Husband and wife team Ravi Dass and Stephanie Hill are behind Mr Four Eyes* (formerly known as Kiwi Optical), which sells glasses and replacement lenses online and in person using an easy, single-price model that makes buying glasses simpler and more affordable. The company has also developed a novel "buy-one, give-one" scheme where for every new pair of frames or lenses sold the company donates a pair to the Lions Foundation which are sent to the Pacific Islands via the charity VOSO.org.
The "We Help You See - and You Help Us Give" idea emerged on the back of Ravi's optical volunteer work overseas after noticing that families in both New Zealand and the Pacific often struggle to afford the high cost of prescription glasses for their children, which can affect their performance at school. "With Mr Four Eyes you can focus on finding your perfect frames, while we focus on making sure you get the best lenses for your sight, and keeping your cost down."
In addition to providing affordable prescription eyewear options to those who need it most, the company is also strong on helping people re-use their own frames with new lenses, which reduces waste and lets people keep the frames they love. "Our business started with this core idea of helping you, and indirectly helping others. It is our way of maintaining a self-sustainable practice."
The best part of the business according to Dass? "Our customers benefitting from our glasses allows us a chance to help those who otherwise would not have access to them. Through our buy-one, give-one model you are also helping give sight to those less fortunate."
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As the venture gains momentum Mr Four Eyes also has plans to improve school eyesight screening programmes here in New Zealand and in the Pacific.
* When Te Radar interviewed this team they were still known as Kiwi Optical.