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2013 Annual Report
On this day in Warby Parker history...

( days)
January
Tuesday January 1, 2013

Warby Parker survives the Mayan Apocalypse to live another day. We dismantle our doomsday escape pods and get back to work.

But first, a quick highlight reel from 2012...

February 15: Warby Parker turned two years old. We learned how to verbalize pronouns, wash our own hands, and draw a vertical line.

March 12: We launched the Citizen’s Circus at SXSW in glorious Austin. Three days of music, active citizenship, local beer, and yurts.

April 1: Get at me, dawg. On April Fools’ Day, the Warby Barker collection of eyeglasses for dogs was officially announced.

July 19: Our Summer Crystals Collection launched. They look nice and shiny.

August 30: We celebrate the 25th anniversary of Where’s Waldo with a pair of rounded glasses.

September 17: We appeared on screens nationwide (HI MOM!) with our first television ad.

September 27: The Titanium Collection was launched, introducing our first metal collection. Cue guitar solo.

October 10: The Warby Parker Class Trip kicks off in New York. Look out, America.

October 17: We hired our 100th employee.

November 17: Our holiday Annex opened up in the Meatpacking District; later, it became a permanent fixture.

December 19: Katie Couric wears our glasses and makes gang signs. What a year!

Wednesday January 2, 2013
culture

In October of 2012, a gummy peach ring was placed outside the window sill at Warby Parker headquarters by unknown personnel. At this date, the gummy ring remains in the exact same position, preserved by snow.

GUMMY PEACH RING INGREDIENTS: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Gelatin, Sorbitol, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Artificial Colors (Yellow #6, Red #40, Yellow #5)

Thursday January 3, 2013
data

Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959. Our most popular frame in Alaska is Zagg, followed by Bensen and then Clyde.

Friday January 4, 2013
data

The year is already full of surprises. Here are some of our misspelled keyword searches for 2013:

  • WALBY PARKER
  • WORBY PARKER
  • DARBY WARBLER
  • WORTHY PARKER
  • WARNER DARBY
  • WOBBLY PARKER
  • WARBURY PARKER
  • DARBY PARKER
  • WEBBY PARKER
  • WALLABY PARKER
  • WELBY PARKER
  • LAURA PARKER
  • ARBY PARKER
  • EARBY PARKER
  • WOMBLY PARKER
  • WAVY PARKER
  • NARBY PARKER
  • WARBY OARKER
  • WARDLEY PARKER
  • MARBY PARKER
  • WALLY PARKER
  • HARVEY PARKER
  • WARBURG PARKER
  • MOBY PARKER
  • WARBY PINCUS
  • WABRY PARKWR
  • DERBY PORKER
  • WORBY PACKER
Saturday January 5, 2013

Great way to start the year: GQ features the Neville frame inside an issue with Bill Murray on the cover.

In tribute, we offer you a small menu of Bill Murray quotes:

“This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.”
–Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

“In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, Au revoir, gopher.”
–Carl Spackler, Caddyshack

“Can you keep a secret? I’m trying to organize a prison break. I’m looking for, like, an accomplice.”
–Bob Harris, Lost in Translation

“Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!”
–Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

Sunday January 6, 2013
data do good

The very first Social Innovation committee is formed today. Patrick, Meghan, Wynne, Stephanie, and Erin read Let My People Go Surfing by Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard and brainstorm initiatives to infuse our “do good” mission into all aspects of the company.

Monday January 7, 2013
culture data

January Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for January.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • We should have a Lets Get Ready to Rumble-style microphone that descends from the ceiling for Wednesday Morning Meetings.
  • Install a jail cell for employees who misbehave
  • Bread

  • More marshmellow guns
  • More Nerf guns.
  • Ban nerf guns

Tuesday January 8, 2013
class trip

The big easy

The Warby Parker Class Trip detours to New Orleans and packs a lot into 14 hours, starting with brunch at Antoine’s in the French Quarter—also known as the oldest restaurant in the United States that has been continuously open and operated by the same family.

At Antoine’s it is possible to eat oysters for breakfast and order 25-cent martinis. The crew finished off their stop with a night at the Maple Leaf Bar and live music from Rebirth Brass Band.

Book your plane ticket.

Wednesday January 9, 2013
culture

Today we welcome Kyle P. to the User Experience team.

Fun fact: Kyle P. was once a model for Match.com.

Thursday January 10, 2013
culture

The Product team plus co-founder and co-CEO Neil take a cooking class in the West Village as a team-building exercise.

The chef in charge—formerly of NYC’s beloved Tartine restaurant—shares tips with the team. Favorite tip: allow your pan to get very hot before adding oil so that the oil expands, which allows you to use less. Healthy!

The menu is delicious: salmon with sautéed vegetables, salad with homemade Caesar dressing and croutons, and berry ice cream.

No one gets food poisoning.

Friday January 11, 2013
class trip

D is for Dallas

Dallas is a land of delicious steaks, innovative design studios, cool architecture, the Steve Miller Band, and boatloads of Texas charm.

The Warby Parker Class Trip arrives in town today and immediately begins preparations for a kickoff party with locals at the Old Bike Shop.

Fun fact: our own CFO at Warby Parker is named Steve Miller. Although he bears no relation to Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band, we consider him a rock star of equal caliber.

Saturday January 12, 2013
happenings

We spend a rainy day in Dallas with Sea of Shoes blogger Jane Aldridge, who pops on a few pairs of glasses and models them with her usual panache.

Also on set to model: a small white poodle with red-painted toenails. Who wore it better?

(Woof.)

Sunday January 13, 2013
culture data

Vice president of Technology Lon breaks 1000 points on Reddit by posting a friend’s email that is filled with well-meaning but semi-offensive advice from her mother.

(To date: 1496 upvotes, 412 downvotes)

Monday January 14, 2013
culture

Welcome, Sarah K.!

Fun fact: the newest User Experience team member spent a summer in college working in a cereal factory. She shared a few insider secrets:

1. All employees’ bandages are made with bits of metal—in case they fall off, a metal detector spots them, and production will be temporarily halted.

2. Wearing a mask is critical toward preventing the inhalation of powdered sugar and other tasty granules.

3. Every hour, Sarah and her fellow cereal employees left the production floor and conducted taste tests on cereal samples in a laboratory.

4. The factory was subject to brownouts, and once the lights returned, all cereal that was mid-production during the outage would be trashed as a precaution. Workers pulled levers to release up to a story’s worth of cereal from above, effectively “making it rain” cereal.

5. Some of the flakes in your cereal box start out as big as your palm. They’re vigorously shaken until they break into tinier pieces.

Tuesday January 15, 2013

Today 60 employees attend a free spinning class courtesy of our toned friends at SoulCycle.

Our workout is led by Charlee, whose online bio reports her favorite quote as T. Harv Eker’s “How you do anything is how you do everything”.

Meanwhile, the perennially enthusiastic Zac, a member of our Employee Experience and Facilities Management team (EEFM for short), works from home the next two days on account of muscle soreness.

He has not attempted a cycling class since.

Wednesday January 16, 2013

Today we release our Annual Report for 2012. It features enough data to make you say, “Please stop, my vision is spotting and I am becoming lightheaded.”

Thursday January 17, 2013

The Product Strategy team meets regularly to review new product prototypes.

Comments overheard during a prototyping session on January 17:

“Christopher on The Sopranos would wear these…NOT me.”

“Are these even considered sunglasses? They are literally the size of my grandma’s readers.”

“I like how wide these are. They are really flattering. You can’t see my face at all.”

“I love these!” How come? “Because they make me feel like an astronaut!” (While trying on the thinnest wire optical frames we have ever prototyped.)

“These are 100% Elton John. NO, these are 100% ME.”

Friday January 18, 2013

Today we got the closest we’ve ever gotten to Beyoncé.

GQ features Warby Parker sunglasses in a fashion spread just 105 pages from the magazine’s cover, which features the Queen.

Basically, we are .8 inches away from touching Beyoncé.

Only Jay Z gets closer.

Saturday January 19, 2013
data culture

Today we take a poll in regard to an extremely high-stakes and important matter: necklines.

Sunday January 20, 2013

Congratulations! You’ve unlocked cheat codes for the Warby Parker 2013 Annual Report.

Follow these instructions to complete the Annual Report in Hero mode.

First, collect the following items: one ancient crystal, three golden relics, and six Ritz crackers (regular, not low sodium).

Gradually adjust your chair or seating arrangement to lowest position and then sniff a Ritz cracker. This will unlock a hunger portal in your stomach. Eat the Ritz crackers.

Sell ancient crystal and relics on eBay.

When finished, press arrow right to continue Annual Report in Hero mode.

Monday January 21, 2013
data culture

MC Hammer’s hit single “U Can’t Touch This” was released this month in 1990.

Hammer (real name: Stanley Kirk Burrell) was known for his use and endorsement of Hammer pants—a silhouette that featured a fitted ankle and voluminous amount of material near the crotch.

Although few Warby Parker employees own a pair of Hammer pants, we do own a large number of other-shaped pants. Would you care to know how many?

Tuesday January 22, 2013

Spring is traditionally a time of gentle showers, egg-based dishes, and bulbous annual flowers.

It is also a time of optical temptations. Our Spring 2013 Collection, released today, features eight foolproof classics.

We think of these frames as the equivalent of a perfect pair of jeans or little black dress—something that elevates your look with minimal effort.

Wednesday January 23, 2013
happenings

Tim R., our director of online experience, speaks at General Assembly today about best practices in e-commerce.

A few of his takeaway suggestions:

1. The homepage needs to say what the site sells in a simple and straight-forward manner.

2. Let customers focus on one thing at a time. Don’t try to show them everything all at once!

3. Good photography can go a long way in terms of increasing conversion—quality detail and presentation are key.

4. Copy sells! Make it relatable and helpful, not dry and boring.

5. Website performance affects the customer experience. The slower it is, the more unhappy people become.

Thursday January 24, 2013
culture data

Today is National Peanut Butter Day.

Fun fact: In the Netherlands, peanut butter is known as peanut cheese. Read more about that here.

Warby Parker employees, meanwhile, maintain strict preferences about texture:

Friday January 25, 2013

This month we release our best-selling frame to date, Wilkie.

Saturday January 26, 2013
culture data

“Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars has been the #1 charting pop single this entire month.

Sunday January 27, 2013
culture

Warby Parker’s data “Dream Team” gets a new member today: Data Engineer Terry P.

Welcome, Terry.

Monday January 28, 2013

The Warby Parker Class Trip attends a live cattle auction in Amarillo, Texas. (Moo.)

Tuesday January 29, 2013
culture data

President William McKinley was born on this day in 1843.

Wednesday January 30, 2013

Co-founder and co-CEO Dave puts his good bone structure to use and models for Levi’s 501.

“Well, I guess it all started the first time I went through the second grade. I caught my reflection in a spoon while I was eating my cereal, and I remember thinking ‘Wow, you’re ridiculously good looking, maybe you could do that for a career.’”

–Derek Zoolander, Zoolander

Thursday January 31, 2013

Today we loan out our 166th photo sample of the year.

When publications are interested in featuring our glasses in their magazine or website, firstly, we’re honored. And secondly, we send over what they have requested so they can start snapping away. Today’s sample, Holt in Striped Sassafras, heads over to Men’s Health.

Thank you, Men’s Health!

February
Friday February 1, 2013

Happy February. Churros are served in the office today—don’t mind if we do!

Saturday February 2, 2013
happenings

Down the hall from our office, it looks like a plant is trying to escape.

Sinister vibes.

Sunday February 3, 2013

Today, after many months of meticulous design, development, and prototyping, Product Designer Adam M. finalizes a new custom acetate print, Cobalt Leaf, for our upcoming collaboration with Leith Clark.

Leith’s CV is filled with impressive credentials: she styles red carpet stunners, directs editorials for Harper’s Bazaar U.K. and Italian Vogue, and founded the publication Lula. Anything she lends her eye to ends up with an aesthetic that’s intelligent, ultra-feminine, and cheerful. We <3 Leith.

Cobalt Leaf is the brainchild of Adam and Leith’s creative alliance. When Leith was assembling a mood board for the collaboration, she included a set of vintage tumblers that inspired the pattern.

Adam zoomed in on a particular cluster of leaves and picked a blend of Pantones 541 and 293 to replicate the lovely blue of Leith’s image. He then guided our acetate engineers (It’s a job! Cool, huh?) in creating the new pattern.

In all, eight rounds of acetate samples are created until the final product is revealed.

Monday February 4, 2013

Ta da! Warby Parker officially rolls out its mobile site. It’s exactly what you’d see on your computer screen, just you know, shrunken down to be legible and more thumb-swipeable.

Since then, we’ve seen a 200% increase in traffic from mobile devices, 79% of which are iPhones.

Tuesday February 5, 2013

An email chain that would eventually grow to 84 messages begins today between the Product Strategy and Supply Chain teams. The subject: our forthcoming Holiday Collection.

Wednesday February 6, 2013

We’re formulating a new case for our glasses, and it’s serious business.

Today, Product Strategy Supervisor Brigitte sets out to test a new option using the scientific method.

Question
Will subjecting this type of case to realistic situations affect its pristine appearance?

Hypothesis
Subjecting this type of case to realistic situations will not affect its pristine appearance.

Methodology
Step 1: Brigitte wraps half of each case in plastic wrap.

Step 2: Brigitte places the cases in a variety of situations. The criteria for selecting the placement are simple: Where does the average Warby Parker glasses wearer keep his or her frames?

Experimental locations include office cabinets, kitchen drawers, on Brigitte’s desk, and inside her purse.

Step 3: Brigitte lets the elements take their course. For the next month, the cases come into contact with uncapped pens, NARS lipstick, crumpled grocery lists, batteries, and dirty hands of various employees who are curious about the new cases.

Step 4: Brigitte removes plastic wrap. Analysis: there is no discernable difference between covered and uncovered portions of the cases.

Conclusion
Hypothesis confirmed. Subjecting the new case to loosely controlled, intentionally grimy but realistic situations does not have any bearing on the material’s pristine appearance and cleanness.

These cases are selected for use with all Warby Parker frames and will roll out mid-October.

Thursday February 7, 2013
culture data

February Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for February.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • The Wiki should have everyone’s name and title listed in one doc.
  • Interdepartmental problem-solving puzzles—get together with a small team and (optionally) solve a problem. First or best solution wins.

  • AppleTV mounted in the conference rooms for Airplay Mirroring from Mac computers to the projector.
  • lasers.

Friday February 8, 2013
happenings

Our ice skating party at The Standard, High Line in New York is cancelled due to poor weather. This is especially unfortunate given that our vice president of technology, Lon, is a former competitive ice skater.

Meantime, what are we going to do with all of these spangled leotards and nude-colored pantyhose? And the scrunchies—oh god, the scrunchies…

Saturday February 9, 2013
happenings

It’s a Warby Parker Winter Weekend!

We host a series of events and parties at The Standard, High Line to inject some warmth into what looks like a cruel, cruel meteorological forecast.

The weekend includes live music at The Standard Biergarten, where we get merry and carbo-load on salted pretzels.

An international Instagram user comments on a photo from the occasion: “Wish it was one of the many Biergartens here in Germany!”

(Us too.)

Sunday February 10, 2013
milestones

Bamboo, our latest deployment manager, is released today.

Here’s the deal: any time new code and features are integrated into a website, there’s always the chance for hiccups, kinks, and unwelcome delays. Bamboo allows us to go harder, better, faster, stronger on multiple servers at once.

Think Hadouken ability.

Monday February 11, 2013
data culture

The Design team deems February the (unofficial) “Most Boring Month.”

To celebrate, they create a list of boring items:

  • Traffic
  • Napkins
  • Baths
  • Fitness
  • Water
  • Voicemail
  • Training wheels
  • Redistricting
  • Mental notes
  • Plain bagels
  • Pores
  • Supervision
  • MAILER-DAEMON
  • “Charging is not supported with this accessory”
Tuesday February 12, 2013

We’re giving our frames a plot twist.

The Hayworth Collection—loosely inspired by Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s—launches today.

It’s our first collection featuring mixed materials, with each of the six frames—three optical, three sunglasses—boasting vintage touches rendered in custom acetate and premium Japanese titanium.

Wednesday February 13, 2013

Today, fifty of our Customer Experience team members stage a Where’s Waldo? day.

In honor of the intrepid children’s book character, our head of CX, Mara, purchased a truckload of striped shirts and hats for the team’s collective Halloween costume in 2012.

Unfortunately, a side effect of Hurricane Sandy was a cancellation of our annual party, which left the costumes accumulating dust beneath Mara’s desk.

It seemed like a shame to waste them.

Today, employees arrive at work in their usual attire, slip out to put on the stripes, and proceed with the day as usual. Some even conduct job interviews in costume, causing an HR nightmare.

(Kidding. HR was into it.)

Thursday February 14, 2013
data culture

Today is National Library Lover’s Day, as well as normal lover’s day (aka Valentine’s Day). Employee survey: What is your favorite book?

  • “Capitalism and Freedom” by Milton Friedman
  • “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg
  • “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez
  • “Bossypants” by Tina Fey
  • “A Chronology of Water” by Lidia Yuknavitch
  • “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn
  • “Angle of Repose” by Wallace Stegner
  • “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles
  • “A Wrinkle In Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
  • “All My Sons” by Arthur Miller
  • “Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne
  • “Atonement” by Ian McEwan
  • “Awesome” by Jack Pendarvis
  • “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall
  • “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry
  • “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
Friday February 15, 2013

Warby Parker turns three today!

To celebrate the birthday, two of the four Warby Parker founders pop out of a cake during team meeting.

The other two are unable to fit inside the cake.

Saturday February 16, 2013

Today our W3C logs sync with Akamai. It’s so beautiful when two become one.

Sunday February 17, 2013

Today we start sending out 250 monocles as a surprise to some of our loyal customers.

Third anniversaries are typically signified by gifts of leather, but we like monocles for their versatility: that one single lens can make you look villainous, clever, or just freakishly adorable.

(Also, they come in a leather case…)

Monday February 18, 2013
culture

Team member Colleen becomes the proud owner of two fish, named Rosa and Gill.

Fellow employee Tim H., a fish owner in high school, grows envious and plots a takeover of the fish.

Tuesday February 19, 2013
class trip

Ciudad de los ángeles

The Warby Parker Class Trip team members stretch their legs and stop for a dose of culture at LACMA.

They take a peep at Chris Burden’s Urban Light, a sculpture made from 202 restored cast iron antique street lamps.

Wednesday February 20, 2013

Tonight we celebrate our friends State Bags with a party at the Annex. With every bag—or GiveBackPack—purchased, State gives a backpack to a student in the United States in need. Wine is served, bags are purchased, new friends are made—all in all, a great evening.

Thursday February 21, 2013
happenings

Today we advertise on WTF with Marc Maron.

Marc Maron is the king of podcasts and WTF is the podcast of kings.

Each week, Maron—a veteran standup comic, actor, and brilliant interviewer—talks to people in his garage. Interviewees include everyone from Amy Poehler to Louis C.K. to John Mulaney, and the conversations are reliably mind-blowing.

Not to be fanboys/fangirls/fanpeople, but hearing Marc say the words “Warby Parker” makes us happy in a way that is almost NSFW.

Friday February 22, 2013

Today, co-CEOs Dave and Neil learn about eco-friendly baby products and non-toxic cleaners from fellow entrepreneurs Christopher Gavigan and Jessica Alba of The Honest Company.

In turn, Christopher and Jessica come away with a better understanding of pupillary distances.

That’s an even trade, right?

Saturday February 23, 2013
culture

26 employees load up two 15-passenger vans and spend the weekend skiing and snowboarding in Stratton, Vermont.

Takeaways:
1. Do not stay in the house designated for couples if you yourself do not have a significant other. Bitterness is a weekend-ruiner.

2. Digital marketing director Brian M. and Customer Experience rockstars Dan O. and Kevin R. command the snow with their snowboarding skills.

3. The game Cards Against Humanity escalates incredibly quickly into non-PC territory. It comes close to violating everything we will learn in sensitivity training.

4. In a pinch, stolen firewood can help move a stuck car out of a stubborn snow drift. Just keep pushing; you’ll get there.

5. Inside Tech team member T.J. lies a future Olympic medalist. Before this trip, he had never skied until he took a lesson by himself and returned to the group with some genuinely dazzling skills. He was a “superstar” and “very impressive,” reports Front-End Web Developer Dan T.

When reached for comment, T.J. confirms, “I got the hang of it, went to the top of the mountain and went down the intermediate track. It was only then that a few others I went down with couldn’t keep up with me. I guess that means I’m a natural?”

Recruiting manager Matt C.: “No, don’t look at me. My coccyx! Oh no. Oof. Ow, oh gosh, this really hurts.”

Sunday February 24, 2013

The New York Times reports that Mickey Drexler, the chief executive of J.Crew, and American Express have joined as participants in our latest round of funding.

Monday February 25, 2013

In three days, the entire company will come together for a Warby Parker event orchestrated by the “Fun Committee,” which is a rotating committee of employees dedicated to organizing fun events.

The dress code for the event is “Black Tie.”

Today, Warby Parker employee Minsuk prepares his look for the big day, which will be a black tie Canadian Tuxedo. The ingredients: denim shirt, denim jacket, denim pants, confident stance.

Tuesday February 26, 2013

Our most popular sunglasses colors for the month are in.

Wednesday February 27, 2013

Today we issue our first third-party Employee Engagement Survey.

It’s a way of checking in on employees and finding out how happy we are coming into work each day. Do we feel good about the work we’re doing? Do we feel encouraged to share new ideas? Do we think our managers care about us? Do we like piña coladas? Stuff like that.

88% of employees participated, and the takeaway is: yes! Things are going well. We measured our Net Promoter Score, a tool that gauges employee loyalty to the company by asking a basic question: “How likely are you to recommend working at Warby Parker to others?” The response: 90% of us would highly recommend it.

Thursday February 28, 2013

Today is our quarterly company outing. The theme is “Black Tie and Burgers.”

At 6 p.m. on the dot, team members change into formal eveningwear and sit down to a dinner of hamburgers and fries in the office while a string duet plays Debussy in the corner.

Dinner is followed by a scavenger hunt in Grand Central Terminal and an after-party at a bar, where everyone remains polite, moderate, and well-behaved until the early hours.

March
Friday March 1, 2013
happenings

GQ pairs Warby Parker frames with burnished Prada loafers in this month’s issue.

Other pairings we like:

Saturday March 2, 2013
culture data

The average knowledge worker switches tasks every three minutes, and, once distracted, wastes almost 30 minutes resuming the original task.

Interruptions and their recovery time now take up 28% of a worker’s day.

To combat interruptions, Content team member Molly introduces the Interrupting Fez: when she is wearing the fez, nobody is allowed to interrupt her.

It works well.

Sunday March 3, 2013
culture

Outside temperatures are frigid and the office is extremely cold. In order to maintain circulation and productivity, we create work ponchos from old promotional blankets. Interested in creating your own? Follow these simple instructions.

Monday March 4, 2013

To celebrate the forthcoming opening of our Greene Street store, we kick off the merriment with our biggest ever contest: over 32,000 people enter to win a weekend in New York City, just in time for the grand opening.

Tuesday March 5, 2013

Today we release the Drafting Collection—a return to clean lines and professional silhouettes.

Frill-free and crafted from premium Japanese titanium, it includes seven professional-strength shapes in industrial-strength materials.

(They might be our new favorite office supplies.)

Wednesday March 6, 2013
culture

Today it is discovered that Jon P., a member of the Tech team, does not have a Facebook profile. An emergency bulletin is distributed across the company:

Jon P. Needs Friends

We’ve all seen him. That pensive, quiet guy they call Jon P. Maybe you’ve exchanged a glance with him in the back hall; perhaps you’ve clumsily bumped into him in the kitchen. But mostly he just keeps to himself. And you keep to yourself.

Once or twice, you’ve probably thought to yourself,

‘Hey, a guy like that must have a thriving social network. Boy, I wish I had that kind of savvy. Savvy…what a weird word. Who puts double V’s in a word? Then again, ‘vacuum’ is even weirder…’ And soon you’ve forgotten all about poor Johnny P.

But he’d be there for you in a heartbeat.

Based on interviews with close friends who insisted on anonymity, Jon is hands-down a reliable guy. He’s capable. He’s quick to help those in need. He’s got style, but in a subtle way, like he always wears cool socks. He’s the kind of guy who could date your sister and you’d be ok with it. The kind of guy who'd pick you up from the airport, and not be pissed about it.

And, tragically, the kind of guy who doesn’t get a Facebook until 2013. He could use some Facebook friends.

This message sponsored by the Find Some Friends for Jon P. Association and does not reflect the views of Warby Parker. But Warby Parker agrees that he could use some friends.

Thursday March 7, 2013

Welcome to GlutenFest 2013

Today the Warby Parker Class Trip catches an inside glimpse at pastry production in L.A.

Friday March 8, 2013

A hypnotherapist visits Warby Parker to conduct relaxation and productivity sessions with employees in a conference room.

Many team members are skeptical at first but report feeling “peaceful,” “serenely productive”, and “airy as a cloud” after their sessions.

Saturday March 9, 2013

A chicken wing eating contest takes place after work among a small group of employees.

The winner is Kareem, who consumes 37 chicken wings. Good job, Kareem: you’ve fulfilled your protein requirements for the next three weeks. No more protein for you.

The winning quote comes from Dan T., who observes that “Chicken wings are so difficult to eat. It’s more of a hobby than a meal, really.”

Sunday March 10, 2013

Entrepreneur magazine names Warby Parker one of seven “bewitching brands.”

Good thing we love witches!

Our co-CEO Neil contributes a philosophical quote:

“Although you can’t be everything to all people, you can definitely be something to some people.”

Monday March 11, 2013

West Coast noms

The Warby Parker Class Trip continues its grand culinary tour of Los Angeles. The next stop: Wurstküche. As the name implies (it’s German for “sausage kitchen”), the restaurant offers lots of beer and tasty sausages.

A belated danke to Instagrammer @ninernikki, who recommended the fries and bleu cheese. You were right. So very right.

Tuesday March 12, 2013
culture

Jack Kerouac would have been 91 years old today.

Kerouac was a Beat Generation writer and thinker; a man of catholic tastes possessed of a strong will to explore every avenue of being.

He inspired a generation to take the road less traveled, and his ethos is woven into the DNA of this company. (Our name even comes from a Kerouac journal.)

Each new employee receives a copy of Kerouac’s 1958 novel The Dharma Bums on his or her first day.

Wednesday March 13, 2013
culture data

One of the Design team members is having her 1-year anniversary of working at the company.

Instead of going out for a celebratory lunch, the whole team heads to the Lower East Side’s Doughnut Plant to replace the usual vegetable-protein-carbohydrate afternoon combo with glucose, glucose, and more glucose.

Their top donut picks, in order:

1. Tres Leches

2. Peanut Butter and Jam

3. Meyer Lemon

4. Carrot Cake

5. Coconut Cream

Thursday March 14, 2013

The Warby Parker Fun Committee hires two caricature artists to come into the office for a day.

Employees sign up for five-minute slots and sit while their portraits are drawn, and then either laugh or cry at the result.

Here are a few samples.

Friday March 15, 2013

Co-founder and co-CEO Dave takes the stage at the F.ounders Conference, an entrepreneurship event, to the strains of Blur’s Song 2.

He does not break out the air guitar.

Saturday March 16, 2013
milestones

To us, the literary life evokes cozy reading nooks, newspapers in bed, and a lot of good books.

Today we embellish on the idea and start filming our second TV commercial in several secret New York City locations— the sorts of places even lifelong neighborhood residents might pass by unknowingly.
Director Phil Andelman has filmed car chases in Korea, Taylor Swift in Paris, and videos for Beyoncé, Rihanna, The Kills, the Beastie Boys, and now…us!
The actors, Harry McNally and Malu Byrne, both come from creative New York City families—Keith McNally and David Byrne, respectively. They make art (Malu), take photos (Harry), and design (both).

They’re not trained actors—but hey, neither are we. Some employees make an appearance, but you’ll have to wait a few months from now to catch our close-up. Employees who participated were instructed to dress in black tie attire, which means FANCY. Like Drake and Tay Swift at the Grammys fancy.

Sunday March 17, 2013
culture

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

We’ll celebrate the holiday by introducing you to our first Irish employee, Niall!

A few fun facts about Niall…

• He loves Reddit

• He loves video games

• He likes “football” (translation: soccer)

• He wears tiny shorts when he plays basketball (is this a European thing?)

• He says “jumper” instead of “sweater”

• He makes the rounds every day at 3 p.m. to see if anyone wants to get coffee with him

Legend has it that the patron saint of Ireland is responsible for driving all the snakes out of the nation. Niall, meantime, is a Q.A. Engineer at Warby Parker, which means that he is responsible for driving all the bugs out of our code. Coincidence?

Monday March 18, 2013

On this day in 1968, Congress repeals the requirement for a gold reserve to back the U.S. dollar.

In 2010, Warby Parker co-founder Jeffrey Raider thought it would be a cool idea to surprise random customers with eyewear made of solid gold.

We have yet to execute Raider’s little scheme, but it’s on the “maybe” list.

Tuesday March 19, 2013
culture

Warby Wiki Wizard Award

Each week, the Warby Wiki Wizard Award (try saying that ten times fast!) is awarded to the person who displays the most intense Wiki Wizardry (using the Warby wiki, encouraging others to use it, or inventing new ways to use it). This week’s winner is…

JEFF!

…aka The Nimble Noter. Jeff L. wins the week for taking detailed notes and rapidly placing them into the wiki, and for encouraging collaboration and discussion.

Thank you for your service, Jeff.

Wednesday March 20, 2013

Today the original 12 employees head to Guatemala, “El País de la Eterna Primavera,” for five days to celebrate their third anniversary with the company. They cut loose with plenty of parking lot dance parties, marshmallows, cliff jumping, ziplining, and glute-crushing hikes. It’s our purposeful version of the corporate retreat: here, the team witnesses our non-profit partner, Community Enterprise Solutions, in action. We built our company on the idea that companies have the capacity to create solutions, improve situations, and do good every single day; it informs every decision we make.

It’s not a memorable getaway without rehashing the highs, lows, and bloopers of the trip. Let’s begin.

HIGH: After partnering with Community Enterprise Solutions for a while now, seeing their efforts up close was so rewarding. CES works in Latin America, training low-income people—primarily women—to administer eye exams and sell glasses at affordable prices to members of their own community.

Our team was blown away by the parallels between Warby Parker’s work in the United States and CES’s work in Guatemala. Like us, they too employ a Home Try-On program—but for water filters! Through a micro-venturing model, they allow potential customers to try out water filters at home before committing, with no obligation to purchase. Sound familiar? Like Warby Parker, CES is all about access. They go directly into villages where community members are in need of glasses, and figure out a way to cut costs and pass along savings. For many Guatemalans, CES-run stores are the only venues offering free eye exams. And CES, like Warby Parker, only hires people who truly believe in their mission.

LOW: Hiking Mount Pacaya, an active volcano outside Antigua, was, let’s say, challenging. Talent team member Colleen internally narrated the ascent like the dialogue of a Cormac McCarthy novel.

Thursday March 21, 2013
culture

Tim begs Colleen via email to give him ownership of Rosa and Gill.

The two fish are now the responsibilities of a very happy Tim, who purchased a tank and filter in anticipation of this day.

Rosa and Gill live happily until mid-August, when they get stuck in their plastic tree fort and, well…

Friday March 22, 2013

Lucky us

Today we pull the Warby Parker Class Trip bus over and hang out with the ever-stylish Eva Chen. The Lucky editor-in-chief (who owns seven-and-counting pairs of our frames!) was then splitting her time between L.A.—where, as a native New Yorker, she bravely learned to drive—and Manhattan.

Eva shared the results of her L.A. reconnaissance with us, revealing where to gorge on lox, obtain a California glow, and get a miniature replica of the Mona Lisa painted on your pinkie finger.

Isn’t she great?

Saturday March 23, 2013
culture data
Sunday March 24, 2013
culture data

Co-founder Dave Instagrams a shot of team members Jesse S. and Jen B. with our partner, Community Enterprise Solutions, from the Guatemala trip.

#memories

Monday March 25, 2013
culture

Front-end developer Kareem opens the First Bank of Kareem in his file cabinet.

It accepts deposits in coin form only, is not FDIC insured, and does not offer financial advice.

The loan interest rate is outrageous.

Tuesday March 26, 2013

Smart, wonderful, talented actor Ryan Gosling appears in public wearing Warby Parker glasses today.

Swoon.

Wednesday March 27, 2013
data culture

Warby Parker developer Dan T. is endowed by some of his teammates with a series of new nicknames.

Rule: each nickname must contain two words, the first beginning with “D” and the second beginning with “T”.
  • Dick Tracy
  • Dunk Tank
  • Divine Truth
  • Disco-Teque
  • Dinner Time
  • Dutch Treat
  • Darn Tootin'
  • Dollar Tree
  • Dirty Tricks
  • Delicious Treats
  • Dolphin Trainer
  • Delirium Tremens
  • Donald Trump
  • Delicate Task
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Drill Team
  • Dream Team
  • Desk Treadmill
  • Direct TV
  • Distribution Table
  • Dominant Traits
  • Deer Tick
  • Death Tax
  • Dragon Tales
Thursday March 28, 2013

Today the Warby Parker Class Trip visits The Juice Shop in San Francisco. We’re loyal coffee consumers, but this fruity elixir might make converts of us.

Operated by two brothers named Gulick, the shop sources local California produce and offers jewel-colored potions filled with all of the stuff that nature and your parents want you to eat.

Friday March 29, 2013

Today designer Erik Marinovich shares his studio space and impressive lettering skills with the Warby Parker Class Trip crew.

Some fun facts about penmanship:

1. 41 states no longer require public schools to teach cursive.

2. The word cursive has its roots in medieval Latin, from the word cursivus meaning “running.”

3. Graphology is the analysis of handwriting. Eg: if your handwriting doesn’t slant, you tend to be reasonable and guarded.

4. In 1953, Milton Newton Bunker’s book So You Want to Get Married: Handwriting Can Help You Plan for Marriage, Understand Your Partner and Live a Richer Married Life was published.

5. A 150-lb. person will burn roughly 107 calories an hour by writing. Great news: you can lose weight AND finish your epic novel at the same time!

Saturday March 30, 2013
milestones

Today construction on our split-flap board completes. Inspired by the arrival and departure boards at train stations, it will be used in our Greene Street flagship store and later in our Washington Street location to display eye exam appointments.

Sunday March 31, 2013
culture data

March Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for March.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • Put the new Tech Ops guy Peter to good use, build a showroom robot
  • I know this is silly but is there any way at all to turn the heat down up here? I’ve felt like a slug all day

  • Bring back the ice pops.
  • We should offer those loops that hold your glasses around your neck

April
Monday April 1, 2013
culture

Apple Inc. is formed on this day in 1976. Credit to Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne and company for keeping us productive and efficient.

Tuesday April 2, 2013

The Summer 2013 Collection is released today, featuring a whole shindig’s worth of frames.

Northcote, Watts, Arthur, Theo, Marshall, Ainsworth, Chandler, Sims, Boyd, Aldous and Paley are the frames on tap. (The first four are making their grand debut).

Each offers an arty twist on a basic design, and all are easy to wear—ideal for a summer’s worth of shoeless days and Citronella-scented nights.

Wednesday April 3, 2013

World’s smallest PB&J sandwich created today in office.

Secret ingredient: two squares of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (“bread”).

Thursday April 4, 2013
culture

A commenter on our Instagram requests that we “only post photos of Phineus”.

We quickly realize she is referring to our retail operations supervisor, Phineas, who is known across the nation for his charm and good looks.

#phineus4ever

Friday April 5, 2013
data

On this day in 1955, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, aka Winston Churchill, resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Our Winston frame is one of our most popular offerings.

Saturday April 6, 2013

Tech team member Jeff L. starts teaching an eight-week Coding 101 crash course to employees interested in learning the basics of computer communication.

He walks 20 people (sorry to the additional 30 on the waitlist!) through HTML, CSS, the differences between servers, protocols, requests, and more.

The class meets an hour every week to build their own websites. There are few constraints to the assignment— just a name for the page, the employee’s name, a couple of facts organized in a list, plus a few of the employee’s favorite things.

Looks like it paid off.

Sunday April 7, 2013

Before opening the doors at our first store ever, on Greene Street, we delivered baskets with treats to our neighbors.

Monday April 8, 2013

A reader writes a letter to Esquire.



Jeremy of Chicago asks:

“I’m due for an eye exam and was hoping for some tips on sturdy, fashionable eyewear. My ten-month-old’s favorite new game is yanking my current glasses off my face and laughing hysterically.”

Esquire responds with a recommendation of Warby Parker’s Crosby model.

(Disclosure: The Crosby frame is not baby-proof, but it is baby-resistant to 100 meters.)

Tuesday April 9, 2013

Master class crafts

Today the Warby Parker Class Trip checks in with DODO case in San Francisco. DODO’s iPad cases, crafted with traditional book binding techniques, give a physical dimension to the digital experience.

(Plus: no more bloody paper cuts from hasty page-turning.)

Wednesday April 10, 2013

Tonight we host a dinner party at our sparkling-new SoHo flagship store.

Also present:

Banoffee pie is sliced, champagne is poured, model Karlie Kloss jokes that “I should work here because I can reach the top shelves!” (She’s 6’1” and welcome to apply for a job any time.)

Thursday April 11, 2013

Today we knock down a wall at Headquarters to make room for the expanding Tech team.

In order to make it fun, we knock the wall down ourselves, using a golden sledgehammer purchased specifically for this purpose.

(P.S. We didn’t really knock it down ourselves; we just hit it a bunch of times until the construction workers came.)

Friday April 12, 2013
culture

Today the Social Media team engages in that classic Twitter tradition: borrowing Drake lyrics for unrelated purposes.

Saturday April 13, 2013
milestones

Big day. This morning we open the doors to Warby Parker’s Greene Street location, our own flagship store (!) in the heart of Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

If the store reminds you of a library, that’s not coincidental. The library is one of our favorite institutions, and there’s no better accessory to suggest bookish intelligence than glasses. At the library, we take our time, browse the aisles, and thumb through interesting titles. We wanted to give our store the same thrill of discovery.

The 2000+ sq. ft. store features rolling library ladders custom-made in downtown New York, brass library lamps, and books from some of our favorite small presses, available for flipping–through or adding to your personal collection. An original skylight (it’s 20 feet wide) in the back shines down on customers waiting for eye exams, while the photo booth (featuring colorful backdrops from artist Alia Penner) sees steady traffic.

Getting to this point is certainly a team effort. Lots and lots of thanks go to Reform-Creative, our architecture firm who made the most of our space along with Partners & Spade, the ridiculously talented creative team whom we’ve collaborated with on many projects.

Visitors can track their eye appointments on a large flipboard in the center of the store, designed after the train arrival and departures boards at stately, bustling stations like Grand Central. No tickets necessary, but you can book an exam in advance online.

We’ve been so excited to put down some roots and it looks like our neighbors are pretty happy too: 1,952 people come through our doors on opening day. Greene St. is a big space, but for the visitors who have to wait their turn, we hand out cake balls and glasses-shaped chocolates. Because the only thing better than new glasses is spheroid desserts.

Sunday April 14, 2013

Our first Agile team forms today: a crew of six people banded together for the next quarter with the goal of working on site conversion—specifically, revamping the checkout experience.

They call themselves $$ (“Team Money” in spoken English), a nod to the purchasing-related objective,

and a reference to New Wave band The Network’s album, “Money Money 2020.”

Monday April 15, 2013
data culture

On Fridays we have “Inspiration Friday”—an elevated kind of “show and tell“ where team members bring in what is inspiring them.
Employee survey: What’s something you’ve done at Warby Parker that you’d never done before working here?

  • Adjusted a celebrity’s glasses
  • Ate nine bags of Pirate’s Booty in one day
  • Eaten miracle fruit
  • Measured a PD
  • Met Kelly Kapowski
  • Put avocado on bagels
  • Read an optical Rx
  • Dressed in a penguin costume
  • Logged my weekly happiness levels
  • Loved my job!
  • Seen my boss in spandex
  • Used an apple slicer—amazing invention
  • Played ping-pong during work hours
Tuesday April 16, 2013

Today we distribute our first ever Warby Parker baby basket!

The package goes to proud father (and Tech team member) Gershon. It’s filled with kids’ books—it’s never too early to build up your library—as well as a colorful bonnet for baby’s lil’ head and two stuffed blue-footed boobies (the unofficial Warby Parker mascot): one for dad, one for son.

Welcome to the world, sweet tiny Jacob! We are so happy you’re here.

Wednesday April 17, 2013

Today we have mandatory Sensitivity Training at work. The training is conducted by a nice man who warns us that the slide show he is about to click through is going to be “the most boring slideshow [we] will ever see.” Here are some key learnings:

Don’t make suggestive gestures

Avoid excessively lengthy handshakes

Don’t do “elevator eyes.” Not even as a joke.

Thursday April 18, 2013

We hosted a Vine film festival inside the office and honored the winners today.

In order to deliberate and come to a decision, judges watched a grand total of 4.5 minutes of content (46 entries of six-second videos) and whittled down the best options to four category winners and one #BestPicture victor.

(Clockwise from left)

#Best Picture: TJ

#Quirky: Tim

#Creative: Hayley

#WheresWarby: Amy

#DoGood: Mary Beth

Friday April 19, 2013
milestones

A good uniform is a beautiful thing.

To mastermind the uniform at our flagship store, we enlisted designer Whitney Pozgay. Here, she explains her creations.

What are the requirements of a good uniform? (e.g. Simplicity? Wearability? Stain-hiding capabilities?)
You want something that feels fresh, representative of the brand, and that clearly denotes who works there. That said, personal touches are also great, as are comfort and simplicity. As with any outfit, you don’t want the clothes to wear the person.

If you were to create a mood board with all your inspirations for the Warby Parker uniform, what would be on it?
New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham in his iconic blue jacket, vintage medical uniforms, diner dresses, monogrammed pockets, French working-class uniforms and Japanese workwear.

Saturday April 20, 2013

Our most-commented-on Instagram photo to date posts today.

The topic: us soliciting followers’ opinions in helping @lifeintravel pick out a new pair of glasses. If you’re ever deciding between some frames and need a second opinion, we’re here to help!

We’re just a mention away at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Sunday April 21, 2013
milestones

The Hollywood Reporter names our flagship store one of 10 Chic New Big Apple Boutiques.

Our favorite Hollywood-related media, aside from the venerable Reporter, are:

1. The Business on KCRW, a weekly radio show and podcast that delivers straight inside dope on the entertainment industry.

2. Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye, a 1973 noir film that stars Elliott Gould as a private investigator with ridiculous lapels.

3. The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West’s mind-imploding novel about the seamy edges of the movie industry.

Monday April 22, 2013

Books and drinks

Today the Warby Parker Class Trip meets up with our literary friends at Byliner for a few hours of eating, drinking, and literary hijinks in San Francisco.

Tuesday April 23, 2013

1922 was a great year.

James Joyce published Ulysses; T.S. Eliot published The Wasteland, Eugene O’Neill won a Pulitzer. Today we launch our 1922 Collection, featuring three new stainless steel options with signature acetate details.

They’ve got some of that Fitzgerald panache but are perfectly wearable for the new millennium, too.

Wednesday April 24, 2013
data culture

To stay motivated, some teams have adopted mottoes. A few examples:

  • What would Kaki do
  • Knocking socks and calling docs
  • Huzzah
  • If you can’t get out of it get into it
  • Ted! Ted! Ted!
  • We write copy copy don’t write we

Thursday April 25, 2013

Our co-CEO Dave sits down to a pleasant meal on the rooftop at NoMad, where guests who forgot their sunglasses can borrow a pair of Warby Parker shades to get them through the meal.

At NoMad’s sibling restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, guests who forgot reading glasses can borrow a pair from a nice little tray. (Gotta scrutinize that wine list.)

Both restaurants are operated by Danny Meyer, who continually inspires us with his inventive approach to hospitality.

Friday April 26, 2013

Jeans, jeans, the magical pants

The Warby Parker Class Trip visits Levi’s at their San Francisco headquarters.
Jeans are considered a quintessentially American staple—James Dean! Marlon Brando! Brooke Shields!—but they’ve got quite the international lineage, it turns out.

Levi Strauss opened up shop in 1853 in California after traveling from Germany. You can still visit his birth home in Buttenheim, Germany; it’s a museum today.

The word denim comes from de Nîmes, meaning “from Nîmes,” the town in France where the first fabric is said to have been produced. And jeans supposedly originate from Genoa, Italy, where sailors wore indigo-dyed clothes.

History!

Saturday April 27, 2013

The demand at our new flagship store is overwhelming our staff, so our director of digital marketing, Brian, kindly volunteers to work the door.

Over the first two weekends, Brian logs a total 17.5 hours of duty, fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a bouncer.

Sunday April 28, 2013
culture

Today the Copy team doubles in size (to two members)—just in time to start writing this Annual Report!

Monday April 29, 2013

Hi San Francisco! Today, the Warby Parker Class Trip pulls up to the tenth city on our route.

There we’ll learn about tintype (the darkroom photographic process you’ll recognize from 19th century portraits) from the guys at Photobooth SF; rub elbows with Oh Happy Day’s DIY maven, Jordan Ferney; sample Smitten’s ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen; learn about interactive Pop-Up Magazine (each issue features live performances and readings to accompany its content), and more.
It’s a doozy of a visit and we’ll leave happy and full.

Tuesday April 30, 2013
culture data

April Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for April.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • There should be a glossary of technical terms on the wiki
  • A lot of people, at least on the Tech team, really seem to like Karaoke. I think we need a Karaoke machine. I’d settle for Rockband.

  • Coffee monitoring system of some sort. Either a moisture sensor or something like a floating balloon that closes a circuit when the level gets high enough (like a float in a toilet tank, but without the whole toilet part). A simpler idea might be a webcam pointing at the coffee machine. Or more coffee makers.

May
Wednesday May 1, 2013
milestones

The thoughtfully-curated, civically-minded store, Need Supply Co. in Richmond, Virginia, becomes the site of our newest showroom.

It’s our first foray into this fine Southern state.

Thursday May 2, 2013
culture

Customer Experience team member Liz makes a video for customer @Mister_Wang after he owns up to crushing on her following a customer service call in which the two find out they have the same birthday, January 5. His response, via YouTube comment: “You marvelous bastards.”

Friday May 3, 2013
data

Happy Friday. Weekends are made for sleeping, lolling, loafing, and brunching. Employee survey: what's your favorite brunch spot?

  • ABC Kitchen
  • Agave
  • Applewood
  • Barking Dog
  • Beast
  • Big Daddy’s
  • Bread
  • Buvette
  • Cafe Cluny
  • Cafe Habana
  • Cafe Mogador
  • Commerce
  • Dos Caminos
  • Dudley’s Esperanto
  • Five Leaves
  • Freemans
  • Hakkasan
  • Hospada
  • Hundred Acres
  • Jack’s Wife Frieda
  • Joseph Leonard
  • Kitchenette
  • Le Barricou
  • Locanda Verde
  • Maialino
  • Marc Forgione
  • Northern Spy Co.
  • Pastis
  • Peels
  • Quaint
  • Rosemary’s
  • Sarabeth’s
  • Shopsins
  • The Smith
  • Westville
Saturday May 4, 2013
data culture

Iron Man 3, the highest grossing movie of the summer, opens this weekend.

Sunday May 5, 2013
culture

Our third Hawaiian Customer Experience team member officially comes aboard. Welcome, Eamon!

Eamon joined forces with the other two Hawaiian team members, Mikayla and Keely, to offer you a mini Hawaiian (Pidgin) slang dictionary. Enjoy!

Monday May 6, 2013

Mom tested, child approved: Vanity Fair calls out Warby Parker frames as a good Mother’s Day gift idea.

Goes well with breakfast in bed.

Tuesday May 7, 2013
milestones

The flagship store fun continues: today we interview Anthony Sperduti of creative agency Partners & Spade for some behind-the-scenes intel about the store’s layout and inspirations.

What can you tell us about the store’s design?
To us, Warby Parker means the literary life well-lived. Intelligence, sophistication, and style—these are all qualities that make complete sense for an eyewear brand to embody. While setting up all the temporary stores, Neil and I realized that there’s a very social element to trying on glasses.

What were your aesthetic inspirations?
We were inspired by the architecture of great libraries. The quick and easy referencing and browsing that happens at a library mimics the way we wanted people to shop for glasses.

Wednesday May 8, 2013
culture

Today eyewear designer Selin initiates a new birthday tradition in the Product Design team.

To celebrate Shannon’s birthday, she Photoshops a candle on top of some flame-free cake. The doctored picture is at left.

Thursday May 9, 2013

Today we photograph DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best and his friend and actress/writer Mindy Kaling for our upcoming collaboration.

DonorsChoose.org crowd-funds classroom projects across the country. There’s no bureaucracy, no red tape: just simple ways to change lives.

Content team member Piper is on hand to interview the two about their time in school (Charles: “In junior kindergarten, I got a certificate on my first day of school because I knew how to tie my shoes.” Mindy: “I’m proud to say I don’t know what the inside of our detention hall looked like.”).

Shortly after the interview concludes, Mindy compliments Piper’s shoes. Piper reels.

Friday May 10, 2013
culture

One of our two employees named Michael Craig tries Chobani Greek yogurt for the first time today.

He likes it.

Then he eats ten in a row and gets sick.

Michael! No more Chobani for you.

Saturday May 11, 2013
culture data

The Copy team downloads flowchart software to make more professional presentations—but can’t figure out how to use it.

Sunday May 12, 2013
data

Fun fact: smartphone users in the U.S. send an average of 111 text messages per week.

Monday May 13, 2013

Today we make CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list, a group of companies that are upending conventions.

Featured companies are judged on their potential to replace incumbents, their likelihood for hypergrowth, their ability to scale quickly, and their introduction of new business models.

Dave takes the hot seat above the banner “Warby Parker eyes success.” Permission to make glasses pun: granted.

Tuesday May 14, 2013
do good

86% of customers are aware of our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, but only 12% are aware of our other “do good” efforts.

Today we have a discussion: how can we more effectively share what we are doing? Since then, our DonorsChoose.org collaboration and announcement of our 500K milestone have moved the needle on awareness levels, but we’re not just about special events or big milestones. Whether it’s our B Corporation status, purchasing carbon offsets, or employee volunteerism, doing good is an everyday pursuit.

Wednesday May 15, 2013

Today we launch superhydrophobic lenses in all of our eyeglasses. While our lenses were previously very hydrophobic, now they’re even more hydrophobic, which means they are equipped to repel the smudgiest of smudges.

Thursday May 16, 2013
culture

Today our head of social innovation and General Counsel, Anjali, joins the team and immediately instates a few guidelines in a company-wide email:

Anjali’s NEW RULES:

1. Focus on the work. We’d like to help the team improve focus on work-related issues so will be blocking ALL websites that are not needed for work-related purposes. This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and personal Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts. If you need access to these sites for work purposes please send me a written request outlining why access is critical for your job function.

2. All outside fraternization among employees must cease immediately. This is a workplace; your only relationship with your co-workers should be professional. Please speak with me if this policy requires that you move homes or terminate friendships in order to retain your position. If you'd like to be placed in a new romantic relationship or share an apartment with a non-employee, let me know.

3. Work hours. All employees must report to their desk by 8:30am EST. NO EXCEPTIONS unless you have written permission from Neil or Dave.

4. Opinions. I will be handing out a doctrine that states our shared opinions regarding music, books, art and popular culture issues. Your opinions must align with these; e.g., we all now believe the Eagles are the greatest band of our time.

5. Friendship. I know I said not to be friends outside of work, but Rule #5 is the exception. You will be my friend

Best,
Anjali

(gotcha)

Friday May 17, 2013
milestones

Today we open our first retail store in Boston, which is home to our favorite kind of pie (Boston Cream), favorite kind of bean (Boston Baked), and favorite kind of historical protest (Boston Tea Party).

Saturday May 18, 2013

Today Dave Stanfield (@davestanfield) was the lucky 83rd customer to grace our Boston store on 83 Newbury Street.

The reward for his serendipitous timing: a free pair of prescription sunglasses. Thanks for stopping by the store, Dave!

Sunday May 19, 2013

Today we receive a comment from British fan Nick:

To Warby Parker,

Why….and yet again…why… don’t you ship to the UK? Are you not yet ready to take on the Brits? Are you embarrassed to ask for postage charges? Are you miffed because American Football is played with hands? Are you making excuses by only shipping to surrogate Brits (ie Canadians)? Are you mad at us Brits because you can’t pronounce ‘aluminium, nuclear, and missile’ properly?

-Nick

Dear Nick,

First of all, we’re just as sorry as you are that we are not available in the UK. Second, while we’re on the topic of Things We Want That You Have, have you paused to consider the long list of United Kingdom-oriented things that Americans lack? For starters:

White Lion bars, BBC, history, Michael Caine, Branston pickle, Parliamentary democracy, Curly Wurly, The IT Crowd, Tottenham Hotspur, Caitlin Moran, 221b Baker Street, Robinsons Orange Squash, PG tips, full breakfast, the British Library, Village pubs.

In conclusion, it seems that the old saying is true: the grass is always greener on the other side. Thank you for writing!

The Warby Parker team

Monday May 20, 2013

Bill Hader wears the Duckworth frame in a video for GQ’s Comedy Issue, pairing it with a poly-blend referee jersey.

Tuesday May 21, 2013

Today we launch our partnership with Warner Bros. in anticipation of the major motion picture Man of Steel.

We admire people who do good in the world, and our collective appreciation of Superman is pretty intense. (Superman is the original do-gooder, after all.)

In celebration of the film, we release two Clark Kent-inspired frames, each embedded with a pop of color (red and blue, of course) at the temple.

A portion of each sale goes to 826 Valencia, a nonprofit that supports writing skills in students aged 6-18.

Wednesday May 22, 2013

Tonight we host Happy Hour with B Corporation at Greene Street.

This combines two of our favorite things: goofing off after-hours and learning more about improving our social mission.

There are 855 B Corporations in 28 countries and 60 industries. (For example: Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Method, to name a few.) B Corporations are redefining how to use business to relieve global problems.

To receive certification, companies are independently evaluated to a set of high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Thursday May 23, 2013

On this day in 1911, the New York Public Library was officially dedicated in a ceremony presided over by President William Howard Taft. The next morning, it opened its doors to thousands of visitors.

One of the first items requested was Ethical Ideas of Our Time, a study of Nietzsche and Leo Tolstoy, which a reader requested at 9:08 a.m. and received six minutes later.

Libraries figure right into the DNA of Warby Parker. Co-founder Dave was browsing an exhibit from the Jack Kerouac archive at the New York Public Library when he came upon one of the author’s unpublished journals. Inside was a pair of characters named Warby Pepper and Zagg Parker. We combined the two names, and Warby Parker was born.

(We love the New York Public Library so much that we even staged our first fashion show there—a guerilla event that unfolded in the halls of the Rose Main Reading Room.)

Friday May 24, 2013

Today it was discovered that half the inventory of frames from our new collection was delivered to the wrong address. (They shipped them across the street from where the frames were supposed to go.)

The frames were eventually recovered and everyone had a good laugh (translation: cry) over it.

Mailing bloopers… always hilarious.

Saturday May 25, 2013
culture

A brand new department is born today, and it’s a beautiful baby: the EEFM team (aka Employee Experience and Facilities Management).

The EEFM team is in charge of 2.4 billion things, and as soon as they start existing it becomes very hard to believe that we ever existed without them.

Sunday May 26, 2013

Customers are clearly enjoying some fine weather:

This month is the first month where we’ve had a pair of sunglasses hit the best-seller chart.

The pair in question? Drumroll…it's Downing!

Monday May 27, 2013
culture data

May Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for May.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • Ice cream every week!
  • To celebrate Gene’s Wilder’s 80th birthday, we should plan an elaborate scavenger hunt around the city. We can give customer clues as to where they can find golden glasses. Winners will get some special prize. (Gene Wilder played Willy Wonka if you didn’t know). It’s FUN!

  • Use Pulp to mirror our commonly used yum repositories, and create and sync our own
  • Give Mary control of the tech sonos
  • Maybe we can hang a motivational poster where our clock used to be.

Tuesday May 28, 2013
data

April showers bring May flowers.

Wednesday May 29, 2013
culture

Today Google announces Gmail tabs, which was expected to disrupt the email marketing industry for most brands. It didn’t.

Still business as usual for us.

Thursday May 30, 2013

This month’s top three colors are…

1. Whiskey Tortoise

2. Sugar Maple

3. Revolver Black Matte

Friday May 31, 2013

From the department of corrections:

Our Man of Steel site mistakenly referred to ancient Egyptian deity Isis as a solar god. Today, a gracious customer named Marcos writes in with a gentle correction. It turns out we should have called out Ra as the sun deity, not Isis, who was considered the goddess of magic and represented ideal motherhood.

Given the amount of time we’ve spent in the Egyptian wing of the Metropolitan Museum, we are ashamed and humbled about this mistake.

It is corrected as quickly as possible.

June
Saturday June 1, 2013

The first Warby Parker Style Guide is distributed to employees.

The Style Guide is not a guidebook about how to wear clashing patterns or a statement sock; instead, it’s a manual filled with grammar and copywriting rules for employees to reference. Sounds boring, but it’s not—REALLY!

The first edition is a handsome little pocket-sized number. We passed it out to employees yesterday, but today (24 hours later) marks a bigger milestone, with the discovery of the first typo:

Capitalize the word ‘collection’ only when referring to the name vof a specific collection

Yes, we made a typo in our first grammar guide #facepalm

Sunday June 2, 2013
milestones

New stores and facilities manager Sarah A. visits our future (first!) West Coast retail location at The Standard, Hollywood.

She hits the ground running—actually hiking—and makes it to the top of Runyon Canyon. She also tours celebrity bungalows with potential contractors at the Chateau Marmont.

So L.A.

Monday June 3, 2013

Today Dan Viederman, CEO of Verité, an international fair labor firm, speaks with us as part of our Speaker Series.

We work with Verité to make sure our glasses are manufactured under humane working conditions and that we’re not inadvertently taking any missteps as we seek to run an ethically-sound business.

In 1985, Dan was living in China when he visited a nylon thread company. The fumes were so overwhelming he could barely breathe; the unsafe conditions, labor challenges, and workers’ lack of resources became a concrete problem.

Verité gathers information by speaking with workers, who tend to provide the most reliable information. As many workers are vulnerable, they often work in a fearful culture, and it can be challenging to get the most accurate details. Verité trains people from the factory’s country with journalism and poverty alleviation backgrounds to speak with workers and get an accurate understanding of the conditions. Thanks so much for speaking with us, Dan!

Tuesday June 4, 2013

Today we release our Ocean Avenue Collection.

The frames are inspired by the best parts of summer vacation: searing brain freezes, sky-high cutoffs, and that open-window sensation of peeling out of a hot car seat.

The new colors—Burnt Lemon Tortoise, Orange Fizz, Ginger Lemonade, Cream Soda, Chocolate Soda—are tasty too.

They pair well with a healthy slather of SPF and melting ice cream.

Wednesday June 5, 2013

Our Ocean Avenue Collection is inspired by New York City in the 1970s and 1980s: hot sand, tight jeans, fuzzy boomboxes, soda-fountain hues.

To usher in the season, we partner up with Longform to create The Warby Parker Guide to Summer in the City, a curriculum of our favorite longform pieces that involve sticky NYC days.

The guide features Mario Puzo’s paean to the perils of Coney Island, an update on the Summer of Sam, and a Village Voice article about tanorexics from 1999 (a modern classic!), among others.
Read the whole syllabus here.

When you're finished, cruise around and explore Longform's ever-growing selection of the best journalism and writing.

Thursday June 6, 2013
founders

Co-founder and co-CEO Dave speaks at IRCE 2013, the world’s largest e-commerce event, about how to use Twitter as an effective customer service channel.

Get at us: @WarbyParker

Friday June 7, 2013
founders

Astoria, Oregon, celebrates “Goonies Day” today (it’s where the movie was filmed). The Goonies is our co-CEO Neil’s favorite movie.

#truffleshuffle

Saturday June 8, 2013
culture

We build new conference rooms and need names for them. Our vice president of Technology, Lon, submits a list of ideas:

  • Lon’s Coffee Shop
  • Lon’s Break Room
  • Lon’s Chamber of Secrets
  • Narnia
  • Westeros
  • Middle Earth
  • Hogwarts
  • Hipster-But-Not-Too-Hipster
  • Classy-But-Not-Too-Classy
  • Serious-But-Not-Too-Serious
  • Cocoa Puffs
  • Pikachu
  • Blastoise
  • Charizard
  • Sporty Spice
  • Posh Spice
  • Ginger Spice
  • Circle Up Room
  • High Level Conference Room
  • Touch Base Room
  • Value Add Room
  • Brickz ‘n’ Clickz Table
  • Deep Dive Tank
  • Robot Room
  • Ninja Room
  • Dinosaur Room
  • Fairie Room
  • Alcatraz
  • Death Worm
Sunday June 9, 2013

Nothing wrong with a little friendly competition.

Over two months, we broke into teams and ran, walked, and biked for Pencils of Promise, a non-profit devoted to building schools in the developing world, using Charity Miles, an app that tracks distances and converts them into charitable donations (this time, for PoP).

Today, the inter-office competition culminates in a field day. The teams participate in bean bag tosses, three-legged races, light trash-talking, and other relay sports for “Race for Education”.

The prize? Life-affirming glory. And also tickets to a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game.

Congratulations to the winners— team “Eat My Dust”.

Monday June 10, 2013
milestones

The best job interview answer ever is overheard in the office today.

Interviewer: “How would your friends describe you?”

Interviewee: “My friends would describe me as bald.”

Tuesday June 11, 2013
happenings

Winner of the Man of Steel Twitter contest @thelowhar goes to the movie premiere and reports back, “As a big Superman fan and huge movie buff, I had one of greatest nights of my life. Thank you for the opportunity.” It couldn’t have gone to a better winner! (Don’t worry: you’re all winners in our eyes.)

Wednesday June 12, 2013

Tonight, employees attend an early 3-D screening of Man of Steel.

Capes are worn, popcorn is consumed, jaws are dropped.

Couldn’t ask for a more delightful evening.

Thursday June 13, 2013

WhoWhatWear name-checks Mabel in a roundup of chic sunglasses under $100.

Fun fact: Mabel is four degrees away from Amy Poehler.
Here’s how:

Mabel sounds like “maple” AND maple syrup goes on top of waffles AND waffles are Leslie Knope’s favorite food. See? Four degrees!

Friday June 14, 2013
culture

Today the creative team’s first instance of AMF occurs: Afternoon Mochi Funtime.

Design Director Steph treats her team to mango, red bean, and green tea-flavored ice cream mochi.

All are delicious, but mango earns the recognition of being especially TDF (To Die For).

Saturday June 15, 2013
culture

On a dare, Tech team member Jeff L. eats twelve Warheads simultaneously.

The Warheads in question are a mixture of red, green and blue (no yellow, which is an inferior flavor).

Ground rules: Jeff is not allowed to crunch the Warheads and has to keep all twelve of them in his mouth at the same time. He is ultimately successful.

There is no prize.

Sunday June 16, 2013
happenings

Today, team members go to Big Gay Ice Cream for an interview with the frozen treatmasters.

They also ate a lot of ice cream. Participatory journalism! The total outlay is $20.73 for one vanilla cup with sprinkles, one Mermaid (vanilla ice cream, crushed

graham crackers, key lime curd, whipped cream), and one Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, chocolate).

Monday June 17, 2013
culture data

The inventor of Toll House Cookie was born on this day in 1903.

Tuesday June 18, 2013
data culture

It’s not Valentine's Day, but we’ve got candy consumption covered: we’ve consumed 12,800 Dum Dums lollipops and 27 pounds of Hershey’s Kisses this year.

(Just doing our best to keep our local dental practices thriving!)

Wednesday June 19, 2013
culture

Customer Experience team member Amy’s new daughter (and our second Warby Parker baby of the year) is born today.

The little tyke’s name is Parker, but she is not named after Warby Parker.

It’s a family name. (That would’ve been cool though.)

Thursday June 20, 2013
culture

An emergency power outage is resolved.

Friday June 21, 2013
culture

Today, Tech team member TJ encounters great customer service at Verizon with an awesome guy named Bhageerath.

TJ: I contacted Verizon via chat because a cable box I ordered had been returned without attempting to deliver to me. After Bhageerath reordered it, I had told him I was also experiencing WiFi drop-off now and then. He replied, ‘Sure, I’ll look into that,’ and came back immediately with ‘OK, I fixed it, you should have great WiFi now.’ It was amazing

Here's how it went down.

TJ: can you tell me which strength channel you changed me to? I don’t want to upset the FCC! LOL

Bhageerath: It is set to 11 now

TJ: I heard that’s the best strength channel!

Bhageerath: Yes it is.

TJ: You are a wifi god! (or goddess)

Bhageerath: Male here, just a normal human.

TJ: Praise be to the great and honorable BHAGEERATH! you’re very humble for a god that walks among us

TJ: thanks for humoring me. hope I brought a smile to your face. I did receive the email confirmation

Bhageerath: Excellent!

Bhageerath: I’m just a mud.

Bhageerath: I really love my job the most when I get to talk to customers like you.

TJ: bless you sir.

Bhageerath: Thank you. We work hard to meet our customers’ needs and exceed their expectations, and we get inspired by other businesses whose employees go above and beyond.


Us too, Bhageerath!

Saturday June 22, 2013

Today the finance team goes out for old-fashioned straight-edge shaves.

Smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Sunday June 23, 2013

Today we officially hit 300 employees (including part-timers). Each time a new team member comes aboard, he or she is required to share a “fun fact” about him or herself in front of the entire company. Here is a selection of “fun facts” from this year:

  • “My celebrity lookalike is Sir Ben Kingsley.”
  • “I have webbed feet.”
  • “I tried a pickle for the first time in May.”
  • “My name means Santa Claus in Italian.”
  • “I have an irrational fear of small clusters of holes.”
  • “I’m a righty but I cartwheel left.”
  • “I didn’t know that I had curly hair until I was 14.”
  • “I repaired LL Cool J’s TV at his home on Long Island.”
Monday June 24, 2013
milestones

Today we debut our very first Instagram video, the day after the app launches video.

It becomes our second most-liked post to date.

Tuesday June 25, 2013

Today we release the Meridian Collection: three teardrop-shaped frames fashioned from Japanese ion-plated titanium.

These are sunglasses for off-road excursions and uncharted territory (we were inspired by some of our favorite writers—Frederick Exley, Ellen Raskin, and Flannery O’Connor).

Wednesday June 26, 2013
data

Our Consumer Insights team is always hard at work crunching data (nom-nom-nom) and learning more about our customers.

Here’s some of the fun pieces they learned this month:

Thursday June 27, 2013

Our second quarterly outing of the year is held today, and it is literally insane.

If we told you what happened we’d sound like Saturday Night Live’s Stefon (RIP Stefon), so we’ll just note that an entire floor of the building was filled with carted-in sand, carnival games, and a dance floor.

Jumbo-sized beach balls and corn dogs were also present.

The evening was inspired by our Ocean Avenue Collection, which itself was inspired by, you guessed it, Coney Island.

Friday June 28, 2013
culture

Today the air conditioning fails and the office temperature hits 110°.

People are cranky, meetings are canceled, Ice Pops are eaten.

Saturday June 29, 2013
data

Employee survey: If you could name a Warby Parker frame, what would you name it?

  • Butch (Pulp Fiction)
  • Zar
  • Becky
  • Coltrane
  • Jamiroquai
  • Lloyd
  • after my grandpa
  • Wizard
  • The dingus
  • Wiki
  • Thor
  • Flubzly
  • Spotted Jackal in Cinnamon Sazzle-Frazzle
  • Rhombus
  • Vonnegut
  • iGlasses
  • Zoot
  • Winona
Sunday June 30, 2013
culture data

June Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for June.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • Alter computer permissions to allow people to install simple programs like adobe reader so that Jon P isn’t swamped with requests to do tiny things like that.
  • We need a shared super computer vacuum tube to bring snacks and drinks directly to your desk
  • Automated Regression tests for deploys

  • I have now unilaterally implemented no-meeting Wednesdays for myself and am starting to spread the word. If I am successful, it could become a movement.
  • Install programmable LED lights in the office!

July
Monday July 1, 2013

The Holt frame in Blue Slate Fade makes its merry way onto the cover of Fast Company, worn by Baratunde Thurston.

We’re vigorous proponents of Baratunde’s writing, tweeting, and podcast.

He looks good in those glasses, too.

Tuesday July 2, 2013

Today, the millwork for our upcoming second store is constructed with reclaimed pine from a western Connecticut barn.

It’s come so far.

It’s important to us to use existing resources where we can, leaving a gentler impact on the environment and minimizing waste.

Wednesday July 3, 2013
culture

Today we begin holding group interviews to screen retail candidates.

One thing we learned is that it’s best to avoid general questions. When you pose general questions to a group, the first person has an advantage to give a good answer and then everyone after struggles to top that. This is especially bad news for the last person in line to speak.

To avoid this, Retail Talent Manager Jen and Coordinator Sarah ask questions that are more personal and behavioral-based so everyone gets a shot to share a unique answer and interact with the other candidates. A couple of sample questions and responses:

What fruit would you be and why?
Lemon because it’s an acquired taste that goes well with a lot of things.

What topic do you know more about than the average person?
The LGBT community in sub-saharan Africa.

Thursday July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day! We celebrate the birth of this nation with patriotic red, white, and blue frames. We also celebrate by taking the day off from work.

Friday July 5, 2013
founders

Millennials have been getting so much flack lately.

It’s enough to drive a man insane. co-CEO Neil finally puts his foot down and says “ENOUGH!” today, by writing an opinion piece for Inc. magazine called “Give Me More Millennials”.

Full disclosure: Neil is a Millennial.

Saturday July 6, 2013
milestones

Gor blimey: This week’s issue of The Economist gives Warby Parker “spectacles” (cool!) a tip of the hat.

The article is peppered with fun British spellings including favour, shopping centre, and dematerialising.

Sunday July 7, 2013

Today we officially hit 200 full-time employees.

Clarification: we HIRED 200 full-time employees, we didn’t PHYSICALLY STRIKE 200 employees. Our 200th employee started today at our Greene Street store.

Each time a new team member comes aboard, he or she is required to share a “fun fact” about him or herself in front of the entire company.

Here is a selection of “fun facts” from this year:

“I was a fan dancer for Beyoncé at the Super Bowl.”
“I was dropped on my head while crowdsurfing in a mosh pit and lost my sense of smell.”
“I have Darth Vader written on my Starbucks cups.”
“I am a Skeeball champion.”
“I broke my hip while playing musical chairs.”

Monday July 8, 2013
culture

Three team members—Niall, Lon, and Mary Beth— all (accidentally?) wear a very weird shade of yellow to work. This kind of thing happens more often than you’d think.

As for the color—what’s the best way to describe this particular shade? It’s almost like an egg yolk mixed with

skim milk, or the phlegm of a sick man, or an old sponge left out to dry…

Tuesday July 9, 2013

This year, we’ve hit an exciting milestone.

To date, 500,000 pairs of glasses have been donated to people in need. That’s half a million people who can work better, learn better, and lead happier, more productive lives. We couldn’t have done it without you.

We founded our company to provide beautiful, reasonably-priced glasses to our customers, but we also founded it to increase global access to eyewear. When Neil, Dave, Jeff, and Andy sat down for their first brainstorming session, one idea was at the forefront of their minds: it’s possible to build a scalable, profitable business that does good in the world—and it can be done without charging customers a premium.

Through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, we partner with non-profits like VisionSpring to distribute a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair we sell.

Thank you for your support along the way in just three short years. This milestone is proof that companies can infuse the notion of doing good into their business practices from the very beginning. We did it together, and we are so grateful for your support. Thank you for sharing our enthusiasm and spreading the word. Onward!

Wednesday July 10, 2013

Tonight, head of social innovation and General Counsel (and prankster) Anjali leads co-CEOs Neil and Dave through a version of The Newlywed Game.

Who was Neil’s roommate before he moved in with his wife?
His parents

What was the first movie that made Neil cry?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

How often does Dave get pedicures?
Once

What did Dave wear to his first party at business school?
Underwear that said “Sweden” across the back, a “Sweden” tight tank top, and Viking horns on his head

Thursday July 11, 2013
culture data

The Catcher in the Rye was published this month in 1951. (Great novel.)

Friday July 12, 2013
happenings

Warby Parker × Standard Short Story Collection

Last year, Warby Parker and our friends at The Standard held a writing competition asking contestants to submit a story, in a thousand words or less, inspired by the dog days of summer. The resulting winners (all ten of ‘em) were compiled in a handsome little book titled The Standard × Warby Parker Short Story Collection.

The esteemed judges included Jakab Orsos, Director of PEN American Center World Voices Festival;

Hettie Jones, author and New School professor; and Lorin Stein, Editor of The Paris Review.

Books were available for free at our retail locations and at our Miami and Los Angeles Standard Readeries.

Saturday July 13, 2013
culture data

July Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for July.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • We should entice zack to quit school and work here full time, he’s great and could probably do any job available better than many. (Editor's note: Zack did not quit school.)

  • Let’s build Warby Park— a glasses-themed amusement park.
  • Get Carl to give Tableau training sessions – he is very familiar with the program and it seems like a powerful analytics tool we’ll use a lot moving forward

Sunday July 14, 2013
culture data

Benjamin Spock’s The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care is published on this date in 1946.

The number of Warby Parker employees who had or conceived a baby in 2013: 7 (2.9% of workforce)

Monday July 15, 2013
culture

Today the Design team notices that a pair of stacked chairs has been sitting in the hallway since 2012.

They decide to make a sculpture out of the chairs and commission the Copy team to compose wall text.

The piece is sold to a private collection.

Tuesday July 16, 2013

Today we launch our collaboration with Ghostly International, and it sells out in one tiny, measly day. Amazing!

Why Ghostly? Since 1999, they’ve built an amazing community of artists, designers, musicians, innovators, and uncategorizables. With an ethos of endless invention and a belief in the creative possibilities of collaboration, we think Ghostly has redefined what it means to be a record label and art company in the 21st century.

To cement the Ghostly-Warby Parker affinity, we put our heads together with Sam Valenti IV, founder of Ghostly, and designed a graphic pair of sunglasses called Curtis.

Wednesday July 17, 2013

We’re fortunate to hear from some fascinating folks who are shaking things up.

Next up, as part of our recurring Speaker Series, is Charles Best.

The CEO and founder of DonorsChoose.org visits us at headquarters ahead of the launch of our upcoming collaboration with the educational site.

Thanks for stopping by, Charles.

Thursday July 18, 2013
culture

Today we order 500 boxes of saltwater taffy to give as gifts.

There are 40 pieces of taffy per box, so 40 x 500= 20,000 pieces of saltwater taffy.

As the old saying goes, Too much saltwater taffy is never enough.

Flavors include banana, caramel swirl, grape, watermelon, lemon, blue raspberry, vanilla, and root beer float.

Friday July 19, 2013
do good

Today we are officially recertified as a B Corporation.

The recertification process takes all this into account and grants a score in four different sections: environment, workers, community, governance. Cumulatively, the passing score must equal 80. The average score this particular year is 97.

We got a 108!

Read about B Corporations here.

Saturday July 20, 2013

Today we have a new lease on life.

Actually, that’s not true. But we have a NEW LEASE ON AN OFFICE SPACE!

Warby Parker is quickly expanding and outgrowing our current headquarters at the Puck Building in Manhattan (corner of Lafayette and Houston—look for the building with the gold-painted cherub statue on it).

We’ll be moving in August.

Sunday July 21, 2013
culture

Overheard in the office today:

“We can’t meet at that table, there’s ice cream on it.”

…which basically sums up what it’s like to work here.

Monday July 22, 2013
culture

Tonight our summer interns enter a trivia night contest at Birchbox.

The winning question is this:

How many Presidents on Mount Rushmore have beards?



The answer:

Just one—Abraham Lincoln. (Roosevelt has a mustache, but that does not count.)

Tuesday July 23, 2013

On the morning of this day, July 23, the monocle product page is discovered to contain a serious mistake.

Honestly, it’s still embarrassing to think about.

The monocle’s measurement is listed on our site as 3.7 furlongs, which is outrageously incorrect. 3.7 furlongs is actually the length of 26 regulation-size NBA basketball courts.

Woops.

The monocle’s true measurement is 0.0002 furlongs. After the mistake is noticed, it is corrected by mid-afternoon.

We regret the error and any confusion it may have caused.

Wednesday July 24, 2013

“Soirée” is such a nice word for a party.

Today, we participate in the 10th Annual Summer Soirée to benefit Prospect Park, hosted by Vogue’s Sally Singer. The crowd includes David Byrne, Thakoon Panichugal, Pamela Love, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bill Cunningham snapping photos…and us!

The beneficiary of the night was Prospect Park, a 585-acre public sanctuary in Brooklyn that offers a nature in the middle of the metropolis—complete with meadows, a lake, a zoo, pedal boating, gazebos and other attractions.

Long live Prospect Park.

Thursday July 25, 2013

Today we announce our latest partnership with DonorsChoose.org, with some help from founder and CEO Charles Best and comedy writer Mindy Kaling.


DonorsChoose.org allows public school teachers across the country to crowdsource materials and experiences for their students by posting requests online. In turn, DonorsChoose.org vets the projects, and anyone can donate.

Access to resources to reach one’s full educational and economic potential is a driving goal behind our company. Helping hands go twice as far for the greater good.

Friday July 26, 2013

Our interns play a game of bubble soccer against Harry’s.

Bubble soccer is exactly like regular soccer except each player wears an inflatable plastic bubble around his or her body.

It's a very dignified sport.

Saturday July 27, 2013

Our second (permanent) New York City store opens at 819 Washington Street in the Meatpacking District today.

Hey, we can see New Jersey from here!

Just steps from the forthcoming Whitney Museum location, the new outpost stocks our full collection of eyeglasses and sunglasses in a storefront designed with the neighborhood’s industrial attributes in mind. Customized millwork, brick walls, and concrete floors pay homage to the area’s history, while park benches and vibrant plants evoke the High Line.

If you’re looking to leaf through a new read atop the park, books from handpicked small presses are available for purchase.

Sunday July 28, 2013
class trip

Starting today, the VSCO Cam™ (Visual Supply Co.) team takes over Instagram for a week while we tour Colorado with the Warby Parker Class Trip.

Monday July 29, 2013

Today the estimable Vogue recommends the Chandler frame in their Social Shopper column—along with a Jil Sander blazer, a Pamela Love ring and Rag & Bone jeans.

That would make a damn good outfit, wethinks.

Tuesday July 30, 2013

July’s bestsellers are a couple of old favorites and a lotta tortoise shell!

(No tortoises are ever harmed in the making of our tortoise shell.)

For men, it's Downing in Walnut Tortoise and Exley in Jet Silver

For women, it's Downing in Walnut Tortoise and Everett in Gimlet Tortoise

Wednesday July 31, 2013
culture

Today the Tech team discovers Google Chrome’s “Cloud 2 Butt” plug-in that changes all mentions of the phrase “the cloud” to the phrase “my butt.” This is just one of many discoveries our Tech team makes on a regular basis.

August
Thursday August 1, 2013
culture

The Warby Parker blog posts Reading Positions, a visual guide to the practice of book-loving.

Friday August 2, 2013

Artists and hotels, it turns out, are a pretty good pairing

Joan Didion conceived the idea for Play It As It Lays in a Vegas hotel lobby, and Andy Warhol was fond of sitting in hotel lobbies and people-watching. Being away from routine environments does wonders for the imagination.

It’s in that spirit that we announce (today!) an exciting new collaboration with our old friends at The Standard hotels.

The Artists in Residence program fosters emerging musical talents by giving singers (handpicked by noted music supervisor Randall Poster and Standard Sounds’ Annie Ohayon) a four-day residency at one of the hotels.
We’re excited to have Cillie Barnes, Teddy Thompson, Nikki Lane, Sid Khosla, Sophie Auster, and ii’s Austin Tirado and Michael Lee on board.

Saturday August 3, 2013
milestones

Our Jasper frame is immortalized in Jay Z’s Picasso Baby video on the handsome face of Glenn O’Brien. With this, we have accomplished everything we set out to do as a company and plan to start winding down operations. (Not really.) (But almost.)

Sunday August 4, 2013

The Executive Assistant team book club was hosted on this day.

The book under discussion: the highly-relevant Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen. The book begins with this line:

“It’s possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control.”

Yeah, we definitely need this book.

Monday August 5, 2013
culture

Hugely productive day. Employees discover Manga-Camera, the app that turns ordinary civilians into cool manga heroes.

Tuesday August 6, 2013

Today there is a model casting in the office, which means that a parade of highly symmetrical men and women is moving past our desks all day long.

It is difficult to focus in the midst of such beauty. We need horse blinders or something.

Wednesday August 7, 2013

Our co-founder and co-CEO Neil turns 33 today. Happy birthday, big guy!

Team members assemble 33 of his favorite things and place them on his desk, including peanut M&Ms, double chocolate Mint Milanos, Nike paraphernalia, pistachio nuts, Aquaphor healing ointment (no judgment), Pepto-Bismol (also no judgment) and a Michael Jackson album.

Thursday August 8, 2013

Dreams really do come true. Our Greene Street store gets a bite-sized write-up in the New Yorker.

A few of our favorite New Yorker stories, if you're in the mood for reading:

Secrets of the Magus by Mark Singer

Parallel Play by Tim Page

The Disconnect by Nathan Heller

Marv Albert Is My Therapist by Jesse Eisenberg

Soldier of Love by Sasha Frere-Jones

Advanced Placement by Janet Malcolm

Friday August 9, 2013
culture data

Walking down a New York City street in the summer occasionally feels like wading through a scorching-hot bog. When the days get hot, we crave energy.

Sometimes we consume that energy in the form of glucose.

Saturday August 10, 2013
culture

Q: Where do employees come from?

A: The stork!

Just kidding. A companywide survey reveals the truth, so we can tailor our recruiting efforts.

Sunday August 11, 2013

Geoff McFetridge paints a mural in our new store at The Standard, Hollywood.

Not familiar with Geoff? Allow us to introduce you to one of our favorite West Coast artists/graphic designers/omnicompetent creative types: he’s done everything from skateboards to Nike dunks.

Monday August 12, 2013
milestone

We debut our new TV commercial today.

Director Phil Andelman filmed the 30-second spot, which is inspired by the literary life—stacks of books everywhere, notes scribbled during bath-time, newspaper-reading in bed.

On the soundtrack is “Got My Feet on the Ground,” by The Kinks. It’s the first time this track has been used in a commercial. (Cool.)

The rah-rah lyrics and Andelman’s camera work match the actors’ bouncy enthusiasm. After filming, we called on illustrator Eric Hanson to sketch out a few vignettes for an interactive experience on our site. (Included: a recipe for a Scorpion bowl.)

Tuesday August 13, 2013

The Oculists, our tech blog, soft-launches this month in the spirit of open-sourcing.

We got the name idea after reading an incredible article that was published in Wired last year about a secret society of eye doctors whose crest featured a cataract needle and three cats (because cats can see in near-darkness).

Wednesday August 14, 2013

Each year, a certain quantity of New Yorkers answer the siren call of the West Coast and trade city life for California sunshine.We’re not abandoning Manhattan, but today we’ve officially gone bicoastal. Building upon two Readeries at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach and The Standard, Downtown L.A., we’ve teamed up again with the hotels to introduce our first permanent West Coast shop—located right inside the lobby of The Standard, Hollywood.

Designed with the hotel’s midcentury-meets-Sunset Strip sensibilities in mind, the store is understated but full of surprises. You’ll notice a specially-commissioned mural from Los Angeles-based artist and creative Geoff McFetridge, whose work we’ve loved since he was doing titles for Chocolate Skateboards in the mid-1990s.

Thursday August 15, 2013

New York magazine runs a feature about us in their fashion edition this week. The issue has a naked woman on the cover! And not just any woman, but the funny and multi-talented Lake Bell.

How’d we get so lucky, huh?

Friday August 16, 2013
happenings

We love any excuse for a party

…and we’re even more inclined to celebrate if The Standard is involved. (See here.)

Today we throw a soirée with The Standard to kick off our Artists in Residence partnership and pretty new store. In homage to our location, guests can pick up a mini-slice of hotel luxury: Warby Parker-embroidered slippers in a tote bag designed by Geoff McFetridge.

Our Artists in Residence Sid Khosla, Cillie Barnes, and Sophie Auster entertain throughout the hotel.

Sophie sets up in our store, and Sid holds court in a hotel room, even performing in the bathroom where guests watch him while perching in the shower. The acoustics are incredible.

The celebration concludes by the pool, like a lot of memorable occasions, where Cillie Barnes performs alongside Warby Parker-blue beach balls and synchronized swimmers.

Saturday August 17, 2013

Today we move offices! It is incredibly stressful but ultimately exciting.

Half of the team decamps to a new space located .8 miles away from the current space.

Good things about the new office: it is spacious, bright, and located one block from Dominique Ansel Bakery, which is home of the infamous Cronut™. As soon as the line lets up, we’re gonna have a sacrilegious Cronut™-eating contest.

Sunday August 18, 2013
culture

Today we tap our first iced-coffee brew keg at the new office.

Until recently, we were not aware that iced-coffee kegs were a thing. Once we discovered that they were a thing, we started lobbying pretty heavily to install one at the office. (Just think of all the money everyone would save on iced coffee runs! And the productivity—dear god, the productivity!)

Anyway, it finally worked. As soon as the coffee keg appears, everyone immediately overindulges and the collective heart rate elevates to hummingbird speed.

Slowly we will learn the art of moderation.

Monday August 19, 2013

Today the longest, most epic Customer Experience email chain ever concludes: 52 emails exchanged over two months.

Can we beat this record in 2014?

Do we want to?

Tuesday August 20, 2013
culture

This morning, the Tech team orders thirteen (13) sides of bacon from Seamless.

Seamless support calls to find out if there has been an ordering error.

No. No there has not.

Wednesday August 21, 2013

Today our beloved and highly necessary intern, Zack, returns to school at Columbia University.

We are crestfallen and will miss him very much.

To commemorate, the Design team orders a custom cake featuring an old photograph of Zack that they found on a street style blog.

(Dibs on Zack’s head!)

Thursday August 22, 2013

Today we host our first Hackathon.

Employees divide up into teams and take the day off from normal work to tackle new creative projects. It lasts for twelve sweaty hours and involves a lot of caffeine-inhaling and stress-pacing. At the end of the day, all ideas are presented to a board, which picks a winning idea to be developed over the next few months. Stay tuned.

A SELECTION OF COMMENTS OVERHEARD AT THE HACKATHON:

I think you might need to put the binary field definition up above.
Access denied. What’s going on here? Looks like Ted gave us sketchy access to the database.
Guys, there’s a four-star lunch out there. Two kinds of dijon.
This mockup is so sexy.

Friday August 23, 2013
culture

On Fridays, we snack on the weekly lunch leftovers.

(One perk of working here: catered lunch Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.)

Today there is nothing left over from Wednesday’s Katz Delicatessen feast. The New York institution is our main source for pastrami and was featured in When Harry Met Sally.

Looks like the whole office had what she’s having.

Ha ha.

Saturday August 24, 2013
culture

Now that our team is temporarily split between two office buildings, our Customer Experience team members come up with an ingenious way to transport themselves between spaces: Citi Bikes!

Sunday August 25, 2013

Today we start using Nagios and Splunk as a way to further log data and quickly resolve unforeseen issues. #techtalk

Splunk tallies data as it’s happening, gathering real-time information and minimizing lag-time in resolving issues. Nagios monitors our systems so we’re immediately aware when things are just starting to go south, before real problems surface.

Both of them help us keep technological issues away so we can get back to business.

Monday August 26, 2013
culture

Our Tech team intern, Jared, returns to high school in a week. We are despondent.

Miss you, Jared.

Tuesday August 27, 2013
data

Did you know?

This month’s Consumer Insights survey reveals that 3 out of 4 customers are watching at least 30 minutes of traditional TV (as in, on a television set) every day and 27% watch Hulu.

We like surveys.

Wednesday August 28, 2013

Today our managers attend an off-site retreat in New York City to reflect back on 2013 and look ahead to the new year.

They discuss our initiatives, reflect on our core values, and lob around massive amounts of fun management terminology.

They also put their heads together to figure out internal company goals for 2014. After all, there are only 125 days left in the year!

After the hard work is done, the managers break up into four groups for a—you guessed it!&mdash team-building exercise. Using toothpicks, tape, straws, and a raw egg, each group creates a nest to protect their egg from breaking when dropped from increasingly taller heights. The winning egg nests are brought back to the office so we can drop them from a second-story window.

At this point, all of the eggs break.

Thursday August 29, 2013

This month we reach our highest number of minutes spent on Customer Experience calls:

Friday August 30, 2013

The August bestselling frame numbers are in!

For men, it’s Wilkie in Whiskey Tortoise

For women, it’s Sims in Violet Magnolia

Saturday August 31, 2013
culture data

August Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for August.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • We should have a welcome committee for new employees/interns who are coming to NYC for the first time. They could volunteer to help with things like learning the subway system, finding basics in their neighborhood like grocery stores and laundry…

  • I’d be interested in looking at text messaging technology—texting your Rx, texting people an NPS question, texting a reminder for retail store apts.
  • Wiki training for noobs.
  • an office puppy that i can play with

September
Sunday September 1, 2013
culture data

Today we install a large container of Dubble Bubble chewing gum for the office (and for showroom visitors to enjoy).

Over the next two months, we will consume roughly 3,400 pieces.

Our jaws get so muscular.

Monday September 2, 2013
happenings

Today a trio from the Product team arrives late to a morning appointment with our acetate manufacturers in Italy because they drove into a cornfield.

Blame the GPS.

Tuesday September 3, 2013
class trip

Today we unveil a mobile reading station outside the Warby Parker Class Trip bus.

We’ve collaborated with PEN World Voices Festival, the Architectural League of New York, and Little Free Library, Ltd. on our own Little Free Library, designed by Matter Practice.

Step outside the bus and pick a book that catches your interest (our first batch of reads is selected by writer Salman Rushdie!). Once you’ve finished, pass it on to a friend or send it back to us—we’ll be sure to find it a good home. If you can’t make it to the bus, take Rushdie’s list with you to your local library:

The Collected Stories, Eudora Welty

The Complete Stories, Bernard Malamud

Humboldt’s Gift, Saul Bellow

Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth

Everything That Rises Must Converge, Flannery O’Connor

V., Thomas Pynchon

Wednesday September 4, 2013
happenings

We’ve partnered up with The Standard Hotel on an Artists in Residence program, which aims to foster some of the best emerging artists by providing creative inspiration (and room service).

Today our series features British musician Teddy Thompson.

Thursday September 5, 2013
data

Life ain’t a track meet; it’s a marathon.
- Ice Cube

Today, Customer Experience associate Kimberly set a new record for Longest CX Phone Call Ever: 3 hours, 39 minutes, and 8 seconds. You too can handle a 219+ minute phone call thanks to Kimberly’s vigorous training techniques and office necessities. Take it away, Kimberly:

• A headset is your best asset. This minimizes cramped wrists, irritated ears, slouching, and chin breakouts.

• Keep considerate coworkers on hand. They will fetch your lunch and share encouragement when weariness sets in. (Unfortunately, they are not able to go to the bathroom for you, which is where Kimberly was headed when the phone rang.)

• Break for frequent sips of water. This is no time for a dry throat.

• Celebration is a must. Treat yourself with chocolate cake leftover from lunch.

Friday September 6, 2013
happenings

We ship songstress Nikki Lane off to The Standard Spa, Miami Beach for a week of beachfront living and Art Deco architecture.

The mini-vacation is part of our Artists in Residence program with The Standard, created to foster the best emerging artists and provide some creative inspiration (and fluffy towels).

Nikki made the most of it: “Retreat,” she says, “is the key to creativity.”

Saturday September 7, 2013
founders

Fast Company calls our co-CEOs Neil and Dave a “dynamic duo” this month and shares some of their business tips.

Tip number five: Never underestimate the power of boobies.

(Relax, it’s not what you think.)

Sunday September 8, 2013

Today we finally located the product sample for Watts. It had been missing for over a month.

That was stressful.

Monday September 9, 2013
culture

It’s a late-nineties tech boom throwback!

Today the Customer Experience team acquires a foosball table, and nothing is the same again.

Tuesday September 10, 2013

Sharpen your wits: our Fall 2013 Collection is released today.

It debuts five new frames in a mixture of materials—acetate in rich, autumnal colors at the brow and nose, and stainless steel-rimmed lenses. The fifteen options (some sunwear, some optical) offer midcentury style without the flea-market goose chase.

As ever, for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

Wednesday September 11, 2013
culture

Today our Agile teams compete in an intense Cranium championship and the losers are forced to sing “Say My Name” in front of everyone.

Remember the other day
I would call, you would say
Baby, how's your day?
But today, it ain't the same
Every other word is uh-huh, yeah, okay
Could it be that you are at the crib with another lady
If you took it there

First of all, let me say
I am not the one to sit around and be played

Thursday September 12, 2013
culture data

September Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for September.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • We should make scratch and sniff glasses :p
  • Presso Manual Espresso Machine. Cost: $105. This machine was given a top review by America’s Test kitchen. Here is why: espresso is delicious. Also, caffeine has been proven to positively affect attention, concentration, planning and monitoring in the workplace.

  • We should have bugfix days where we all work on bugs all day.
  • an ice machine- i <3 ice

Friday September 13, 2013
data

This autumn light is so pretty, we barely need filters when we Instagram.

Saturday September 14, 2013

We enjoy being swathed in cashmere and silk.

This month, Esquire tucked a pair of Warby Parker frames into a two-button wool-cashmere-and-silk Brunello Cucinelli jacket and photographed the ensemble as part of a story on plaid.

Lush.

Sunday September 15, 2013
do good data

Today we donate 28 Nexus tablets to serve as a teaching tool in future Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) programs.

Through NFTE, nine of us are serving as mentors to two teams of high school kids from underserved areas and helping them develop an app and business plan to present as part of NYC Generation Tech demo night.

Not sure how much help they needed, though— the kids are incredible.

Monday September 16, 2013
happenings

An exhaustive audit of Warby Parker is completed today.

Yeah, we know it’s sexy. The completion of an audit requires a ton of preparation and work, so it’s a big day for everyone involved.

(Verdict: we passed.)

Tuesday September 17, 2013

Today, Mickey Drexler, chairman and CEO of J.Crew, joins our board as its seventh member. Welcome, Mickey!

If you Google the retail icon, the first thing that comes up is “Mickey Drexler Breaking Bad”. Not because he runs a meth lab, but because he made a cameo in the show’s final season.

While we share his affection for Los Pollos Hermanos, we value Mickey’s notorious attention to detail, exacting eye,

hands-on leadership, and sharp-shooting candor on an even deeper level. We can't think of a better person to have in our corner while we continue to reimagine the possibilities of retail.

Since 2003, Mickey has made J.Crew the go-to brand for accessible quality. Prior to joining the company,

Mickey worked with Gap, Ann Taylor, and Macy’s, where he leaves a legacy of tireless innovation, hands-on management, and a streak of fast growth.

We don’t have space to itemize the reasons why we’re glad to have him on our team but, hell, we’ll go on just a little longer.

In 2010, the New Yorker described him as “maniacal about customer service”, and he’s a pro at scaling businesses.

We revere Mickey's perspective as we continue to make deliberate decisions about running a good business.

Wednesday September 18, 2013

Today we launch a partnership with The Atavist, one of our favorite sources for original longform journalism. This month they feature “Coronado High”, an epic (and completely true) tale of California drug smugglers during an era of free love and Volkswagen microbuses. Read the story here.

Bonus track: the Warby Parker blog scans the piece with a business eye and pulls out five crucial management lessons from smugglers.

Read it before your next leadership summit.

Thursday September 19, 2013

Both our NFTE teams come out winners at the NYC Generation Tech demo night. (!!!!)

We’re really proud of SproutEd and Inspyer U, first and second-place winners respectively, and of course, the teens who made this happen.

SproutEd allows students to discuss homework and collaborate on assignments; the team walks away with $5000 to continue developing the app and will pitch their idea to Union Square Ventures, a firm that invests in disruptive companies.

Inspyer U takes home the silver and $2000; this app uses crime-solving program to prepare students for the New York State Math Test.

High fives, low fives, kudos, AND a round of applause for SproutEd and InspyerU.

Friday September 20, 2013

Today we release our first open-sourced code on GitHub, an online host for code sharing.

(Mother always taught us to share our toys.)

It’s a module we developed through our e-commerce platform Magento that allows our Customer Experience associates to create gift cards in bulk rather than one-by-one.

Saturday September 21, 2013
data culture

Today is National Eat an Apple day.

Sunday September 22, 2013

We’re geniuses! Take that, Mensa!*

AdWeek rounds up their 2013 Brand Genius recipients and includes our own Dave and Neil in the fashion category.

They appear on the cover of the magazine with (deep breath:) Russell Simmons (!), Lauren Hobart (of Dick’s Sporting Goods) and Omar Johnson (of Beats by Dre).

*Kidding.

Monday September 23, 2013

Linwood and Sims have never looked cuter.

British magazine Baby & Me features the two glasses in their New York fashion issue—not on mom and dad, but on two well-dressed young’uns.

Tuesday September 24, 2013

Tonight we host a dinner with the United Nations Foundation at our Greene Street store for those visiting New York for UN Week.

It’s a few days of brainy talks, global solution-tackling, and the meeting of the General Assembly, aka the main policy-deciding arm of the UN.

In between each course from The Smile, a favorite restaurant of ours (get the salted chocolate chip cookie), attendees play a grown-up game of musical chairs: everyone moves two seats over so they can meet new people.

It’s a way to encourage a maximum of mingling amongst a very interesting group of people.

Wednesday September 25, 2013
culture

Our software team goes out for Karaoke Night in K-Town tonight.

We eat chicken bonchon, enjoy beers, and perform songs such as Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and Semisonic’s “Closing Time” (at the end of the night, obvs).

Todd, our Director of Systems Development, has such a booming voice that even when the karaoke machine fails during his rendition of “New York, New York”, he is able to project, remain on key and beat, and execute the song.

Thursday September 26, 2013
data culture

On this day in 1957, West Side Story debuts on Broadway.

Friday September 27, 2013
culture

Today the Tech team goes to Dave & Buster’s, where they win an enormous stuffed banana that is now floating around the office.

Afterwards they eat dinner at Japanese barbecue joint, Gyu-Kaku, consuming an estimated total of 7.25 cows and zero vegetables.

Saturday September 28, 2013
founders

Today, co-CEOs Dave and Neil finally migrate from Gmail to Warby Parker mail.

Big strides.

Sunday September 29, 2013
culture data

In preparation for the Breaking Bad finale, artist David Schwen creates a Walter White (alias: Heisenberg) graphic for our Instagram acccount.

Monday September 30, 2013
culture

A nice young man named Michael Craig joins the Warby Parker team. There’s just one problem: we already have an employee named Michael Craig.

When the two Michael Craigs meet, a wormhole is created that provides passage to a universe populated entirely by a benign race of Michael Craigs.

An intern enters the wormhole and is lost.

October
Tuesday October 1, 2013
happenings

Supermodel and actor Amber Valletta tweets a little something in our direction.

Wednesday October 2, 2013
culture data

The first Peanuts comic strip was published on this day in 1950.

Fun fact: we go through 832 peanut butter-filled pretzel bites in a week.

(8 pieces × 52 servings in 1 bucket × 2 buckets= 832)

Thursday October 3, 2013
culture

All Mean Girls fans will understand why this is an important date.

Friday October 4, 2013

Lucky magazine features our Winston sunglasses as an Editor’s Pick, along with a spiky geometric necklace (want!) and a pair of tortoiseshell oxfords (NEED!).

While reading, we also learn how to create effortlessly sexy hair and get rid of pimples.

Productive day!

Saturday October 5, 2013
data culture

Candy contributes $32.7 billion to the U.S. economy, and our fellow countrymen are spending $2.4 billion on Halloween treats alone this year.

Today, bins of fun-sized candy begin to appear in the office. All Hallow’s Eve must be on the horizon.

Sunday October 6, 2013
culture

Today we wrap up a three-week course for employees who want to overcome their fears of public speaking and become more confident storytellers.

The curriculum is rooted in improv techniques and uses prompts to direct assignments and start conversation.

Our party anecdote delivery is vastly improved.

Monday October 7, 2013
culture data

Today the MTA introduces a new live bus tracking service, MTA Bus Time™.

Customers can now get the locations of Manhattan buses in real time via smart phone, web and text message. The 21st century rules sometimes, doesn’t it?

Tuesday October 8, 2013

Today we make our biggest sale ever to a single customer.

Location: Washington Street

Number of Frames: 17

Type: Non-Rx sunglasses

Breakdown: 10 pairs of Neville in Redwood Ash, 7 pairs of Thatcher in Whiskey Tortoise)

Wednesday October 9, 2013
culture

A n00b is gently hazed in the Tech department today.

Thursday October 10, 2013

Today Customer Experience Operations Manager Cory opens a return box and finds, tucked inside, a rent check from a customer.

This is not typical.

“Sometimes we receive random notes and letters from customers in Home Try-Ons,” Cory reports. “Usually it’s a nice little note or a comment, so I didn’t think much of finding a letter inside the box. But when I opened the envelope, I found a note that said ‘Thanks, Dad!’ and a check for much more than a pair of glasses, marked ‘Summer 2013 Rent.’”

Cory packaged it back up to return and enclosed a short note of explanation.

Friday October 11, 2013
happenings

Today we have our creative kickoff meeting to talk about the very thing you are currently reading: our Annual Report!

Saturday October 12, 2013
culture

At this time, 8,594,022 miles total have been traveled by Citi Bike users.

Average number of Citi Bike rides taken by each Warby Parker employee to date: 14.

Sunday October 13, 2013

It’s crucial that glasses look good from every angle, which is why we photograph each of our models in “head-turn” poses.

Want to go behind the scenes on today’s shoot and see how it’s done? Watch and learn.

Monday October 14, 2013

Today Apple’s Meet the Innovators podcast—featuring a panel of Neil, Dave, and vice president of technology Lon as moderated by General Counsel and head of social innovation Anjali—goes live on iTunes.

It’s 38 minutes and 37 seconds of conversation and questions.

Tuesday October 15, 2013
happenings

Tonight at our Greene Street store, we celebrate the release of Issue 44 of the literary journal, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern.

It’s our first in an upcoming series of events to celebrate the polymathic talents featured in this independent publication. The soirée is appropriately titled A Night of Spectacles. (Yes, we know the puns are getting intense. Soon we’ll be at full goofy-uncle status. Can’t wait.)

Writers Simon Rich, Jim Shepard and Rebecca Curtis read a selection of their work aloud while guests left with “lookmarks” (pun!) bookmarks designed by McSweeney’s artists that fold out into paper frames. While they won’t actually improve your vision, they’re still great for digging up a mischievous costume ahead of Halloween.

Wednesday October 16, 2013

White House press secretary Jay Carney wears Crane in Mallard Green to deliver a press briefing.

Thursday October 17, 2013
culture data

We’re lucky enough to have lunch catered in the office three times each week (Tues, Weds, Thurs).

Friday October 18, 2013
happenings

Today we unveil a shiny new version of our blog. Boom.

An Agile team has been hard at work—thanks, y’all!—making a crisp, clean site for us to easily share everything we’re reading, writing, seeing, making, and doing.

Our first post to get the Wordpress treatment is an interview with Artist in Residence, Sid Khosla. You may recall he entertained our guests at The Standard by staging a concert in a hotel room bathroom. He’s used to unconventional spurts of creativity: Sid tells us he’d wake up during the night during his residency and get to work.

Saturday October 19, 2013

Today our Marketing team heads to Mosaic Preparatory Academy PS 375 for New York Cares Day, a city-wide event in which over 6,000 volunteers garden, paint, organize, clean up, and revitalize 90 schools.

Sunday October 20, 2013
culture data

At this date we’ve posted 945 pictures on our Instagram account.

Monday October 21, 2013

Groucho Marx had the best one-liners, the best mustache, the best walk, and the best glasses of the 1930s.

That’s why we did a take on Groucho for Vogue’s Halloween Mask series.

(BYO bow tie.)

Tuesday October 22, 2013
founders

Three cheers for co-founder and co-CEO Dave’s birthday!

He's out of the office today (in New Zealand for work) but we’re all sending strong positive vibes to the southern hemisphere—and he is sending incredible pictures for us to gaze at.

Wednesday October 23, 2013

It’s never too early to pick out next year's Halloween costume. We commissioned our friend David Schwen (@dschwen) to whip up four Halloween costumes with Warby Parker glasses.

Thursday October 24, 2013

Today we host a Winter Press Preview at our headquarters.

Various lovely people from the media join us for a sneak peek at our forthcoming seasonal collections and collaborations. Since Halloween is a few days away, the office has been fortified with several dozen jack-o’-lanterns (creepy) and several truckloads of candy (tasty).

The party goes well: glasses are previewed, costumes are worn, miniature food items are served on skewers.

Friday October 25, 2013
class trip

Off to the capital we go

Today the Warby Parker Class Trip kicks off our second go-round in Washington, D.C. We had such a great time last November (waaaay back in 2012) that we couldn’t stay away.

After a delicious dinner at Sweetgreen, a restaurant committed to locally-sourced cuisine, we’re ready and energized to take on the nation’s capital.

Saturday October 26, 2013

Monocle magazine highlights how the Warby Parker Class Trip is “reinventing retail”.

The traveling bus is called out as an example of how “although the pop-up concept is feeling a little tired, it has taught brands lessons about flexibility and nimble thinking, and it has added some drama and urgency too.” Drama and urgency are qualities we value in police procedurals, John Grisham novels, and (now) traveling buses.

Thank you, Monocle.

Sunday October 27, 2013
culture data

Our Boston store on Newbury Street is located conveniently above a Georgetown Cupcake outpost.

Between May and October, the Warby Parker retail team consumes over 100 cupcakes from our downstairs neighbor.

We are partial to the Lava Fudge variety, which tastes like being dropped into a dunk tank of chocolate.

Monday October 28, 2013
culture data

October Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for October.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • We should organize a wiki page for the tech group that acts kinda like a skills matrix. We could all list:
    1. Technologies, languages, frameworks, etc.. that we love to work with and are very experienced with
    2. Technologies we don’t have experience with, but are really interested in.

  • Would be cool if we had a quiet room. Like the quiet cars on the train. Some days, you just need to concentrate.
  • Nap room

Tuesday October 29, 2013
culture

Tomorrow is noted biographer Robert Caro’s birthday.

His Pulitzer-winning account of New York urban planner and architect, Robert Moses, Power Broker, is a must-read. But if music-related books are more your speed, we've got some suggestions.

First published on our blog, our “Do you care about music?” guide has everything: sky-high hair, tenaciously reported anecdotes, debauchery, and Phil Spector.

Wednesday October 30, 2013
culture

Today is our annual Halloween party, featuring buckets of fun-sized candy and a panoramic assortment of Halloween costumes.

Thursday October 31, 2013
culture

Today our office scores a "10" on the creepy scale, with dozens of jack-o'-lanterns lined up outside the showroom and orange color gels over all the lights. Who doesn't love a solid Halloween redecorating job? BOO!

November
Friday November 1, 2013
culture

Got an hour? Sure you do.

Daylight Saving Time takes effect tomorrow, and this diagram illustrates how we’re taking advantage of the 60 additional minutes.

Saturday November 2, 2013
data culture

Reflecting on a busy year, employees share: What’s the most unexpected place you’ve ever encountered Warby Parker glasses?

  • “On my gynecologist’s face.”
  • “In a nightmare I had.”
  • “At The Eagle—a leather bar in Chelsea.”
  • “In jail.”
  • “At a rave.”
  • “At the opera.”
  • “On a ferry in rural Myanmar.”
Sunday November 3, 2013

Warby Parker employees run the New York City Marathon today in support of Free Arts NYC

Monday November 4, 2013

Make a list. Check it once.

Our Winter 2013 Collection is released today, with something for everyone on your gift-giving lineup. Including you.

This year’s collection is rustic meets modern: six new shapes in five new colors, including two custom two-toned acetates, in addition to some of our most dependably stylish frames in cold-weather hues.

They make good companions for rooting around a bookcase, dashing through the snow, getting up to indoor mischief. The possibilities stretch on as shorter days give way to longer nights.

Tuesday November 5, 2013

We always like to do a lil' somethin’-somethin’ extra for holiday gift cards.

Last year we included enormous Santa cookies with each physical gift card ordered (Santa was wearing glasses, obviously). This year we’re shipping out a Make-a-Snowman Kit, which is exactly what it sounds like but better.

The kit includes everything you need to create a snowman in your back yard: carrot nose*, coal**, buttons, and a User Manual with suggestions for snowman styling and snowman names.

It also includes options for those lucky enough to live in non-snowy climates, too. (Hint: mashed potatoes make an excellent snow replacement.)

*If you’re interested in learning more about the carrot, here’s the backstory.

**Not real coal, but coal-shaped erasers—for environmental friendliness!

Wednesday November 6, 2013

Today marks our 43rd weekly morning meeting.

We congregate every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. to hear updates from our colleagues, touch base with co-CEOs Neil and Dave, and consume mountains of bagels from Murray’s, a venerable Greenwich Village institution.

The bagels are hand-rolled, baked fresh every morning, and are snatched up in about 15 minutes. (We’re not afraid to throw elbows.) Today, our 5,280th bagel is eaten.

Thursday November 7, 2013
culture

Did somebody say “ergonomics”?

Today we install standing desks for employees who have been alarmed by all the recent articles, studies, and statistics about how horrible it is for your body to sit still.

Coming soon in 2014: spinning hamster-wheel desks.

Friday November 8, 2013

We interrupt this programming for a special F.S.A. P.S.A.

Who loves acronyms? W.E. D.O.

If your health care coverage includes an FSA—a flex spending account—you can use that money to purchase both prescription eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses from Warby Parker. Very good news.

The catch: if you don’t use all the money you’ve put in your FSA for the year, you will lose that money when the plan year ends. Yikes. Most FSA plans end on December 31, but some plans offer a grace period until March 2013. Check with your provider to see how much time you have left.

And start shopping!

Saturday November 9, 2013
culture data

A survey conducted today shows that the happiest team at Warby Parker is….

The Social Innovation team!

These guys oversee our do good efforts and brainstorm socially-conscious initiatives day in and day out.

Looks like they're enjoying it.

Sunday November 10, 2013
culture data

Sesame Street premieres on this day in 1969, and many of us owe our reading abilities to this delightful television staple.

Aloysius Snuffleupagus, the wooly mammoth character, wears a size 65 GGG shoe.

Monday November 11, 2013
culture

On this day in 1852, the New York Times published an article about Samuel F.B. Morse, the inventor of Morse code. See if you can de-code this quote by Vivienne Westood:

.. / -.-. .- -. .----. - / - .... .. -. -.- / .-- .. - .... --- ..- - / -- -.-- / --. .-.. .- ... ... . ...





*Translation: “I can't think without my glasses.”

Tuesday November 12, 2013

We’re proud to partner with nonprofit organization RxArt, a group that transforms pediatric hospital facilities into brighter, livelier, more recuperative spaces with site-specific installations by contemporary artists.

The RxArt coloring book is the result of this collaboration. Featuring works by 54 acclaimed artists including Louise Bourgeois, Félix González-Torres, Rachel Harrison, Marilyn Minter, and Richard Prince, the coloring books are ready for scribbling and distributed for free to children in RxArt’s participating hospitals.

Tonight we’re celebrating the launch of the Rx Art Coloring Book with cocktails, New York’s downtown arts patrons, and crayons at Greene Street.

Guests are encouraged to color outside the lines.

Wednesday November 13, 2013
culture data

Happy Hump Day (Wednesday).

Thursday November 14, 2013

Today on the blog we highlight one of our bright new hues from the Winter Collection, Plum Marblewood. It’s a pretty mix of streaky lavender and a darker plum.

Friday November 15, 2013
happenings

We’ve redesigned our site navigation!

Ideally, this is not something you should notice. Instead, you should notice that it is slightly easier to cruise around WarbyParker.com without having a concrete idea of why it is easier to do so.

Saturday November 16, 2013
culture

BEHIND THE SCENES: A CARROT’S TALE

This year, our (physical) holiday gift cards were mailed out with a special extra present: a Make-a-Snowman Kit. The Kit contained ingredients to make a Warby Parker snowman—including buttons, pieces of coal*, and a chocolate carrot for the snowman’s nose.

Sounds simple. But if holiday movies dating from roughly 1920 have taught us anything, it’s that nothing about the merry season is simple.

When building the Make-a-Snowman Kit, we knew that we needed a carrot of some kind.

Every snowman has a carrot nose. But this raised a further question: what kind of carrot should we use? A candy carrot? A plastic carrot? A chocolate carrot? If chocolate—solid or hollow? And how long?

At one point, someone suggested that we just instruct customers to go to the supermarket and get their own carrot. This idea seemed incompatible with the holiday spirit and was quickly voted down.

After numerous taste tests, a suitable candidate was chosen.

At five inches long and 1.5 ounces, the winning chocolate carrot featured a realistic Beta-carotene hue and was sturdy enough to withstand snow. It also tasted good.

Was the final carrot successful? You’ll have to judge for yourself.

*Actually the “coal” is coal-shaped erasers, which looks like coal but are environmentally friendly.

Sunday November 17, 2013
culture data

The Elizabethan Age begins today in 1558, when the first Queen Elizabeth takes the throne. This period in English history is marked by economic prosperity, flourishing culture, conspiracies, and assassination plots.

We currently have eight staffers with the first name Elizabeth, and as far we know, they are embroiled in far less controversy.

Monday November 18, 2013

The Believer is a monthly magazine from McSweeney’s filled with the most exquisitely smart and entertaining journalism, essays, columns and interviews. Today we throw them a party to celebrate their yearly Art Issue.

Here are a couple of our favorite Believer pieces.

Tuesday November 19, 2013
culture

Today we have pie hangovers.

Yesterday at 11:30 a.m., a small crowd of Warby Parker-ers assembled in a conference room for the Great Pumpkin Pie Bake-Off—a friendly smackdown between two delicious pies cooked by Huntley and Tim H.

One pie featured a crispy pecan topping and a flaky, flaky crust. The other featured a silky pumpkin filling and well-browned butter crust. Whipped cream was present. We ate a lot; it was heart-warming and stomach-expanding. Perfect!

Wednesday November 20, 2013

Joaquin Phoenix wears our Begley frame in Spike Jonze’s new film, Her. Like what you see? Shop the frames.

Thursday November 21, 2013
culture

Return of Santa

Last year, we sent Santa-frosted sugar cookies out with all gift card orders (not e-gift cards; we couldn’t figure out how to digitally transport small morsels of glucose). By this point all of the Santa cookies are long gone and nobody has seen one in months.

Until today.

Executive Assistant Ruthie discovers a lingering Santa cookie wedged all by itself in the back corner of the office. Pranks ensue. The cookie is passed around the office, hidden in purses, etc.

Santa is eventually given a proper burial.

Friday November 22, 2013

Today co-CEOs Neil and Dave hold our first Board meeting with Mickey Drexler. Board meetings occur every quarter, and they are a practical way to discuss Important Matters and get everyone on the same page.

There is no secret handshake.

(That’s what they tell us, at least.)

Saturday November 23, 2013
culture data

Today is the 50th anniversary of the first television broadcast of Doctor Who, a sci-fi programme (British spelling) that aired on the BBC starting in 1963.

The show revolved around such topics as time travel, space stations, liquid mercury, and Möbius strips.

At least 20% of the Warby Parker Tech team = diehard fans.

Sunday November 24, 2013

Today marks the launch of BECK × WARBY PARKER.

When we saw that Beck had released his newest album in sheet-music form, we got excited. The Song Reader is exactly the kind of convention-busting creativity we love.

To celebrate, we partnered with Beck on a pair of limited-edition frames named Carmichael. We also team up to throw a concert on November 24th in L.A. with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conductor David Campbell (Beck's father), and dozens more special guests—including Jarvis Cocker, Tig Notaro, Jenny Lewis, and our friend Randall Poster.

There’s more to come in 2014.

Monday November 25, 2013
culture data

It’s Monday, which means that it’s No Meeting Monday—a practice currently instated by some departments (and pretty much everyone else wants to follow in 2014).

Tuesday November 26, 2013

GQ calls out the Winston frame in Striped Sassafras as one entry in their shortlist of the “Best Fashion Gear of the Year”.

Winston got the full GQ photographic treatment, complete with dramatic chiaroscuro and a gradated olive-green background.

GQ notes that the frames “also make you seem like you’ve read way more James Joyce than you actually have. Finnegans Wake? Totally!”

This is good to know, because Finnegans Wake is really hard. And we still haven't finished it. But no one will ever know, because of Winston.

Wednesday November 27, 2013
data culture

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Happy holidays to all! We asked employees, What’s on your holiday wish list this year?. The results fell into some interesting categories.

  • CULTURAL PARAPHERNALIA
  • “Nintendo!”
  • “Paris Review subscription”
  • “A short winter and for Workaholics to go back on Netflix”
  • “Museum memberships”
  • DRONES
  • “A DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter”
  • “Health & happiness
  • just kidding —a big ass drone!”
  • CLOTHING
  • “Leather jacket”
  • “A really badass leather jacket”
  • “A new coat (does this make me sound like an orphan?)”
  • IMPOSSIBILITIES
  • “Madonna’s arms”
  • “Relaxation”
  • “Potbelly pig”
Thursday November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving.

Celebrate with team member Huntley's delectable pumpkin pie recipe, why don't you? (We did!)

Ingredients
1 unbaked pie crust
1 small can pumpkin
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
3/4 stick butter
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
1/2 tsp
nutmeg

Instructions
Beat eggs until light. Add brown sugar, beat well. Add other ingredients. Pour into unbaked pie crust and bake at 325 for 1 hour or until set.

Topping: 2/3 c pecans mixed with 2/3 c brown sugar and 3 T butter. Put under broiler or in hot oven until topping begins to melt. Serving suggestion: top with a mountain of whipped cream.

Friday November 29, 2013

To date we’ve had about 60,000 optician appointments at our stores.

60,000!

Thank you, opticians. You put a song in our hearts.

Saturday November 30, 2013
data culture

November Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for November.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • We should leverage the back hallway to organize the tech gear
  • Build a room thats designed like an apartment. We can work there and feel like we’re working from home.
  • Can Tech hack the gmail system and figure out a way that email signatures don’t duplicate at the bottom of a much shared/much responded to email…

  • Less balloons in the office
  • I do not have an innovation idea this week, so I will write a fun fact. In 1545, King Henry VIII commissioned a suit of armor with eyeglasses bolted to the helmet.

December
Sunday December 1, 2013

Good morning!

Fun fact: Joe Scarborough wears the Fillmore or Owen frame every day on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski would look really good in Linwood or Ballard.

Monday December 2, 2013
culture

Today the Warby Parker book club is announced. First up: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant.

Adam suggests that giving can help you get ahead in the workplace, and that workers fall into one of three categories: givers, takers, and matchers. (More on that in a second.) Basically, nice guys don’t always finish last, and it helps to play fairly and consider others.

Here are some key ideas we underlined.

Takers want as much for themselves as possible; they tend to pursue wealth, power, pleasure, and winning. In networking, they will claim as much for themselves within a fixed network and not consider expanding the group. Adam refers to this type of people as “black holes.” He names Enron’s Kenneth Lay as a taker. (*Burn.*)

Matchers build smaller networks and operate on the idea, “I’ll do something for you, if you’ll do something for me.”
Givers value helpfulness, responsibility, social justice, and compassion and will expand their networks to include more people. Giving is also a contagion; it catches on! Adam refers to these open-hearted folks as “suns.”

Giving can be a daunting idea, he says, but it shouldn’t be. “It’s tempting to reserve the giver label for larger-than-life heroes such as Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi, but being a giver doesn’t require extraordinary acts of sacrifice. It just involves a focus on acting in the interests of others, such as by giving help, providing mentoring, sharing credit, or making connections for others.”

Tuesday December 3, 2013

Today we introduce Marva, Greta, Aurora, Wednesday, and Willow into our collection.

They're the new shapes and colors from our collaboration with stylist Leith Clark.

Wednesday December 4, 2013
culture

It’s on: our internal Make-a-Snowman contest is announced.

Departmental teams scramble for snowball substitutes that can withstand above-freezing office temperatures (mashed potatoes and cotton candy are top contenders).

After the snowpeople are built, it’s all about accessories, accessories, accessories.

Thursday December 5, 2013
culture

An innovative new use for the iPhone is discovered today: cheese puff tray!

A.B.I.: Always Be Innovating.

Friday December 6, 2013
happenings

Art Basel—a mega-sized art fair that gathers collectors, gallerists, artists and critics in one cultural event—is in full swing today.

When Art Basel is in town, Miami Beach turns into an explosion of constant parties and exceptionally well-dressed patrons. We joined the crowds in 2011,

flying south to pedal around town on an armada of blue bicycles, each outfitted with a mini display case of glasses. (What good is art if you can't see it?)

Saturday December 7, 2013

To date, over 7,000 photos have been taken in the Warby Parker Class Trip photobooth. Let’s take this moment to thank Anatol Josepho for inventing the photobooth in 1925. He sold the rights to his invention two years later, just three years after arriving at Ellis Island, for a nice sum of $1 million (over $12.5 million today).

Never mind Jay Gatsby, folks—this is the American dream!

Sunday December 8, 2013
culture

Kyle A., our Director of Retail, discovers an ideal Citi Bike workout for employees:

It takes exactly 32 minutes off-peak to ride the loop from our Puck Building office to our SoHo store, then north to our store at 819 Washington Street, and then finally south to our office on Avenue of the Americas.

Monday December 9, 2013
data culture

To date, we’ve installed 56 LED, lower energy consuming, longer-lasting light bulbs in our four retail stores. This means we’ve saved about 5,518 kilowatt hours.

Physics lesson:

One kW is the amount of energy spent in an hour, equivalent to 3.6 megajoules.

(Or at 1 MJ=106 joules, 3.6 million pairs of Jules sunglasses.)

This is all part of our commitment to implement sustainable solutions wherever possible.

Tuesday December 10, 2013

Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published on this day in 1884.

Celebrate with the Finn frame!

Wednesday December 11, 2013
culture data

A year ago today, the newest version of Microsoft Excel was released. Pretty sexy, huh?

Here are our favorite Excel formulas:

OFFSET()
VLOOKUP
=SUM(YO:MAMA)
INDEX(MATCH()
Anything with a $ in it
SUMPRODUCT

E=mc²
HYPERLINK
CONCATENATE
UPPERA1
THE ONE THAT TOTALS STUFF
WHAT?

Thursday December 12, 2013

Ready for a quick costume change?

See outtakes and extras from our collaboration with Leith Clark, featuring actress and writer Zoe Kazan.

Friday December 13, 2013
data culture

This year to date we have gone through 213 gallons of premixed cold brewed coffee, which amounts to 3,408 cups or about 21 kegs of concentrate. We also went through 986 pounds of regular coffee, which comes out to 36,088 cups.

Saturday December 14, 2013

Chris Hayes occasionally wears Bensen in Greystone on his MSNBC show, All In with Chris Hayes. Something about those MSNBC anchors

Sunday December 15, 2013
data culture

Happy Sunday. In a survey of employee’s favorite weekend activities, brunch narrowly takes the lead ahead of sleeping.

Other favorite activities among employees include:


“Scrabble with my super-competitive genius grandmother”

“Watching Wet Hot American Summer while doing menial household chores”

“Eating donuts while watching the sun rise”

“Kickboxing - kapow!”

“Playing skeeball”

“Doing anything in Prospect Park. And cooking in my crock-pot”

Monday December 16, 2013

The year in review:

Employees’ favorite pair of Warby Parker glasses

Tuesday December 17, 2013
data culture

Our Customer Experience department has hired 83 people total (associates and interns) this year to date.

Interested in joining? We’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday December 18, 2013

Ask Anything

Each week at our team meeting, employees are encouraged to submit anonymous questions for co-founders and co-CEOs Dave and Neil to answer. Here are the questions asked on December 18.

Do you use a loofah?

Neil: I have used a loofah. But not every day.

Dave: I can honestly say that I have never used a loofah.

Can you grow facial hair?

Dave: I am able to grow a mustache but it is long, wispy, and doesn’t grow in the middle. Nobody needs to see that.

How many pairs of Nike Air Maxes does Neil own?

Neil: I have a potentially hazardous amount of Nikes. The exact number is confidential.

Thursday December 19, 2013
data culture

Today marks the end of the term at Hogwarts, the magical school of Harry Potter origin.

Our Customer Experience team took a quiz about J.K. Rowling’s books and scored an average of 13.7 out of 20—not great, but we didn’t really study that much, either. Here’s how Warby Parker headquarters and Hogwarts stack up:

NUMBER OF FOUNDERS:
Warby Parker: 4
Hogwarts Castle: 4

MOVING STAIRCASES?
Warby Parker: No
Hogwarts: Yes

TALKING PORTRAITS?
Warby Parker: Yes (animated gifs)
Hogwarts: Yes

MUGGLE POLICY
Warby Parker: Friendly
Hogwarts: Unfriendly

Friday December 20, 2013
culture data

The year has gone by too fast. We surveyed the team for their favorite Warby Parker memory in 15 words or less:

“Fourth of July and playing Bruce Springsteen in the store all day.”

“When I met Minsuk.”

Guatemala trip: seeing our non-profits work in action for the first time.”

“Eating all the baked goods that Tim H. cooked over the weekend.”

“Group hug from coworkers after going through a breakup.”

“Just laughing all the time at work, literally so hard.”

Saturday December 21, 2013
data culture

Tonight clocks in as the longest night of the year at 14 hours, 52 minutes.

We asked the team about some of the places, other than bed, they’ve ever fallen asleep.

Sunday December 22, 2013
data culture

Today is the second day of winter.

Monday December 23, 2013
data culture

December 23 is Festivus, the holiday invented on Seinfeld. A Festivus tradition is the “Airing of Grievances”.
Employee survey: What are your grievances?

  • Government shutdown
  • Crocs with socks. It’s never okay.
  • I just want to taste a Cronut™
  • Excessive fuzz balls on my new sweater
  • People who invade the line of the armrest on flights
  • The final season of Mad Men being split in two sub-seasons gimme a break
  • I’m very bad at Candy Crush
  • The series finale of Dexter
  • Canker sores
  • Congress
  • I ripped my tights
  • People who say “LIKE” every other word
  • My inability to stop eating once it gets cold out. I just want internal warmth from hot cheesy things
  • When the seasons change and your hands get dry
Tuesday December 24, 2013
data culture

Today is one of the worst days of the year to travel. Good thing we’ve been busy flying around the other 364 days.

Wednesday December 25, 2013
data culture

Christmas is the most popular holiday among employees. The least favorite is Valentine’s Day :(

Thursday December 26, 2013
data culture

It’s Boxing Day, y’all.

We don’t observe it but we love cardboard boxes. In the process of moving offices this year, we used 252 of them. (Which, in retrospect, doesn't seem like that many.)

In Canada, Boxing Day is a federal holiday. Along with that nation's pristine natural landscapes, plethora of moose (meese?), fine smoked meats, and beautiful cities, it has one other distinction: we ship Warby Parker glasses there!

Friday December 27, 2013
data do good

We have purchased 7,139 tons of carbon offsets this year. This actively reduces pollution produced by our work (mostly from transportation and electricity use) and helps fund other projects that reduce emissions, restore forests, and increase energy efficiency.

We believe running a successful business isn’t just contingent on what’s good for us, but what’s best for the greater good.

Saturday December 28, 2013
data culture

December Suggestion Box

Each week, employees submit ideas about how to improve daily life and operations at Warby Parker. Here is a sampling of ideas for December.

(Reproduced exactly as submitted)

  • need application engineer (or someone to take ownership of applications) / mysql dba on prod team
  • Protective Ninjas for every computer in the office… just kidding, my dojo is very selective

  • Tech LAN party (we’ve only talked about it for so long). Lets make it happen!
  • uh. 3D printer?

Sunday December 29, 2013

What we know: we’ve sold 574 monocles this year to date.

What we don’t know: how many monocles were used in service of Halloween costumes like Mr. Peanut, Karl Marx, British statesman Joseph Chamberlain, or Winona Ryder in Heathers.

What we’re fairly sure of: Dogs and monocles go together like spaghetti and meatballs.

Monday December 30, 2013

On the 364th day of this year, we’ve launched 15 collections this year—four more than in 2012. Whoo!

Tuesday December 31, 2013

Has it been a year already? At this date, Warby Parker has been in existence for 1,411 days total.

Here’s to you for making it all the way to the end of this year’s Annual Report!

And, while we’re at it, here’s to another 365 days…

January
Tuesday January 1, 2013

Warby Parker survives the Mayan Apocalypse to live another day. We dismantle our doomsday escape pods and get back to work.

But first, a quick highlight reel from 2012...

February 15: Warby Parker turned two years old. We learned how to verbalize pronouns, wash our own hands, and draw a vertical line.

March 12: We launched the Citizen’s Circus at SXSW in glorious Austin. Three days of music, active citizenship, local beer, and yurts.

April 1: Get at me, dawg. On April Fools’ Day, the Warby Barker collection of eyeglasses for dogs was officially announced.

July 19: Our Summer Crystals Collection launched. They look nice and shiny.

August 30: We celebrate the 25th anniversary of Where’s Waldo with a pair of rounded glasses.

September 17: We appeared on screens nationwide (HI MOM!) with our first television ad.

September 27: The Titanium Collection was launched, introducing our first metal collection. Cue guitar solo.

October 10: The Warby Parker Class Trip kicks off in New York. Look out, America.

October 17: We hired our 100th employee.

November 17: Our holiday Annex opened up in the Meatpacking District; later, it became a permanent fixture.

December 19: Katie Couric wears our glasses and makes gang signs. What a year!

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Sunday January 6, 2013
data do good

The very first Social Innovation committee is formed today. Patrick, Meghan, Wynne, Stephanie, and Erin read Let My People Go Surfing by Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard and brainstorm initiatives to infuse our “do good” mission into all aspects of the company.

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Wednesday January 9, 2013
culture

Today we welcome Kyle P. to the User Experience team.

Fun fact: Kyle P. was once a model for Match.com.

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Thursday January 17, 2013

The Product Strategy team meets regularly to review new product prototypes.

Comments overheard during a prototyping session on January 17:

“Christopher on The Sopranos would wear these…NOT me.”

“Are these even considered sunglasses? They are literally the size of my grandma’s readers.”

“I like how wide these are. They are really flattering. You can’t see my face at all.”

“I love these!” How come? “Because they make me feel like an astronaut!” (While trying on the thinnest wire optical frames we have ever prototyped.)

“These are 100% Elton John. NO, these are 100% ME.”

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Sunday January 20, 2013

Congratulations! You’ve unlocked cheat codes for the Warby Parker 2013 Annual Report.

Follow these instructions to complete the Annual Report in Hero mode.

First, collect the following items: one ancient crystal, three golden relics, and six Ritz crackers (regular, not low sodium).

Gradually adjust your chair or seating arrangement to lowest position and then sniff a Ritz cracker. This will unlock a hunger portal in your stomach. Eat the Ritz crackers.

Sell ancient crystal and relics on eBay.

When finished, press arrow right to continue Annual Report in Hero mode.

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Spring Collection 2013
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Sunday January 27, 2013
culture

Warby Parker’s data “Dream Team” gets a new member today: Data Engineer Terry P.

Welcome, Terry.

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February
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Sunday February 3, 2013

Today, after many months of meticulous design, development, and prototyping, Product Designer Adam M. finalizes a new custom acetate print, Cobalt Leaf, for our upcoming collaboration with Leith Clark.

Leith’s CV is filled with impressive credentials: she styles red carpet stunners, directs editorials for Harper’s Bazaar U.K. and Italian Vogue, and founded the publication Lula. Anything she lends her eye to ends up with an aesthetic that’s intelligent, ultra-feminine, and cheerful. We <3 Leith.

Cobalt Leaf is the brainchild of Adam and Leith’s creative alliance. When Leith was assembling a mood board for the collaboration, she included a set of vintage tumblers that inspired the pattern.

Adam zoomed in on a particular cluster of leaves and picked a blend of Pantones 541 and 293 to replicate the lovely blue of Leith’s image. He then guided our acetate engineers (It’s a job! Cool, huh?) in creating the new pattern.

In all, eight rounds of acetate samples are created until the final product is revealed.

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Monday February 4, 2013

Ta da! Warby Parker officially rolls out its mobile site. It’s exactly what you’d see on your computer screen, just you know, shrunken down to be legible and more thumb-swipeable.

Since then, we’ve seen a 200% increase in traffic from mobile devices, 79% of which are iPhones.

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Tuesday February 5, 2013

An email chain that would eventually grow to 84 messages begins today between the Product Strategy and Supply Chain teams. The subject: our forthcoming Holiday Collection.

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Wednesday February 6, 2013

We’re formulating a new case for our glasses, and it’s serious business.

Today, Product Strategy Supervisor Brigitte sets out to test a new option using the scientific method.

Question
Will subjecting this type of case to realistic situations affect its pristine appearance?

Hypothesis
Subjecting this type of case to realistic situations will not affect its pristine appearance.

Methodology
Step 1: Brigitte wraps half of each case in plastic wrap.

Step 2: Brigitte places the cases in a variety of situations. The criteria for selecting the placement are simple: Where does the average Warby Parker glasses wearer keep his or her frames?

Experimental locations include office cabinets, kitchen drawers, on Brigitte’s desk, and inside her purse.

Step 3: Brigitte lets the elements take their course. For the next month, the cases come into contact with uncapped pens, NARS lipstick, crumpled grocery lists, batteries, and dirty hands of various employees who are curious about the new cases.

Step 4: Brigitte removes plastic wrap. Analysis: there is no discernable difference between covered and uncovered portions of the cases.

Conclusion
Hypothesis confirmed. Subjecting the new case to loosely controlled, intentionally grimy but realistic situations does not have any bearing on the material’s pristine appearance and cleanness.

These cases are selected for use with all Warby Parker frames and will roll out mid-October.

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Friday February 8, 2013
happenings

Our ice skating party at The Standard, High Line in New York is cancelled due to poor weather. This is especially unfortunate given that our vice president of technology, Lon, is a former competitive ice skater.

Meantime, what are we going to do with all of these spangled leotards and nude-colored pantyhose? And the scrunchies—oh god, the scrunchies…

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Sunday February 10, 2013
milestones

Bamboo, our latest deployment manager, is released today.

Here’s the deal: any time new code and features are integrated into a website, there’s always the chance for hiccups, kinks, and unwelcome delays. Bamboo allows us to go harder, better, faster, stronger on multiple servers at once.

Think Hadouken ability.

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Inspired by
the vamps
and private eyes
of film noir
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Monday February 18, 2013
culture

Team member Colleen becomes the proud owner of two fish, named Rosa and Gill.

Fellow employee Tim H., a fish owner in high school, grows envious and plots a takeover of the fish.

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Saturday February 23, 2013
culture

26 employees load up two 15-passenger vans and spend the weekend skiing and snowboarding in Stratton, Vermont.

Takeaways:
1. Do not stay in the house designated for couples if you yourself do not have a significant other. Bitterness is a weekend-ruiner.

2. Digital marketing director Brian M. and Customer Experience rockstars Dan O. and Kevin R. command the snow with their snowboarding skills.

3. The game Cards Against Humanity escalates incredibly quickly into non-PC territory. It comes close to violating everything we will learn in sensitivity training.

4. In a pinch, stolen firewood can help move a stuck car out of a stubborn snow drift. Just keep pushing; you’ll get there.

5. Inside Tech team member T.J. lies a future Olympic medalist. Before this trip, he had never skied until he took a lesson by himself and returned to the group with some genuinely dazzling skills. He was a “superstar” and “very impressive,” reports Front-End Web Developer Dan T.

When reached for comment, T.J. confirms, “I got the hang of it, went to the top of the mountain and went down the intermediate track. It was only then that a few others I went down with couldn’t keep up with me. I guess that means I’m a natural?”

Recruiting manager Matt C.: “No, don’t look at me. My coccyx! Oh no. Oof. Ow, oh gosh, this really hurts.”

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Sunday February 24, 2013

The New York Times reports that Mickey Drexler, the chief executive of J.Crew, and American Express have joined as participants in our latest round of funding.

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Wednesday February 27, 2013

Today we issue our first third-party Employee Engagement Survey.

It’s a way of checking in on employees and finding out how happy we are coming into work each day. Do we feel good about the work we’re doing? Do we feel encouraged to share new ideas? Do we think our managers care about us? Do we like piña coladas? Stuff like that.

88% of employees participated, and the takeaway is: yes! Things are going well. We measured our Net Promoter Score, a tool that gauges employee loyalty to the company by asking a basic question: “How likely are you to recommend working at Warby Parker to others?” The response: 90% of us would highly recommend it.

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Saturday March 2, 2013
culture data

The average knowledge worker switches tasks every three minutes, and, once distracted, wastes almost 30 minutes resuming the original task.

Interruptions and their recovery time now take up 28% of a worker’s day.

To combat interruptions, Content team member Molly introduces the Interrupting Fez: when she is wearing the fez, nobody is allowed to interrupt her.

It works well.

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Wednesday March 6, 2013
culture

Today it is discovered that Jon P., a member of the Tech team, does not have a Facebook profile. An emergency bulletin is distributed across the company:

Jon P. Needs Friends

We’ve all seen him. That pensive, quiet guy they call Jon P. Maybe you’ve exchanged a glance with him in the back hall; perhaps you’ve clumsily bumped into him in the kitchen. But mostly he just keeps to himself. And you keep to yourself.

Once or twice, you’ve probably thought to yourself,

‘Hey, a guy like that must have a thriving social network. Boy, I wish I had that kind of savvy. Savvy…what a weird word. Who puts double V’s in a word? Then again, ‘vacuum’ is even weirder…’ And soon you’ve forgotten all about poor Johnny P.

But he’d be there for you in a heartbeat.

Based on interviews with close friends who insisted on anonymity, Jon is hands-down a reliable guy. He’s capable. He’s quick to help those in need. He’s got style, but in a subtle way, like he always wears cool socks. He’s the kind of guy who could date your sister and you’d be ok with it. The kind of guy who'd pick you up from the airport, and not be pissed about it.

And, tragically, the kind of guy who doesn’t get a Facebook until 2013. He could use some Facebook friends.

This message sponsored by the Find Some Friends for Jon P. Association and does not reflect the views of Warby Parker. But Warby Parker agrees that he could use some friends.

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