NEW YORK, August 14, 2019 – Inc. magazine today revealed that Jonas Paul Eyewear is No. 166 on its annual Inc. 500 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Co-founded by Ben and Laura Harrison, the Grand Rapids, Mich. entrepreneurs have led the company’s growth from $294,000 sales revenue in 2016, to $3.34 million in revenue in 2018.
The Inc. 500 list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 500.
“Our story began with the birth of our son, Jonas, and it’s been incredible to see how responding to a challenging situation with a mindset of helping others has already made a significant impact in the world,” said Ben Harrison, CEO and co-founder of Jonas Paul Eyewear. “The Jonas Paul Eyewear mission is to help kids feel confident and stylish, and to prevent childhood blindness in the developing world. We cannot express how grateful we are to the parents who have supported this mission, which has led to 192,748 children and families being impacted through our Buy Sight, Give Sight program.”
Ben and Laura Harrison founded Jonas Paul Eyewear in 2013 after their son, Jonas, was born with a rare eye condition that rendered him blind. Twenty-one surgeries and many prayers later, Jonas' vision was restored to a functional level. However, this blessing came with new challenges; one of them was finding glasses he could feel great in. After their search for stylish kids glasses came up empty, they launched Jonas Paul Eyewear.
The Harrisons self-funded the venture for two years before securing a seed round in 2015. One of the investors in this round was Cliff Bartow, former CEO of Lenscrafters. Shortly thereafter, the brand launched the first children’s home try-on kit for consumers and added a state-of-the-art lab to the Grand Rapids headquarters, where the company fulfills prescriptions in-house. In 2018, Jonas Paul added more industry executives to its list of investors in a Seed Plus investment round, where Kerry Bradley, former CEO of Luxottica Retail North America, and Dave Browne, former Co-CEO of Luxxottica Group, participated.
Today, the brand offers a full collection of kids prescription and teen prescription glasses with more than 70 different styles for ages 4-16. The kids glasses and teen glasses range from $79 to $89, including prescription lenses. They also offer a convenient at-home try-on program. With each purchase, Jonas Paul Eyewear helps to provide sight to children and families in need through their Buy Sight, Give Sight program. To date, this program has helped 192,748+ people around the world in need of care for preventative blindness.
In addition to the direct-to-consumer business, Jonas Paul Eyewear is also available in over 3,100 optical centers nationwide, including 2800 Walmart Vision Centers and will soon be available in all BJ’s Wholesale and Eyemart Express locations.
Not only have the companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 (which are listed online at Inc.com, with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 20) been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2019 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 454 percent, and a median rate of 157 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $237.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 1,216,308 jobs over the past three years. More information about the Inc 5000 can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.
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Jonas Paul Eyewear
More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000
The 2019 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2018. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2015 is $100,000; the minimum for 2018 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.
About Inc. Media
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Inc. took home the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. The total monthly audience reach for the brand has been growing significantly, from 2,000,000 in 2010 to more than 20,000,000 today. For more information, visit www.inc.com.
The Inc. 5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that celebrates the remarkable achievements of these companies. The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions.
For more information on Inc. and the Inc. 5000 Conference, visit http://conference.inc.com/.