Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Service Spotlight: Warby Parker Glasses

Hello, my lovely readers! How are you this fine summer morning? Ready for school yet? :) I start in mid-August, and I'm super excited to get started on this next scene in my life!

Recently I was approached online by Brian Magida on the marketing team for a glasses company called Warby Parker. This is a high fashion glasses designer, with shapes and colors that really bring only one word to my mind: hipster. Honestly, the majority of their frames aren't really my style, so I almost said no to their request for a blog post. But then I found out about some of their charity work/partners and their Home Try-On program, and figured, why not? Then I discovered, while working on this post, that the company (a) was started by readers, (b) was named after characters from their favorite author's works, and (c) sells books alongside their glasses in their physical stores. How cool is that?!

So today I'll tell you about their newest collections and charity work. Once my five free try-on frames arrive, I'll do a review on their frames and how the online service translates to physical product. (For more about the company itself, check out their story. It's a short tale of how they got started in grad school.)

My favorite part of Warby Parker's company as a whole is not any of their collections but rather their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. This is what Brian first told me about the program: "As always, just like all of our existing collections, for every pair sold, we are going to distribute a pair to someone in need through our non-profit partners." Of course I loved this idea, and I wanted to know more! The page on Warby Parker's website explains that over 18,000 people have been trained to give eye exams and sell glasses in 35 different countries. "703 million people currently live without access to eyewear. Our work is cut out for us, our sleeves are rolled up, and we’re excited to move forward together." A pair of glasses increases an individual's productivity by 35% and monthly income by 20%! This may sound like exaggerations to some of you, but as a lifelong glasses wearer myself, I can testify to the pain and hassle even a short time without glasses can be. The headaches, the squinting, the fatigue... it's not pretty.

At least one million pairs of glasses, worth over $200 million, have been distributed to the trained glasses-sellers. I wondered, as many of you probably are right now, why not donate the glasses? Well, here's what the Warby Parker-ians had to say: "It’s a sticky fact of life that kind-hearted gestures can have unintended consequences. Donating is often a temporary solution, not a lasting one. It can contribute to a culture of dependency... Instead of donating, our partners train men and women to sell glasses for ultra-affordable prices, which allows them to earn a living. More important, it forces our partners to offer glasses that people actually want to buy..." (as opposed to cheap, ugly, and/or poorly-made glasses reserved for these less-well-off markets) So there you have it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Product Review: DreamWalk High Heel Insoles

I took my own photos of the insoles, but I can't seem to get my phone to cooperate and transfer them to my computer. So I'll just be using the photos provided by BzzAgent. Sorry, my lovely readers!

DreamWalk High Heel Insoles

I actually really love this picture -- I had just worn a new pair of heels for the first time when I requested to join this product campaign, and this is a perfect illustration of how those heels left my feet feeling! I knew if I got into this campaign I would definitely use the insoles on that particular pair of shoes.

Brand: Dr. Scholl's DreamWalk

Product: High Heel Insoles

Description: Dr. Scholl's® DreamWalk High Heel Insoles are clinically proven to help prevent foot pain from heels 2” or higher - and now they feature a wicking top cloth fabric designed to keep feet dry.
Plus, four out of five women who tried High Heel Insoles would recommend them to a friend!
My Thoughts:
The Good: 

> Very comfortable; soft fabric, don't absorb sweat
> Attaches via a gel rather than adhesive, so removing or adjusting is easy
> Reusable

The Bad: 

> A bit difficult to put in for the first time -- you'll want to test walking in your heels before going out in them the first time. I got one of mine in a little wrong and the support was pressing into the wrong spot painfully. The gel attachment made it easy to fix that problem, though.

Does this product fulfill all advertising and marketing claims? Yes! Definitely.

Rating: Four and a half stars

Suggestions for Improvement: I'd recommend the company include an illustration for how/where to put the insoles, alongside their print instructions.

Would I recommend this product? Most certainly.

I was provided a free set of these insoles in exchange for this review, and a set of coupons in exchange for spreading the word among my friends. These were all provided by BzzAgent. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.