The Story of How It All Began…
We love to see other couples living the American Dream and so it is with the mom and pop success at Epoch Eyewear. This is the story of a young veteran and spouse who started a business in the gathering place of humanity, the kitchen.
Bret Milner was already in the eyewear business but had principled disagreements with his partners and parted ways. As a baseball fanatic, the World Series in Detroit led him to his wife Rebecca. She enjoyed her HR job with Quicken Loans, a “people centric company” but happily joined forces to bring Bret’s passion for eyewear to life. Joining forces is a specialty of hers as she is the veteran in the duo.
Rebecca joined the Army National Guard in college and was deployed to Iraq 2009-2010 with the 777 Military Police Detachment and worked in detainee operations at Camp Victory and Camp Taji. Her Military Operations Specialty was human resources, which she says is much different from commercial HR. In the military it’s about taking care of that soldier, the person as a whole, not just pay and performance.
She credits her military experience for engraining a career perspective. The military helped her become a hard working leader. Now she looks out for everybody on the Epoch Eyewear team while still a member of the 168th RTI in the Colorado National Guard.
Bret brought other trusted members to the Epoch team and quickly sold $150k of glasses. In addition to delivering a high quality product at a low price point starting at $19.99, they delivered a son just a couple months after launching the business.
Having three sales guys and a baby were too much for the house. They decided to move into a warehouse to expand their growth. Now, they have over 5,000 shops with crazy revenues. Their biggest challenge is keeping inventory levels on par with exponential growth. They take pride in their own designs with plenty of color options. High safety rates, comfort and durability of the sunglasses make the low price unreal.
They feel blessed to have a “super fun company with a cool team of friends.”
Their friends enjoy having 100% of their health care paid. A daughter now makes it friends and a family of four.
Their slogan is “We Stand By You.” Free shipping and free returns are evidence of that.
Sunglasses are considered a medical device in the US, so the Epoch team offers custom designs for businesses to market as part of their own line. This is a great up-sell idea for golf apparel companies.
They want to “do the really cool stuff of matching designs, not just placing a logo on the frame.”WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?