«Design your own handmade eyewear» is the slogan of Randy Barnett, an American with an original set-up in Abilene, Texas, called Indivijual Custom Eyewear. The idea is based on the fact that no two faces are identical ? the proportions between the various parts of the face, the distance between the ears, the arch of the eyebrows, the places where the frame rests on the nose, etc., are all different from person to person. A perfect frame consequently has to be unique, because even the very best top-end frames are generally made in three sizes ? small, medium and large ? though the differences between European and Asian type physiognomies are also taken into account.
Barnett has direct contact with the end consumer through his website, and customers are asked to send a photo and a number of parameters, which his designers use to advise on the most appropriate design. Customers can also send in a sketch of the model they'd like. Barnett's company finds the best solution and makes the frames accordingly, which it then sends to the customers, who take them to their opticians to get them fitted with the right lenses. The process takes a total of about eight weeks.
Barnett uses only high-end Italian plastics made from organic materials, and each frame costs $595. Customers are asked for a down payment of $100 to begin the custom design work, and the balance is due on delivery of the finished frame. If clients are not happy with the result they can return it to Indivijual Custom Eyewear for a full refund.
Barnett's clients are mainly in the U.S., but the company also has a small clientele in the rest of the world. No financial data are available, as Indivijual Custom Eyewear is not a public company, and Barnett will not even reveal ? precisely or more approximately ? how many customers are currently on its books. The company deals directly with customers through its website, though in the U.S. one or two opticians also offer the company's formula.