LAKEWOOD, Colo. — “300 days of sunshine” is a mantra that draws people to our Colorado, and the spring-like weather lately has us ready to spend time outdoors.
But whether you’re hiking the trails, skiing the mountains, or just driving the roads, the Colorado sun can be extremely bright.
Optic Nerve Eyewear started as a sunglass company founded by co-owner Tom Fox’s father and business partner in Vail 35 years ago. Now based in Lakewood, Optic Nerve designs and makes protective eyewear for all occasions.
“My partner's an incredible snowboarder,” Fox said about his co-owner Bill Cotton. “I’m a mountain biker. Everybody does something here that is taking full advantage of Colorado and the beautiful playground that we have.”
Their eyewear styles range from fashionable, everyday shades, to high-performance technical wear.
And our state is the perfect testing ground for all its gear.
“We wear it. We test it. We do everything,” Fox said. “But, it's really the people behind the product that make it good. We're standing for something more than just good sunglasses. We're standing for independence.”
Their small shop competes against much larger companies in the eyewear market, but Optic Nerve continues to carve its niche with customizable products.
They have a great relationship with the Colorado Rockies baseball team and print logoed items for a number of organizations.
But their heart and soul will always see life through Colorado’s eyes.
“I think what differentiates us is really our culture and how we live it,” Fox said. “And I think our product is very, very reflective of the Colorado culture and what we believe is important.”
They do a lot of charity work, too. Optic Nerve has partnered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Snowboard Outreach Society, and Colorado High School Mountain Biking League for specialized specs.
If you'd like to learn more about Optic Nerve Eyewear, and see our one-on-one interview with Tom Fox, look for the “In Good Company” section of the Denver7 streaming app.