Making eyeglasses fit for a princess
August 29, 2011
From jsonline.com: “Making eyeglasses fit for a princess” — Annie Ellsworth, 3 years old, pulled off her glasses and issued a declaration: Princesses don’t wear glasses.
Her mom, Kristin, saw an opportunity to prove her wrong – and start a business in the process.
The result is Peeps Eyewear LLC, a new Madison company that sells sparkly, pink and purple eyeglass frames in 67 stores in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
Packaged in an organza cinch bag, each frame comes with a soft case and a book Ellsworth wrote about a princess who “gets to” wear glasses. Customers can also buy a dress-up kit, which includes a crown and a satin, sparkly cape like the one Princess Annie wears in the book.
“What I’ve done is tried to fight fun with fun and create an image of a brave and heroic and curious princess wearing glasses,” Ellsworth said.
Ellsworth was trained as a lawyer but drawn to entrepreneurship after taking a class at the Fox Valley Technical College’s Venture Center and grappling with her daughter’s vision issues. The college’s fabrication lab helped her create the first prototype of the frames, said Ellsworth, who has funded the company herself.
Ellsworth founded Peeps about 18 months ago. The company took first place in the business services category for the 2010 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.