Recent site activity

Press Kit


Here are a list of links of all the great press we have received about the Waveborn campaign:

[Matador] Waveborn: The TOMS Shoes of Ophthalmology
[Compass Fellows] Waveborn Interview
[Indiegogo] Team Indiegogo's Campaign Roundup
[Popcorn and Pandas] Find the Sun Waveborn
[Popcorn and Pandas] Waveborn
[Sociality] Catch the Wave and Help Give the Gift of Sight
[City Brewed] Waveborn; Shades that Give Sight
[Thee A Word] Charitable Giving Never Felt or Looked So Good
[Heartsleeves] Waveborn Sunglasses: Shades that keep on giving
[PunchRock] The PunchList - Free Legal Counsel, Member Spotlight, and Events!
[Ask Miss A] Waveborn Crowdfunding Campaign: Purchase Sunglasses, Give the Gift of Eyesight
[Crowdfund Mafia] #MafiaApproved: Siva Cycle “Atom”, Mountek “nGroove Snap” & Waveborn Shades

Our press kit is available to download at the bottom of the page. Email Mike McCormick if you are interested in learning more about the Waveborn campaign and writing about us.

Quotes about Waveborn in the press:

"Waveborn shades is stepping up to the plate and giving back big time on Indiegogo. There slogan “Shades that give sight” is perfect. Waveborn shades are fashionable sunglasses handcrafted in Italy. For each pair of sunglasses sold Waveborn gives back in one of two ways: providing a new pair of prescription eyeglasses through Unite for Sight or funding a portion of cataract surgery for a person in need through Surgical Eye Expeditions International. Get yourself a pair of cool Waveborn glasses and change someones life forever. A very inspiring campaign on Indiegogo"
- [Crowdfund Mafia] #MafiaApproved: Siva Cycle “Atom”, Mountek “nGroove Snap” & Waveborn Shades


"
According to the World Health Organization, 158 million people around the world suffer from vision impairment issues. To address this issue, Waveborn, an online sunglasses company, is committed to “combining the cool of fashion with the soul of giving” through the “buy one, give one” business model."
- [Ask Miss A] Waveborn Crowdfunding Campaign: Purchase Sunglasses, Give the Gift of Eyesight

"Waveborn’s sunglasses are versatile for males or females, but my favorite styles for females are the Pacific Blue Marinas and the Bold Black Marinas. These would make a great gift for a friend or family member, and also for someone in need somewhere across the world."
- [Ask Miss A] Waveborn Crowdfunding Campaign: Purchase Sunglasses, Give the Gift of Eyesight

"If you want to support the mission, but can’t commit to purchasing sunglasses, there are other ways to get involved. Contributing as little as $5 gives you a custom URL to share on your social media networks and help generate support for the campaign."
- [Ask Miss A] Waveborn Crowdfunding Campaign: Purchase Sunglasses, Give the Gift of Eyesight


FAQs from press:

Q: Jonathan - what inspired you to start this company? What is your personal background and how did it lead you to founding Waveborn?
A: From 2008-2010 I oversaw marketing for an organization in NYC called DoSomething.org. There, we worked with social entrepreneurs every single day -- and I loved what they were doing. I loved the spirit in building an organization for a social good. I wanted to call myself a social entrepreneur.

But I knew that starting a not-for-profit wasn't necessarily for me. I had a strong interest in business and entrepreneurship -- and wanted to apply that to social good, rather than applying an interest in social good to entrepreneurship. So at that moment, I decided to pursue an MBA, to complement my background in the not-for-profit world, and to have the tools and resources to build an exciting, sustainable company---that would have a social purpose.

Waveborn was a manifestation of these goals. Start a sustainable company, with a revenue model, that can help a greater social good. Malloy has always been a sunglasses aficionado, and McCormick has a personal story that aligns with our social purpose. My inspiration was to get a social enterprise off the ground, and see what we could do with it -- then surround myself with the right people to make this goal a reality.


Q: Malloy - what has been the most significant challenge you've faced along the way?
A: The biggest challenge I've faced along the way is learning how to deal with the fear, doubt, and uncertainty (both internally and externally) about making the leap into entrepreneurship. I finished my M.S. in computer science at Georgetown last May and then promptly put in my "six week notice" with Deloitte. When I told my parents and friends that I was quitting my job to move to the beach to sell sunglasses...I didn't exactly receive the best response from folks. There were some tough conversations that took place. It was hard enough for me to make that decision, and then even harder to deal with everyone else second guessing my career path.

Along with the external doubters, I've also had to deal with a lot of self-doubt over the past year. Entrepreneurship and exploring the unknown can be pretty scary - especially when you don't have a reliable paycheck coming every two weeks and need to make ends meet to pay rent each month. Putting my head down and working hard to improve the business day after day has lead to some big financial successes to keep moving the company forward. I am very grateful for my friends and family who supported the company (and me) in December and January when we raised money for my month long sales trip to CA, as well as for our huge partnership deal with Major League Ultimate that has been vital to the company's growth in 2013.

Zig Ziglar once said, "Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful." Well, we've faced plenty of adversity over the past 2 years, so I'm looking forward to plenty of success as we continue to handle any adversity thrown our way.


Q: What were you doing before you started Waveborn, and why did you decide to switch from the corporate world to running your own business?
A: Check out this link for more background info on the team. Here’s a video on Malloy’s background, who was hired as the second employee in the company and now runs the business full-time.


Q: I see the line is Made in Italy.  Can you tell us more about where the sunglasses are designed and manufactured?
A: Here's a youtube video to the factory where our shades are made. It's a little old but is the only glimpse we have into where the magic happens:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEVe1IA1Yck

The company name is on the video and feel free to google for extra research on them.


Q: I think the most sustainable aspect of your charitable efforts - and something that differentiates you in an awesome way from companies like TOMS - is that the organizations you are working with invest in local optometry businesses and work to build their capacities rather than simply giving eyeglasses and creating dependence on foreign aid.  Can you talk a little about how you choose your NGO partners and if that's something you specifically look for?
A: When Jonathan founded the company two years, he selected Unite for Sight as a charity partner after researching a couple other organizations that provide similar services. It's been great to be able to give back to them for every pair sold. In 2013 our business was starting to expand in a number of directions. To us, it only made sense to also expand our social good component. I spent the month of January driving down the coast of CA for a long sales/investing trip. On the trip, I stayed with a former ultimate frisbee teammate of mine, Prof, in Santa Barbara. Mike "Prof" McGuirk had recently started working at Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International, so I went to work with him one Friday to meet the CEO of the organization and talk about ways that Waveborn could join forces to help them to provide sight-restoring cataract surgeries around the globe.

The surgeries are more expensive than the eyeglasses which we donate to Unite for Sight, so we came up with the idea for our new "choose your giving" model. Now when you purchase a pair of Waveborn shades, you have the option to donate eyeglasses to Unite for Sight or fund a portion of a sight restoring surgery with SEE International.

The ability to give the gift of sight through these two wonderful organizations is at the root of why we started this whole business. We are definitely open to the idea of working with even more eye care organizations as our company and mission continue to grow. My best friend and former roommate, Mike Korchak, recently finished med school at Georgetown and is now focusing on ophthalmology - it's nice having an eye expert around to educate our team and our community about various eye conditions.


Q: Can you tell us more about Mike McCormick's personal connection to Waveborn?
A: It isn’t very well known, but Mike was born with cataracts.  As he got older, he learned that cataracts can cause blindness if they are left unattended. That brought him to a place emotionally where he was not only thankful for how lucky he was, but it also made him want to give back. Mike decided to get heavily involved with Waveborn because of his desire to help those who are not as fortunate.


Q: For those who might not be familiar with the “buy-one give-one” model, can you explain what happens every time someone buys a pair of Waveborn sunglasses?
A: For each pair of sunglasses sold, Waveborn helps a person in need in one of two ways: a) we provide a new pair of prescription eyeglasses through our nonprofit partner Unite for Sight, or b) we fund a portion of a vision-restoring cataract surgery for a person in need though our new nonprofit partner, Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International. Buy some shades. Give the gift of sight.


Q: What has been the most significant challenge you’ve faced along the way?
A: Getting the word out! When people learn what we are doing, they want to help. At Waveborn, we truly believe that people want to help others. Since Day 1, we have focused on grass roots marketing and growing the business through word of mouth marketing. Buying a pair of our shades is an incredible opportunity to get high quality Italian sunglasses and to satisfy a need that we believe so many people have - the need to help others. You will feel good every time you put on your shades.


Q: Your model is quite international. You’re selling Italian-made sunglasses internationally to help give sight to people in places like Ghana, Honduras, and India. How did you decide to combine so many different places into your business model?
A: We want to build a globally connected community of people who want the highest quality sunglasses and want to make an impact where it matters most. Going to Italy to get our sunglasses designed and hand-crafted made sense to fulfill our high quality standards. In researching various organizations to partner with, it made the most sense to find organizations that are having an impact across the globe, not just in our own backyards. We believe that as the company continues to grow, we will be able to continue to expand our impact into new geographically regions while continuing to produce some of the finest sunglasses on the planet.


Q: Why Italian-made sunglasses? Does producing Waveborn glasses in Italy have substantial advantages over producing somewhere else in the world?
A: We picked Italy for the quality. We want people to know that they are not only investing in the concept of helping others, but that they are investing in a quality product that is durable. It is a win-win situation. They cost significantly more to manufacturer than getting them from China, but we believe that investing in quality is what is best for the business. With Waveborn, you get great quality, and you get to do great things.


Q: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about global social entrepreneurship through Waveborn?
A: It feels good to do good, and that feeling inspires others to want to do the same.


Q: What kind of impact has Waveborn had for people in Africa? How have you seen this “buy-one give-one” model make a difference in peoples’ lives?
A: To date, we have donated over 600 pairs of prescription eyeglasses to Unite for Sight. These glasses have been given to patients in Ghana, Honduras, and India. Here’s a video from one of the Global Impact Corps fellows that shows you more insight into where our impact is delivered. We are excited about our new partnership with Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International to be able to see our impact in other under privileged communities.


Q: Any advice for social entrepreneurs who want to connect different countries and cultures like you have done?
A: It’s all about building relationships. So much of our time is spent building relationships with folks who work in different cities/countries/organizations. As you build relationships, you need to remain focused on finding ways to help people, and not just on finding ways to get something you want. The more you genuinely care about those around you and spend time learning about the difficulties they face, the better equipped you will be to work together to find a solution that benefits all of those involved.

We believe in paying it forward and encouraging everyone to find ways to help those around you. When you eventually do need help with something, there should be a line of folks ready to repay the favor from your previous kindness and generosity.

You can start by ending every email you send with “Is there anything else I can do to help you?” and then including a p.s. message with a bonus link/info/discount/etc just for that person :)



Q: What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you and/or support your project if they’re interested?
A: You can join the Waveborn movement by backing our campaign. We will be sending out periodic campaign updates to all of our backers, and we will have special limited edition shades that are only available to our campaign backers forever. We're trying to sell as many shades as possible to get as many brand ambassadors as possible to tell our story! Every time you wear your Waveborns, tell the Waveborn story to someone new. Together we can continue to give the gift the sight.


Q: I need a read from you so our announcers can plug Waveborn and your campaign. Can you write up a short "read" that I can have the commentators call out during the broadcast?
A: Waveborn is a sunglasses company that combines affordable fashion with a mission to have a major social impact. Waveborn sunglasses are designed and handcrafted in Italy, and we sell them at a price point well below typical designer brands. For each pair of sunglasses sold, Waveborn helps a person in need in one of two ways: a) we provide a new pair of prescription eyeglasses through our nonprofit partner Unite for Sight, or b) we fund a portion of a vision-restoring cataract surgery for a person in need though our new nonprofit partner Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International. To join the Waveborn movement, go to www.waveborn.com/campaign/MLU to order your pair today and give the gift of sight!


Q: Why did you pick the Indiegogo platform in the first place over other funding options?
A: Our decision to use Indiegogo was pretty easy. We were initially thinking about Kickstarter, but then realized that Kickstarter does not allow campaigns to mention any charitable or "buy one give one" aspects of a project. Because our mission to do social good is so central to our company philosophy and value prop, this was a deal-breaker. Indiegogo was the next logical choice in terms of size of audience. The IGG team and community also seems to rally around projects with a social-good component, which we loved. So the audience may be smaller, but it is a great fit for us.

I have also heard that Kickstarter no longer allows sunglasses projects, but can't confirm that. In essence, we loved the open, democratic way that IGG lets folks crowdfund.


Q: What have been the advantages and disadvantages, the goods and the bads of your experience thus far?
A: I think the biggest disadvantage of IGG vs Kickstarter is the smaller built in audience of IGG. I think Kickstarter just has a lot more traffic. That said, it might also be harder to get noticed on Kickstarter given how many people want to use it to crowdfund. Maybe these factors balance each other out? I have no scientific data that says kickstarter campaigns get more organic views and backers, but that's the vibe that I get.

An advantage of Indiegogo has been their flexibility. Kickstarter has a ton of rules and can be pretty picky about who can use the site. IGG is the exact opposite, which is great.

As for a "bad" there have been a few very minor technical bugs in the IGG campaign, mostly relating to an automatic fund matching program we had with a partner called ROI. The upside, though, was that IGG was super responsive and fixed the bugs extremely quickly. They gave me a call on my cell to alert me of the problem and fixed it quickly. Their whole team is great! Shout out to Ben and Kate from IGG for being super fabulous!


Q: Has there been anything you think Indiegogo is missing? What new features/resources would you like to see?
A: The platform is good but I think they are missing some things. We would love to see some better analytics and dashboard tools. It would be great to be able to dive into our campaign visitor and backer data a little more, though they do provide some tools today.

I'd also love to see more creative marketing things on their site. Better ways to set up matching campaigns with partners, ways to "partner" with like-minded campaigns, etc. They are a young company and i know they are building a lot of cool things out as we speak!



Q: Have you found your financial relationship with Indiegogo to meet your expectations?
Yup. No complaints at all.


Q: Have you found your creative/publicizing relationship with Indiegogo to meet your expectations?
A: Yup. They've been super supportive. They put us in their blog and newsletter and we were on the front page for a while. They've also met with us personally in their offices twice to give feedback and help with the campaign. It's bee a great experience so far.


Q: Describe your current position and what led you to your job?
A: I am a pro frisbee player who travels the world selling sunglasses and helping people. I am the CEO at Waveborn, a social good sunglasses startup company. For each pair of sunglasses sold, Waveborn helps a person in need in one of two ways: a) we provide a new pair of prescription eyeglasses through our nonprofit partner Unite for Sight, or b) we fund a portion of a vision-restoring cataract surgery for a person in need though our new nonprofit partner Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International. Prior to working for Waveborn full-time, I spent four years working for Deloitte Consulting and earning my M.S. in Computer Science at Georgetown. Upon graduation last May, I put in my six week notice with Deloitte to move to Dewey Beach, DE to sell sunglasses and run the business.


Q: What has been the most rewarding moment in your career?
A: April 23, 2013, Day One of the Waveborn crowdfunding campaign was one of the biggest days in my personal or professional life. It was amazing to see the support for the company coming in from all angles to help us reach our goal of $10,000 at such a rapid pace. When I went to bed at 4am, we had just broken $6,000. I slept for 10+ hours and woke up to find out that we had broken $10,000 in my sleep. That was pretty cool and confirmed that our company was going to keep moving forward.


Q: What is the best career advice you have received?
A: “With hard work and dedication, anything is possible.” This is especially true if you want to become a career capitalist who posses the rare and valuable traits required by great work.


Q: What would you recommend to someone interested in working in your field?
A: Entrepreneurship is A LOT of hard work. It requires a special mindset and level of determination to overcome any obstacle thrown your way. You will also need to wear a lot of “hats” in your own company and be responsible for learning how to do all sorts of different skills. For people who have already graduated, keep grinding out your 9-5 or 8-7, but ask yourself “What am I doing from 7pm to 2am to build something that matters? What am I deliberately practicing to stretch my abilities to gain more career capital and take control in my life?” That's the first step on the path to building a sustainable side-income that can eventually grow to become a legit business.


Q: What challenges have you faced and how did you successfully manage one situation?
A: The biggest challenge I've faced along the way is learning how to deal with the fear, doubt, and uncertainty (both internally and externally) about making the leap into entrepreneurship. I finished my M.S. in computer science at Georgetown and then promptly put in my "six week notice" with Deloitte. When I told my parents and friends that I was quitting my job to move to the beach to sell sunglasses...I didn't exactly receive the best response from folks. There were some tough conversations that took place. It was hard enough for me to make that decision, and then even harder to deal with everyone else second guessing my career path.

I’ve also had to deal with a lot of self-doubt over the past year. Entrepreneurship and exploring the unknown can be pretty scary — especially when you don’t have a reliable paycheck coming every two weeks and need to make ends meet to pay rent each month. Putting my head down and working hard to improve the business day after day has led to some big financial successes to keep moving the company forward. I am very grateful for my friends and family who supported the company (and me) in December and January when we raised money for my month-long sales trip to CA, as well as for our huge partnership deal with Major League Ultimate that has been vital to the company’s growth in 2013.

Zig Ziglar once said, “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” Well, we’ve faced plenty of adversity over the past 2 years, so I’m looking forward to plenty of success as we continue to handle any adversity thrown our way.



Q: What skills are necessary or what prepared you the most for your career?
A: I spent a year working at Waveborn in my ‘free time’ while working full-time for Deloitte, taking two grad school classes, and traveling several weekends to ultimate frisbee tournaments. This stage in my life taught me how to balance several projects at once and budget my time accordingly across multiple areas of responsibility. If you want to make something happen, you have to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to create it. No one is going to hand you a dream job. It is hard work, and the work never ends. But the nice thing is, if you do it right, it never feels like work.


Q: What professional associations have aided in your professional development?
A: Georgetown Alumni Angels, Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance have both connected me with mentors to guide my entrepreneurial journey. I am excited to be an active member with Hoya Gateway to share my knowledge with the next wave of social entrepreneurs on the Hilltop. I am also a member of DC Night Owls, a late night coworking group that has connected me with some other great entrepreneurs here in DC.


Q: If you could have another career what would it be?
A: I would be a bassist/backup vocals in a cover band that played all their gigs in beach towns. I've played a lot of guitar hero/rock band over the years, and my voice sounds great when I sing along in the car. Obviously being near the beach is a must.


Q: How did your time at Georgetown University influence you and your career path?
A: My two and a half years on the Hilltop expanding my ability to learn. Prior to my grad school education, my idea of learning required me to sit in a classroom and consume the professor’s curriculum. Georgetown taught me how to teach myself any topic be reading and absorbing copious amounts of information on the web. Digesting extracurricular blogs, articles, and books gave me a broader view of entrepreneurship. I continue to learn every day on the job.

My experiences on the Georgetown ultimate frisbee team also played a major role in shaping the person I am today and why I left Deloitte to sell shades and play frisbee. I cherished the 3 seasons of playing on Catholic Justice, and I just finished my first full year of coaching the Black Squirrels, Georgetown Ultimate's B team. A lot of the organizational skills I acquired in grad school came from coordinating various ultimate frisbee activities. I also learned how to be a leader for my teammates both on and off the field.





Advice from Gina Notes to encourage bloggers to host giveaways:

Some other ideas that I have done in the past are hosting giveaways for products on my blog...this basically creates awareness. The entry for the giveaways would be something like "follow p + p on twitter" or "follow waveborn on Facebook". Comment on the blog and say which pair of Waveborn's are your favorite, etc. Then people's names get thrown into a hat (and they get extra entries for each place they follow on social media and what not). I found that is a good way to get new followers and get your name out there.

You could have one of the requirements for entering the giveaway to "Like" Waveborn on Facebook and "Share" the Indiegogo page. That way you will achieve new followers and also drive traffic to the page you want. I will also post a link to the page on my site to the Indiegogo page. Since I use Wordpress, they have embedded analytics where I am able to track how many people click on my links.

You don't want to have TOO many requirements for entry into the raffle, because then no one will enter the giveaway if they have to do 27 different things. Rather, they should get "extra" entries into the raffle for going above and beyond the requirements. Liking on Twitter, Pinterest, etc. etc. etc. Does that make sense? The simpler it is for them to enter the giveaway, the better...and then the extras are added incentives and they will do it if they really want to win and follow.