How It All Began... We wanted them for our own baby!
Roshambo Eyewear is owned and operated by San Diego family Scott, Julia and their little girls, Avery and Chloe. The company initially started in 2012 as Roshambo Baby, after realizing that nobody was making high-quality practical kids sunglasses while at a Padres baseball game with a four month old staring up at the bright sun with no protection. Scott put his adult sunglasses on her and lightning struck: Little People Deserve Big People Shades. That means making our stylish baby shades in Italy. That means assembling them by hand in the USA. That means all polarized lenses. That means making them prescription friendly frames. That means making them safe, durable, flexible, ultra-light and chewable for little mouths. And that means making them just as stylish as designer adult shades but without charging designer prices.
After two years of working nights and weekends around our full time jobs, we had the world’s best, high-quality baby sunglasses ready for your little one and ours! Scott didn't want stop there though, he wanted to wear matching unbreakable pink shades with Avery, so we eventually made kids and adult sizes so the whole family can match!
The ro•sham•bo Name: Rock, Paper, Scissors (Shoot)!
Our company name, ro•sham•bo, is areference to the nostalgic game we all grew up playing (aka rock, paper, scissors). It also pays tribute to our charitable support mission: special education teachers have told us that playing ro•sham•bo with children with autismcan be a valuable teaching tool when they need a quiet, calming personal interaction. We also have autism in our family, so giving back to our community will always will be a pillar of our business!
The ro•sham•bo Cause: Supporting Children's Charity with Every Sale
Our charitable support mission is to provide glasses to every family that needs them! In 2022, we expanded our charitable donations to include a variety of other children's focused non-profits, notably Gigi's Playhouse (Down syndrome) and Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (pediatric cancer), in addition to our historical partner, Surfers Healing (autism). And in 2023, we are adding no cost prescription glasses to foster kids in need via Promises2Kids.
That's all great, but why kids sunglasses made in Italy?
When our founders Scott & Julia started this company, it seemed strange to them that nearly all high quality adult sunglasses were made in Italy, but basically all kids sunglasses were made in China. Why can't kids have high quality shades too?? After about 2 years of searching, we found a independent, family owned Italian sunglasses manufacturer with a background in toy manufacturing. When we told them we wanted flexible, child-safe, ultra-light, virtually unbreakable frames, but they could not have any toxins, including: BPA, lead, latex, phthalate, cadmium, etc etc, they understood why we demanded that and how to make it happen. They were able to custom blend a perfect formula for us that is what we have used ever since. As far as we know, we are still the only kids sunglasses line made in Italy and assembled in the United States.
What materials are in ro•sham•bo shades?
While we cannot divulge the exact composition of our material as it is a trade secret and something competitors would certainly want to try to copy, we can tell you our line has been fully tested and certified against all types of common toxins, as well as small parts tested for little hands and mouths. Certificates of product stewardship and UV lens testing are always available on our website.
We also believe in removing all unnecessary paint in our product as it just winds up in little mouths! We injection dye all of our colors (that is why you will not see designs or tortoise shell pattern on our frames - just color blocks). This process locks in all the color into the material so it cannot leach out. We also build our logos into our molds, so our name does not have to be painted on. Our logo is laser etched on our lenses instead of painted as well. In fact, the only paint on our product is the required "Made in Italy"stamp and product name.
Carbon Neutral E-Commerce Store & USA Assembled
Beyond the product safety standards we demand, we also are proud to let you know that as of January 1, 2020 we are certified as a carbon neutral e-commerce store, offsetting all of our e-commerce shipping on our website (which is the large majority of our sales). We are certified by CarbonFund.org if you want to check them out. We also just launched new retail packaging that is entirely plastic free and made in the USA (as is our online packaging). We also do our own product assembly in house here in San Diego, California, custom building each pair of sunglasses to order depending on the type of lens requested (standard polarized, or one of 5 mirrored lens colors) - so we are very proud to say we are made in Italy and assembled in the USA.
The Evolution of a Small Business:
1. Crowdfunding Beginnings
We unofficially launched our company in June 2013 with acrowdfunding campaignto test the market for stylish unbreakable baby sunglasses and build up needed capital to fund more inventory and build this website. The result was overwhelming and the customer support and glowing feedback we received further fueled our ambition to make this dream of producing and selling high-quality baby sunglasses a reality. But we still kept our day jobs for a couple more years...
2. Shark Tank
As word slowly started to get out, Scott finally took the leap and left his day job as a lawyer in 2016 and the company really started to gain steam. As we grew, we even tried out forShark Tankin 2017 and had such a great time presenting our awesome unbreakable sunglasses to the producers. We got all the way to final consideration! But sadly, did not make it to the carpet :( Check out the video we were invited to make for the producers and learn a little bit more about our company, why we wanted to make flexible kids sunglasses, and how far we have come! Julia was even able to join full time in 2017! A full time family business!
3. Prescription Glasses? Yes, Please!
Our frames have always been prescription friendly, but we kept having to tell customers to take the frames to their own optician if they needed prescription lenses... we knew there was a better way! In 2018, we started our new line of prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, and transitioning lenses to fit our awesome, bendable, durable, lightweight frames.
We offerprescription glassesthrough our website in all 5 sizes (baby through adult) starting as low as $69, along with free home Try On Kitsto make sure they are the perfect fit before you buy. The feedback from customers has been incredible and it makes our day every time we get a photo of of a kiddo (or their parents!) in our unbreakable glasses. Nothing cuter than little kids in glasses.
4. Hiring an Awesome Team
At some point, Scott and Julia realized there was more work to do than they could handle alone. Enter our incredible team of moms & dads to make this a real family business:
Stacy is our E-commerce and Marketing Director, mother of two little kids (who you'll see featured in many of our photos), children's book author, mom blogger, and generally is in charge of making sure everything we do is creative, bright and fun! And with all of the adorable photos we get from our happy customers (like you!), we're able to share the love of Roshambo, create new products, and grow our partnerships.
Jenny is our Logistics Director, mother of a San Diego State Aztec grad, and makes sure that our customers (all around the world!) get their orders on time and with a little bit of extra love packed at no extra charge. She keeps the engine running in the warehouse - inventory control, scheduling, order processing, oh my!!
Linda is our Customer Support Superstar. She prints all the orders for shipping every morning and responds to all the sunglasses questions and prescription glasses FAQs with smiles and endless patience. She is also a grandmother, mother of four, and an amazing person with a personal story you wouldn't believe if I wrote it. It deserves a blog all it's own. Maybe ask her about it sometime if you have to email us!
Rachel is our Prescriptions Glasses Specialist. She has years of experience cutting prescription lenses and teaches us all the fancy optometry terms we need to know to feel smart. She also has a seemingly endless supply of corny optometry jokes she likes to share while busy on our edging machine cutting your lenses... Q: How do opticians listen to music? A: Eye-Tunes.
Rob is our Chief Operating Officer. Rob went to college with Scott and Julia back in the day and wanted to escape a life of corporate litigation in Los Angeles. Streamlining operations at a kids eyewear company with his friends (and maybe playing some warehouse football with Scott once in a while) is just what the doctor ordered!
Simone is our Prescription Support Star. She is a mom of two boys and works with Rachel to process prescription orders and get those glasses out the door to all the kids that need them in record time!
Melissa and Adriana are our Packing & Assembly Stars, helping out with pulling, assembling and packing daily shipments, retail and distribution orders during peak sunglasses season. Melissa also moonlights as our resident espresso machine expert.
That's the team for now but we are growing! It takes a village to raise a sunglasses company!
5. Zappos Adaptive Partnership
In keeping with our mission to support individuals with special needs, in 2019 we started a partnership with Zappos Adaptive. Zappos Adaptive caters to the needs of people who have challenges getting dressed every day with a range of "adaptive" clothing and shoes. The items featured in the Zappos Adaptive line are designed for people with a range of conditions including autism, diabetes and mobility issues. Within the range are brands including 4Ward, Independence Day, PBS Kids, Under Armour, Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, and now ro•sham•bo eyewear!
6. Blippi & His Orange Glasses
In 2021 we became the official licensed partner for Blippi glasses! Our Blippi sunglasses, screen time glasses, and prescription eyewear are designed just for Blippi super fans, with the perfect fit for both the smallest and tallest fans. Roshambo has partnered with Blippi - and the amazing team at Moonbug Entertainment - to custom design our unbreakable frames in Blippi’s signature bright orange color and logo. Now your little ones candress up like Blippiwhile protecting their eyes in this fun eyewear!
7. Happy Potamus
If you haven't seen him yet, Happy Potamus is the cutest new addition to the ro•sham•bo family! This plucky, potbellied pachyderm is just as tough and rugged as our unbreakable frames, but our glasses are (luckily) 1,000,000x lighter. You'll see this little hippo popping up around our website and in fun promotions down the road, and you may even get a Happy sticker in your shipments wearing his favorite costume! We hope Happy makes you happy!
8. Recycled Plastic in our Frames
We are committed to being a sustainable and environmentally friendly business. That started with being a certified carbon neutral ecommerce shipper, but now we are really going for it with recycled plastic in our frames! Our frames already contained very little plastic (it is a special blend of rubber) and not designed to enter the landfill very often since they hardly ever break, but we are working towards making our entire line 100% recycled plastic because why not!? Combine that with our plastic free online and retail packaging and it adds up to a small thing that can make a big difference in reducing plastic waste.
9. San Diego Padres Giveaway
We are super fired up that we were theofficial Padres promotional giveawayon May 8, 2022! Being a lifelong Padres fan, and having the inspiration for the business come while sitting in the outfield at Petco Park, this is a particular dream come true for Scott. We hope this partnership is a jumping off point for the next phase of our business' growth and exposure both in our hometown and on a national level. Despite all of our successes to date, we are still very much a small family company with a long way to go. Here's to the future (and go Padres)!
10. A New Headquarters to Take us to the Next Level
In summer 2022, we were thrilled to move out of our shoebox of an office and into a new 6500 square foot building right down the street! This new space will let us hire more great people who share our vision of being a household name in eyewear. We even built out an optical lab dedicated to getting those prescription glasses to customers as soon as humanly possible. Onward and upwards!
1890 Diamond Street, San Marcos California 92078
11. 2023: Ludicrous Speed, Go!!!
The new year brings a whole new level of optimism, chaos and great eyewear. We are betting big on ourselves and stepping outside of our comfort zone: 5 new styles in one year. We are launching 2 new styles of our traditional flexible sunglasses frames, a new sports line collection, appropriately named "Ludicrous Speed" and 2 new prescription only frame styles - one for our littlest friends, and one for older kids (and mom!). We can't wait to see what you all think of what we've been dreaming up over here. It's time to take this little family company to the next level and engage Ludicrous Speed! We hope you will come along for the ride.
Left to right: Stacy (marketing magician), Scott (comes up with wacky ideas), Julia (keeps the wheels on), Linda (the greatest grandma of customer support!), Melissa (makes sure you get your shades on time / makes a mean espresso), Simone (prescription glasses diva), Rachel (prescription glasses wizard), Jenny (logistics luminary), Rob (not sure what he does other than look silly in kids size snow goggles)
THANK YOU so much for supporting our little family company! Great things to come, stay tuned!