AngelFire Optical is a new Los Angeles based online glasses shop. The new optical company hopes to make a name for themselves in the crowded and competitive market for ordering eyeglasses and sunglasses through the internet. So what’s AngelFire all about?
I had the opportunity to do an interview with AngelFire Optical’s marketing manager, Jenn. I got a general overview of the people behind the company, the plans AngelFire has in the new year, and how they feel they can compete with other online glasses retailers currently in the optical and vision market.
AngelFire Optical Interview
OpticalOwl – Tell me about AngelFire Optical?
AngelFire – Angelfire California Optical is a California based company located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. We are a start-up e-commerce optical company that aims to provide low cost, premium quality prescription optical glasses and prescription sunglasses.
How did the company start? Who are the founders?
The company was founded on September 2016 by Hao Wu and co-founder, Alice Huang. Hao’s family has been in the optical manufacturing industry since the mid 80s, and is one the leading manufacturers for high-end and well-known eyewear brands worldwide. Combined with a strong family background, and first-hand knowledge of the eyewear industry gave birth to the brand Angel Fire.
Together with co-founder Alice, they teamed up and build eyewear designs inspired by the City of Angels. From frames and lenses, down to the smallest details in packaging, the team ensures that the core foundations of the brand- quality, affordability, style and innovation- are reflected.
There is currently a lot of competition in the online glasses market. How do you think AngelFire can compete? What do you believe you offer that is unique compared to the competition?
Most of our current competitors in the market are retailers with an average starting price of around $150.00 per pair of prescription eyewear. The price increases depending on the brand and the type of lenses. Although there are a few who manufacture their own glasses and manages to offer a lower price point. However, Angel Fire still offers a significantly lower base price for a pair of prescription optical glasses and sunglasses. All optical glasses starts at $69.00 – this includes frame and a 1.56 index prescription lenses. While prescription sunglasses starts at $108.
Our starting price point is lower than any existing online based and/or possibly local optical shops, because we manufacture our own glasses. We eliminated any 3rd-party costs related to production.
Since the company is under the umbrella of one of the largest optical manufacturer in China, we eliminated additional costs related to production allowing us to provide better pricing option for consumers. The online company was just established this year (2016). But our manufacturing has been in the industry for more than 30 years
How did Hao Wu and Alice Huang come up with the “Angelfire Optical” brand? Stories on how founders came up with brand names are always interesting.
The company was born in the City of Angels, specifically in Downtown Los Angeles, thus the word “Angel,” and it’s always sunny in California, thus the word “Fire.” The founders love Los Angeles as it is a city full of inspiration and dreams. They had this thought or idea of being born or living under an “Angel’s Fire”.
Angel Fire is a brand really close to the founders’ of the company.
Do you ship internationally or is your focus on the US and North American market right now?
Yes, we ship internationally.
Are the lenses cut and fitted at a facility in the US?
As of the moment, our production facility is in China since we manufacture our own lenses and frames using a combination of state-of-the-art equipment, and highly trained and experienced craftsmen. We are continuously looking for possibilities of bringing our production facility and team here in the US without giving the burden of additional costs to our consumers. But this may be sometime in the future, as it requires in-depth study.
What is AngelFire’s plans in the next year?
We just started in August of 2016, and have been focused on establishing the foundation of the business which is our website and online presence. Hopefully, the website (angelfireoptical.com) will fully launch this December in time for the holiday shopping. Our Fall/Winter 2016 collection is long ready to reach our customers and is the perfect holiday gift for love ones who needs prescription, yet fashion forward eyewear.
Our Spring 2017 collection is also almost ready and will be available around February.
So for next year, we are focusing on strengthening our brand presence online while providing assistance to organizations who distributes prescription glasses and sunglasses to areas in need. We recently partnered with Restoring Vision a non-profit organization who handles distribution of prescription glasses globally.
Anything else you want to let OpticalOwl readers know?
Please visit our website and do not hesitate to talk to us or leave a feedback. Our aim is to continuously improve not only the products we offer, but provide you the best online shopping experience as well.
END OF INTERVIEW
What do you think about AngelFire Optical? Will the Essilor and Luxottica merger make it harder for glasses and optical start-ups to compete? Do they have a chance against Warby Parker, EyeBuyDirect, Zenni Optical, Coastal, Bonlook, and other online glasses businesses?
Will you try AngelFire Optical’s glasses and sunglasses?