BY OCEAN PALMER
As good as advertised.
Eddie Bauer, Jr. dances under his own spotlight, which is how I came to meet him three or so years ago.
Eddie lives in Houston with his wife and children, chasing his passions and staying frantically busy. He is a very charismatic man, an aspiring actor and film producer who has appeared in some small motion pictures. Eddie is a doer — he wakes up every morning hustling to make things happen.
One of Eddie’s greatest passions is dirt bike motorcycles. An adrenaline junkie and fun chaser, he’s a real treat for a meandering sort like me. I ride too — a Honda Metro scooter that top out at 35 going downhill and barely makes 20 heading up.
Eddie Jr.’s passion for action sports recently led him to create an outstanding new product: SikkShades by Eddie Bauer Jr.
I am not big on hyperbole and false compliments. But Eddie is onto something. He has invented an outstanding product, beautifully designed sunglasses that are ideal for busy people who enjoy action sports and seek both style and function.
When Eddie contacted me about seeing what he’d created, the first thing I tried to figure out was why the world needed more sunglasses. By the time Eddie finished explaining everything he had done — and why — it was obvious he had invested a tremendous amount of time and work.
He volunteered to send a pair.
“No promises,” I said. “But I’ll try them and tell you what I think. A no-nonsense opinion.”
In the beginning
“I had no desire to slap my name on someone else’s frame and call it my own,” he said. “I wanted to make great, stylish sunglasses that were durable yet fashionable. So I set out to design affordable frames that out-performed what was available.”
From a product development standpoint, Eddie’s vision was clear. The road ahead? Not so clear. It is safe to say Junior had no idea the journey required to realize his dream.
“I knew I wanted sunglasses that were stylish enough, safe enough, and durable enough for outdoor-oriented people. So I figured the best way to learn their preferences was to ask. I consulted with many, many action sport athletes as well as Olympic hopefuls in many disciplines. I asked a ton of questions and took a lot of notes.”
Speed-centric athletes all have opinions and proved quite willing to share them. Eddie compiled and summarized those notes and met with a designer who has helped develop some of the world’s biggest brands.
“He was a fan of what I was trying to accomplish,” Eddie said. “And because of my extensive field research, he agreed to collaborate.”
Once the two worked through Eddie’s two main designs, the trail then led to the doorstep of one of Italy’s oldest eyewear manufactures. Here both Eddie’s designs — the Iconic Huckleberry and Qualifier — came to life.
In sunglass-ese Eddie told me, “Both designs feature perfectly weighted and balanced frames that reduce pressure points and fatigue. Both are fitted with locking quad core hinges that will not bore — keeping the temples nice and fit.”
According to Eddie, little things like that make a big difference. Having now worn a pair, I concur.
“During my countless pre-design interviews,” he said, “I knew that once perspiration began, many frames slid down the athlete’s nose. To prevent similar discomfort and irritation of skin against plastic, I fitted SikkShades frames with a flush, padded, nonslip nose cradle.”
In other words, when a busy person is running, biking, skiing, riding, snowboarding, or zooming around — Eddie wants his sunglasses staying in place.
“Yeah, right,” I thought. “If I had a penny for every time I have pushed a pair of sunglasses back on my face I’d live in Beverly Hills.”
When I put my pair of Sikks to the test, those sunglasses sat in place like they were glued on — I never had to touch them. From a customer perspective, the wearing experience was extraordinary.
It is a true joy to find a new product that actually does what it says — and Eddie Jr.’s SikkShades are one.
About the lenses
Eddie’s lenses aren’t polarized so I asked why.
“In today’s marketplace the word “polarized” helps sell sunglasses,” he said. “Big brands add a typical premium of a hundred bucks or more.
“But polarized lenses vary wildly in quality and construction so shades costing under $50 have cheap polarized lenses that can stress and harm the eyes. Some can make a wearer nauseous. I could’ve played the polarized game but that ain’t me.”
Eddie’s chose a process that infuses the iridium of the lens, which enables Sikks to outperform polarized in many tests that measure glare, clarity, and UV protection. As a result the wearer doesn’t get the prism and distance distortions that come from polarization.
“Distortions are why pilots, golfers, Olympic snowboarders, and accuracy-dependent athletes do not wear polarized lens,” Eddie said. “They cannot see instruments or judge distance as acutely as they need to in order to sustain top performance.”
I can vouch for the quality of the lens. I loved the sharp, crisp image I saw through my pair of Huckleberry’s — the best of any glasses I own, including my (more expensive) Oakleys and Costa Del Mar’s. My Huckleberry design is a slightly oversized, clear frame wayfarer that fits my large face beautifully. Eddie’s other design is a wraparound design he named the Qualifier.
I put my SikkShades on as a skeptic; and one hour later was a fan. Few new products surpass their hype so it was a real treat to find one that truly did.
When I coach selling I like to say that the best way to sell something is to have something great to sell. Find a niche, commit to filling it, and deliver the goods. Eddie Bauer Jr.’s SikkShades do just that.
The next time you or an action sports athlete you know is in the market for a better design, suggest a pair of Sikks. They are the real deal — better than advertised.
To learn more about Eddie Bauer Jr.’s action sportswear glasses, visit his site: www.SikkShades.com.
Courtesy of: sikkshades.com