This article originally appeared in the June print issue of LOCALE Magazine.
Charlie Anderson Talks Mineral Glass Lenses, What Inspires Him and What is Upcoming
Expert: Charlie Anderson
Credentials: VP of Sales at Otis Eyewear
Q: Tell me how you got your start in the eyewear industry. Did you know you wanted a career in this area?
Charlie Anderson: Well, about 24 years ago, I was brought on during the launch of Dragon Optical as Regional Sales Manager for the West Coast with two good friends. I knew I wanted a career in the action sports industry, and this was my first break in. It was a different time back then in retail and for launching new brands, it was kind of like the Wild West. There was no Internet! Can you imagine?
Q: What differentiates Otis in a saturated eyewear market?
CA: Otis stands apart by focusing entirely on mineral glass lenses. We offer an alternative to the slew of plastic lens products in the market. It is a different way of building eyewear. Mineral glass is the most scratch-resistant, distortion-free and optically-correct lens material in the world. It’s also a natural material made of sand and soda ash. We are delivering a true premium product with benefits that can be easily communicated to customers.
Q: What are you passionate about with Otis?
CA: Our team and the product we are putting out since it is different than anyone else in the market. I love that we are about quality products and offering a true value proposition to our customers. I know that when our customers buy Otis they are getting the best product in the market from a team of passionate people that care about what we put into our retail partners’ doors.
Q: What stores can consumers expect to find Otis eyewear in?
CA: It’s a bit diversified. Our goal is to partner with the best retailers in each segment we approach, be it specialty retail, sunglass shops, boutiques and so on. We want to make sure that our retailers have the same passion and values we have in their business.
Q: What inspires you?
CA: I am inspired by the people I surround myself with, and I always want to win! I have a quiet inner drive to be the best at what I do, but I am humble and grateful in my approach.
Q: How do you want Otis to shape the eyewear industry?
CA: We simply want to bring quality back to the retail environment and offer a point of difference with our mineral glass lenses.
Q: What new products can consumers look forward to?
CA: You will start to see a solid mix of wearable fashion products, function-based designs and a really strong women’s line being launched this year. We have found that women gravitate to Otis because we design specifically for them, a product they can feel confident in. If you look around the market, you either get quality or fashion, but very few brands offer the best of both worlds. This is our goal. In 2018, we will be launching an exclusive lens technology with mineral glass so keep an eye out.