Lifestyle

Published on July 30th, 2020 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Veteran Creates The First Black Owned Inspirational Eyewear Brand

by ShoppeBlack

SWAV Eyewear is a Black-owned inspirational eyewear brand that sells stylish sunglasses & frames to inspire you to never give up on the vision you have for your life.

The brand was created by Isiah Fowler, an Air Force veteran who decided to become a full-time entrepreneur. We caught up with Isiah to find out more about him and his business.

What inspired you to start an eyewear brand?

I was inspired by the lack of meaning and purpose in the eyewear market and the fact that I wanted to reach more people with my message. All I ever saw in the industry was a product being sold. I never saw anything being done with meaning, purpose, and a vision.

I wanted to bring inspiration to the eyewear industry. I also had a podcast called “Starts With A Vision podcast ” that I wanted to reach more people with and I knew I’d be able to do that with a product so I turned the meaning and concept of my podcast into an Inspirational Eyewear Company and Brand.

Briefly explain the thought process that went into selecting a manufacturer?
When I first Started SWAV Eyewear I sourced my manufacturer from China. However, when I received the product, I was devastated by the lack of quality.

It was at that moment I dedicated myself to finding a manufacturer with top of the line quality. I had already been looking for a one in Europe and after my first inventory run from China, I dedicated myself to find a new one.

Two months later I flew to Greece to meet them and design the next two collections.

What has been the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur so far? What has been the most rewarding?

The most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur so far has been understanding the fact that success is not something you are entitled to. Therefore, you must become a responsible individual if you want your business to blossom.

The most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur has been going through the process that forced me to become the person I am now. Entrepreneurship will test you in a myriad of ways and you must rise to the occasion no matter what is presented to you.

What is your vision for your business in the next 5 years?
My Vision for SWAV Eyewear is to be able to be in a position to give away $1 million to entrepreneurs through our Visionary Investment Fund.

For every pair of frames we sell, we put $5 into our Visionary Investment Fund. Twice a year we give that money away to a few people who have a vision.

SWAV stands for Starts With A Vision because that’s our core belief. When I was younger my goal was to make a million, but as I’ve grown the goal has evolved into me wanting to be able to give away a million.

What is your vision for your business in the next 5 years?

My Vision for SWAV Eyewear is to be able to be in a position to give away $1 million to entrepreneurs through our Visionary Investment Fund.

For every pair of frames we sell, we put $5 into our Visionary Investment Fund. Twice a year we give that money away to a few people who have a vision.

SWAV stands for Starts With A Vision because that’s our core belief. When I was younger my goal was to make a million, but as I’ve grown the goal has evolved into me wanting to be able to give away a million.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

The advice I have is to know yourself and work on yourself more than you work on your business.

The success of your business is simply a by-product of the person you become. Where you want to go in life will demand a greater version of yourself so it’s important to stay grounded and focus on what’s important.

-Tony O. Lawson


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