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EP 93: Ben and Laura Harrison, Jonas Paul Eyewear

Episode description

I’m always amazed when I meet someone who has taken a trial, struggle, hardship, or some adversity in their life and used it to change and impact their community or the world. So often, when tough stuff happens to us or when life hands us a really huge, massive lemon, we use that to sit and throw ourselves a pity party. But when we flip that on its head and instead use that hardship for good, it’s amazing what we can accomplish! My guests on the Business with Purpose podcast this week are Ben & Laura Harrison, founders of Jonas Paul Eyewear, a children’s eyewear company focusing on creative, fashion-forward eyewear for kids. Their brand was inspired by their son Jonas after he was born with a rare eye disease. As they were on the hunt looking for stylish eyewear for their son, they noticed the limited options and decided to create their own brand of eyewear that inspires confidence in children. Through their pain and suffering, they have impacted thousands of children. They were blessed to be only a few hours away from some of the best eye care in the world that has helped provide Jonas with some sight. In return, they have turned their blessing into helping kids in undeveloped countries in the need of sight. With each purchase, they help provide sight to children in need. For being a little over 4 years old, they have impacted over 30,000 kids around the world. This is an incredible conversation I know you’re going to love! [click_to_tweet tweet="“I felt like there was a gap in the market for more stylish glasses that kids actually got excited about wearing and that was my long-term mission, was to make glasses cool.” @jonaspaulframes" quote="“I felt like there was a gap in the market for more stylish glasses that kids actually got excited about wearing and that was my long-term mission, was to make glasses cool.” @jonaspaulframes"] CONFIDENCE THROUGH STYLE Many people need glasses to see, yet there is such a lack of stylish glasses, especially for kids. As Ben and Laura began to search for glasses for Jonas, Ben was reminded of his own struggles with glasses when he was a kid. The stigma around glasses paired with an unstylish pair of children’s glasses can create many bullying opportunities, something Ben and Laura hope to change through Jonas Paul Eyewear. We talk about making glasses cool and how a little confidence can change a life. [click_to_tweet tweet="“When you create a really empowering, exciting brand and also have that impact piece, kids get really excited about it and I love the thought of them walking into school the first day with their glasses and they’re so excited about it.' @jonaspaulframes" quote="“When you create a really empowering, exciting brand and also have that impact piece, kids get really excited about it and I love the thought of them walking into school the first day with their glasses and they’re so excited about it.' @jonaspaulframes"] PREVENTING AND PROVIDING Part of what makes Jonas Paul Eyewear special is their give-back component. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness and through their Buy Sight, Give Sight program, Ben and Laura donate Vitamin A supplements to prevent childhood blindness in the developing world. They also donate their own glasses to various ministries and school programs to provide sight to those in need. Ben and Laura explain why they choose to give back and the importance of something as small as Vitamin A. STARTING FROM SCRATCH When Ben and Laura started their life together, they never thought they would have started a business like Jonas Paul Eyewear. Going from wedding photographers to creating medical devices was a huge jump for the couple that took a lot of hard work and trial and error. Ben, Laura, and I talk about the process of starting Jonas Paul Eyewear and why being open to change is so important. About Ben & Laura Harrison, Founders of Jonas Paul Eyewear: Jonas Paul Eyewear was founded by Ben and Laura Harrison and inspired by the birth of their son, Jonas Paul. Jonas was born with a rare disorder, Peter’s Anomaly, that caused opacified corneas and glaucoma. Despite being blind at birth, Jonas Paul now has low vision thanks to 21 surgeries and the dedication of his loving parents. As Ben and Laura searched for fashionable eyeglasses for their son, they grew increasingly frustrated at the limited options for children. The Harrisons decided to leave their careers to launch Jonas Paul Eyewear with the mission of helping children feel beautiful in their glasses and providing sight to children in need with every purchase. Since its founding in 2013, the company has been featured on NBC Nightly News and NBC Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, and Huffington Post. Jonas Paul Eyewear has garnered numerous awards for its social responsibility and design. Jonas Paul’s refined, sophisticated look empowers children to feel confident and parents to be socially responsible with their eyewear purchases. The Harrison's are thankful that they have been given the opportunity to make a broad social impact while, at the same time, helping kids all over the world look incredibly dapper. CONNECT WITH BEN & LAURA:

Special thanks to CAUSEBOX for sponsoring this week’s Business with Purpose podcast. Use coupon code MOLLY for $15 off!

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