Interview: North Point Eyewear — From Pittsburgh

North Point EyewearI am thrilled to share an eyewear brand that was recently introduced to me. Proudly designed and produced in the USA, North Point Eyewear brand was founded on our fundamental belief in American craftsmanship and quality along with precise design. Manufactured in their factory Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania factory, North Point Eyewear frames are created from the finest global components including acetate from Italy, and German hinges and core wires.

Each frame is designed using 3D CAD software, while the acetate is cut on state-of-the-art CNC machines. Traditional 4-step tumbling and 4-step polishing, combined with laser engraving, complete the production process.

North Point Eyewear takes pride in each of their styles — every frame has been perfected and prepared via the collective effort of their team. North Point Eyewear frames are built in America, and made to last a lifetime.


How did the brand of North Point Eyewear come to be?

North Point Eyewear was created to be a world-class frame manufacturing facility as part of an expansion of Eyenavision’s operations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We wanted North Point to be a brand that both represented our values and aligned with the needs of our independent eyewear retail customers.   

Creating North Point Eyewear was a team effort. We built our production facility, hired, and trained a new team, worked with frame designers, sourced our acetate and hinges, and spent months working to develop our initial collection. We took our time and made the investment to do this correctly. We began this initiative during the pandemic, which created unforeseen challenges. However, these additional challenges helped create a unique bond among the team producing our frames.  


What is North Point’s mission?

We aim to design and ethically produce modern eyewear stylesbased on classic silhouettes. We are on a mission to revitalize eyewear design and manufacturing in the United States. By doing this, we hope to contribute to the success of independent optical retailers. Helping improve the business of independent ECPs has been the core mission of Eyenavision since day one. 


North Point EyewearHow is North Point Eyewear different from the average frame brand?

We are one of the few companies making frames in the US (over 99% of eyewear is still made overseas!). By making frames locally, we have other advantages, including:

  1. We are nimble. By making our frames in-house, we can create new designs and respond to new color and fashion trends faster than importers buying overseas.   
  2. We can customize and private label for our customers without lengthy lead times and huge MOQs. 
  3. We’re a small business, just like you. We want to work with you to provide a premium product you’re also proud of. 
  4. We have an in-house lens lab. Not only can you offer your customers a premium made-in-America frame, but you can also do so in a way that makes financial sense for all patients by utilizing our frame and lens packages. 
  5. We work closely with our ECP customers by supporting them through our in-house marketing team, which includes graphic designers, digital marketers, social media mavens, and more. We love working individually with our customers to create custom materials that help drive sales and build new business.


Eyenavision is your parent company? What products/brands are in their house?

Eyenavision has been in business for 15 years, and over 6,000 independent retailers carry at least one of our products. We offer a variety of products, all designed to be solutions not found elsewhere. A selection of our products is as follows:

Chemistrie Clips: The best-selling custom clip system. Available in 24 colors, reading powers, blue light lenses, CVD lenses, and more, the Chemistrie Clip is custom-made to fit virtually any frame. Base-curve matched and edged to exact specifications; thousands of patients choose this clip as a sun solution each month. 

ChemTech: The ultimate over-the-counter computer reader. Available in powers that range from plano to +3.00, this premium reading glass features unique designs and colors with a specialty lens. ChemTech uses an optical-quality lens with a specialty blue light anti-reflective coating and quality frames. ECPs choose this reader line due to its superior quality compared to typical over-the-counter readers. 

Chemistrie Color: Developed using a proprietary artificial intelligence program that determined the ideal lens filter for different types of color blindness, Chemistrie Color lenses are a high-tech solution for Color Vision Deficiency (CVD). These lenses are available in different strengths (Indoor, Moderate, or Severe) and as either a clip or a plano-primary lens. 


How does North Point/Eyenavision support Independent ECP? 

We are a privately owned company that exists to help the independent ECP succeed and stay independent. You will not find our North Point Eyewear (or any of our existing Chemistrie brands) in national chains, big box locations, or online. We work directly with our customers to understand their needs and use this understanding to develop thoughtful and helpful products. 


Could you tell us about North Point’s design and production process?

Our design process starts with an experienced frame designer or our in-house design team. We start by discussing our goals and inspirations. From there, eye shapes begin to form. We work through details, including ornamentation, color, fit, and temple design, and then create a frame prototype. The prototyping stage ends when we are satisfied with the results and move into production. 

Our production combines advanced processes using advanced CNC and laser machines with traditional tumbling and polishing. Our CNC machines are among the most capable in the world and can produce the most sophisticated acetate designs. Each frame goes through over 40 distinct processes, including 80 hours of tumbling with wood pegs, polishing, laser engraving, and hand painting all frame labels.

We are incredibly excited about our design and production process. If you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh, PA, please do reach out to schedule a factory tour! 


Tell us about the factory that makes North Point Eyewear. 

Our factory is 100% our own. We have built a team of people with diverse skills and passion, with a common trait being a passion for making the best eyewear. Our factory is located on the Ohio River just outside of downtown Pittsburgh in a 100+ year-old facility that initially housed a casket factory. Today it is loft-style offices and flex space for several businesses. Our factory is across the hall from our optical lab and distribution facility.  


What do you find most ECPs benefit from when partnering with North Point? 

We’re incredibly responsive. Do you need something? Let us know. We’re almost guaranteed to find a solution. Our mindset in everything we do is to help you, our customer. We’re not here to dominate the industry; we’re here to make it better. 


Anything you’ve got in the works that you’d like to share?

We’re incredibly excited about our new designs launched this month. We are finalizing the designs of a new heritage collection being released this fall. We’ve got great things in store for 2024 as well. Want a sneak peek? Contact us to make a virtual or in-person appointment 😊


Find North Point Eyewear online here:

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