly putting yourself in uncomfortable positions will not only be the quickest way to personal and professional growth, but will also be the quickest way to “succeed,” however you define success.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Dubai. It reminds me that the human ability never ceases to amaze. To take what was once a flat desert, and turn it into one of the most beautiful and thriving cities in the world makes it truly one of the most remarkable marvels of our time.
Equity crowdfunding is more personal than selling shares in the open market, allowing investors a stronger level of buy-in with the company.
Why equity crowdfunding?
Ellison was built by our loyal customers and we want to further strengthen that relationship. Equity crowdfunding is more personal than selling shares in the open market, allowing investors a stronger level of buy-in with the company.
I believe that wearable technology is on the brink of major growth, and will be replaced with smart(er) watches and smart eyewear.
How do you see your industry changing in the next five years?
I believe that in five years, mobile phones may be on the verge of extinction and that majority of the electronic devices we depend on today will be obsolete. I believe that wearable technology is on the brink of major growth, and will be replaced with smart(er) watches and smart eyewear. We [Ellison] are fascinated by technology. Our passion for technology drives our team to continually experiment with a number of different ideas to ensure we are always ahead of this curve.
Three skills you believe make a good leader?
Wait, that’s four.
Favorite book? Why?
I have many favorites, but one of my most recent favorites is The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson. Bold title. Refreshing perspective. Just read it.