Why We Started French Eyewear Brand ‘Mamy Eyewear’ in Nairobi

April 19, 2022

Mamy Eyewear is a French eyewear brand operating in Kenya since January 2022. Antoine Drouet, one of the founders of Mamy Eyewear, speaks about the business.

What does Mamy Eyewear do?

Our ambition is to make accessible and quality eyewear in Africa by offering stylish glasses, while having a positive impact.

We strive to challenge the current way of consuming eyewear in Kenya. We believe that one should be able to buy high quality glasses without feeling the pinch, so we’ve worked hard to make our customers’ lives easier and re-imagined the whole experience.

Our business model is to cut out the middlemen (and their margins) and oversee all steps. By designing our collections in-house and serving our consumers directly, we can offer quality glasses at Sh6,500, prescription lenses included, or one single price for all our frames!

What challenges does your company face?

Today eyeglasses are no longer just a medical tool — they are also a fashion accessory. So, every day, we work hard to change people’s perception of spectacles.

We partner with influencers, we go the extra mile for our designs and marketing so that people with visual impairment no longer feel like they have a handicap, but rather an opportunity to make a cool style statement. We offer comprehensive eye tests using cutting-edge machines without neglecting the customer experience.

What is the cost of production for each pair of glasses?

It costs us around $10 (Sh1,152) to produce a pair of our frames. Glasses are a 700-year-old invention, and they are still incredibly expensive to buy. Of course, lens technology is constantly evolving to offer people the best possible comfort.

What informed the decision for you to start your company in Kenya?

We started Mamy Eyewear with a desire to bring accessibility, simplicity and transparency to the optical industry in Kenya. I used to live in Nairobi and as a spectacle wearer, it was difficult for me to find the right product at the right price and with the right service. So we decided to create this brand.

How do you stay ahead of the competition?

Products and services. Let’s be honest, it’s usually not great fun to go to an optician. We’ve never quite enjoyed it. Lack of trust, hazardous pricing, uncertain quality and no transparency make for a poor experience. We wanted to act on these frustrations and provide the service and the products people deserve both online and in real life.

At Mamy Eyewear, we offer quality and we are committed to crafting glasses that will last. All our frames are designed in-house, manufactured with top-tier material and assembled in Kenya. For our prescription lenses, we work with the best there is in the market – the world’s leading supplier, Essilor, to ensure the best quality for your eyes!

We also regularly renew our collections to offer our customers the best products available on the market and stay on top of trends. We are offering a single price for our glasses to make the process much easier and more transparent. All this with responsive customer service, free delivery, and a two-year warranty on all our products.

How does your business model work?

We are a for-profit. We are strong believers in private sector solutions that can provide positive social outcomes while ensuring profitability and scalability — ultimately bringing lasting changes in the industry.

We have developed a direct-to-consumer business model. That’s why we design and manufacture our glasses ourselves. We then assemble them here in Kenya, to sell them directly to our clients.

Instead of distributing free specs, DOT Glasses is training entrepreneurs to provide eye care and sell glasses at an ultra-affordable price. This model is sustainable and brings both a livelihood for these workers and access to vision care for the people in need.

For every 100 pairs, a new entrepreneur will be able to begin with a stock fully funded by Mamy, creating a real virtuous circle.

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