Following the official Lunch of Jembere Eye Wear we caught up with Abaynesh Jembere the founder and designer of the new Ethiopian design inspired eyewear. The New York based eyewear brand Jembere was founded in 2013 with a philosophy that is simple - beautifully crafted and reasonably priced frames.
Jembere’s aesthetic is influenced by the juxtaposition of the rich culture of Ethiopia, where the name Jembere means, “my sunset” and everyday life in the big city of New York. Jembere combines wearable styles with contemporary aesthetics. Each frame is handcrafted using top quality materials like Italian acetate and 5 barrel hinges.
Jembere also offers a unique detail when it comes to the cleaning cloth provided with your frames. The cloths are hand woven in Ethiopia by true artisans.
Abaynesh Jembere who has nearly a decade of experience in designing, managing and merchandising in the eyewear market, founded Jembere. This along with her passion for style and international influences in fashion, make her an expert in the industry and your go-to girl for anything eyewear.
EBMAG: Do you have a design background?
AJ: Yes, I graduated with a B.S in Design and Merchandising from Drexel Univeristy in Philadelphia, PA.
EBMAG: Ethiopia and Ethiopian images feature within your design, where else do you get your other inspiration.
AJ: Jembere’s aesthetic is influenced by the juxtaposition of the rich culture of Ethiopia and everyday life in the big city of New York, which is where I live. Living here is great because it is full of inspiration from arts, fashion and culture. I am inspired daily by all things around me. The great thing about eyewear is there are so many ways to create a beautiful sunglass from color, different shapes and even texture.
EBMAG: When it comes to designing a frame, what do you look for?
AJ: I design high-quality wearable styles with a contemporary aesthetic. Comfort is also a big component; no one wants to wear something on his or her face that is not comfortable.
EBMAG: What has been the hardest aspect of going into the glasses industry?
AJ: Well, I spent most of my career in the Eyewear Industry. For 7 years, I worked for major Eyewear companies here in NYC as a Brand Manager, Product Development Manager and Designer. I have built relationships with suppliers and manufacturers over the years so when the time came to work on my very own collection, going into the industry wasn’t hard because I knew where to go and what to look for. The hardest thing I would say for me is really building the brand and getting people to recognize this new name in the eyewear market.
EBMAG: What were the reasons for going down the crowd-funding route, as opposed to going out and getting a business loan?
AJ: These days it is very hard to get a business loan without any history of revenue or sales. Crowd funding has become a huge phenomenon and these sites have opened doors for those of us looking to raise money for a project, idea or collection we are trying to accomplish. It is also a great way to gain some marketing. Your outreach is exposed to the sites crowd and you never know who may come across your campaign. With a business loan, you are stuck with repaying while you are still working on building your brand, whereas crowd funding is done when the campaign ends and you have no debt. I personally love what crowd funding is doing for small and new business owners!
EBMAG: Now you have successfully got a majority of your indiegogo campaign funds what are the next steps for Jembere Eyewear?
AJ: The money raised was for the production costs for getting Jembere Eyewear completed. Now that we have accomplished that, the website launch is June 10th and next up is to sell, sell, sell!
EBMAG: Who is the Jembere Eyewear customer?
AJ: I created this collection so anyone could wear Jembere Eyewear. We speak to the fashionable consumer who is looking for great fashion, reasonable prices and great quality.
EBMAG: Where can people purchase the glasses?
AJ: From the website at www.jembereeyewear.com
Image courtesy of Jembere Eyewear.