Andrew: Parkman Sunglasses
What is the Parkman Sunglasses story? start, middle, now?
Parkman Sunglasses is the creation of two brothers, Christopher and Andrew, stemmed from a weekend road-trip to Maine. The initial premise was to make two pairs of personal wooden sunglasses. Once we got back to our shop, we made prototypes and quickly realized we had something special. We spent the next 18 months prototyping the sunglasses, stopping at nothing short of perfection. With a product we were proud of, we launched Parkman Sunglasses in July of 2014. We now consistently find ourselves looking at things differently than everyone else, trying to do things no one has done before. This allows us to create innovative products that no one has previously thought of.
What is the process for making handmade sunglasses?
It takes us over a week to make a single pair of glasses, which includes over 40 individual steps. To make each pair of glasses, we start off by sorting through rough-cut lumber from select mills and lumberyards to find premier pieces. The process then includes milling the rough cut lumber to square it up, veneering it into thin sheets, laser cutting and engraving each veneer for each frame shape then laminating those veneers together inside a fixture. What comes out of that fixture is a very rough looking pair of sunglasses. We then glue on a few additional pieces and use a number of different tools and jigs to precisely sand and shape the sunglasses into their final form. A multi-step finishing process is then completed to add strength, durability and UV protection to each frame.
Next, lenses are individually cut for each frame to ensure a perfect fit and finally boxed up. Before any pair is shipped out it goes through a 20 step QA/QC process to ensure each pair exceeds our high standards.
Every single step is done in our shop in Mountainside, New Jersey. A video of the process can be found on our website here: http://parkmansunglasses.com/about/
What sets your brand apart?
The love and the passion that goes into everything we do is what I believe sets our brand apart. With every single step being completed by us in our shop, we can offer the best quality control in the industry. Every pair of glasses is proudly handcrafted in the USA.
Who is the Parkman Sunglasses customer?
The typically Parkman Sunglasses customer is someone who is unique and original and doesn’t blindly follow the crowd. Our sunglasses are never stained, so each pair’s finish is its natural wood color. With this in mind, no two pairs are exactly alike. Each pair has its own individual characteristics, just like our customers.
Do you plan to expand your product categories in the future? What can we look forward to?
We have big plans set for 2015. We will be collaborating with some great companies to offer some truly unique sunglasses that have never been done before. We will outfit all of our frames for prescription lenses and introduce a few new lineups that we have been fine tuning over the past year.