Vision Expo 2018

The team and I were in Las Vegas early this month for Vision Expo 2018. Last year was a blast. But, this year? I’m still recovering!

Also, the Fatheadz team continually ups its game in terms of the speed and quality of video they’re able to produce. We’re at the point now where we can do all of our production in-house and have the equipment, facilities and expertise to rival any agency. It’s been really cool to watch the team grow into the challenge I gave them.

Here’s a little clip we threw together that gives a quick glimpse into our presence at Vision Expo 2018

A few images of our team doing good things over the weekend at the 2018 Vision Expo in Las Vegas! Visit us now at Fatheadz.com#VisionExpo #LasVegas #Fatheadz #FatheadzEyewear #SizeMatters

Posted by Fatheadz Eyewear on Monday, October 1, 2018

Charity Spotlight – NFL Alumni Association

The 2018 NFL season (the 99th, wild) kicks off on September 6 with a game between the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Atlanta Falcons. Needless to say, I’m excited for the season to start and have been watching pre-season games in anticipation. However, I thought it would also be a good time to mention a charity (aka a 501c3 non-profit) that should get more recognition: the NFL Alumni Association.

Until recently, the association wasn’t one a knew a lot about beyond the general idea that they assist former NFL players with a variety of different services post-career. For example, I didn’t know they help players make decisions and get deals on health insurance, business service and loans, etc. I also didn’t know that they have a very active charity organization. All of this new info has got me thinking that maybe Fatheadz and I should figure out how to get involved. Could be fun.

— Rico

Re-launch of the Fatheadz YouTube Channel

Our new YouTube channel for our show “The Skinny with Rico Elmore” is now up and running!

We are really excited to start to be able to post these more regularly. Of course, these podcasts these are also always available in audio format for free on iTunes, but if anyone wants to actually watch me (who wouldn’t?), please subscribe to the new channel by pressing the red button underneath the right side of the video!

Here is our most recent episode with2-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Champion Cruz Pedregon where we talk about his start in racing following in the footsteps of his father, along with many interesting insider stories from his long and successful racing career.

 

Stay tuned because we have a lot more exciting episodes coming up with some amazing guest appearances you won’t want to miss!

-Rico 😎

My Work with Folds of Honor

A few days ago I read about Budweiser’s recent release of their new Freedom Reserve Red Lager, a summer edition beer influenced by George Washington’s own recipe found in his military journal from 1757. And as much as I love beer 🍺, that’s actually not what this post is about!

The ad highlighted how the beer is by veterans, for veterans and for every case purchased, a dollar will be donated to the nonprofit Folds of Honor.

Folds of Honor is a NationwideFolds of Honor is another non-profit organization that provides educational scholarships to the children and spouses of our fallen and disabled service members while serving our nation. The charity has many chapters across the country.

I have been affiliated with the Indiana chapter since 2017, and I have had other involvements with them in the past.

From their Mission Statement on their website:

Of the one million-plus dependents adversely affected by deployments, nearly 9 out of 10 do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance. Since 2007, Folds of Honor has carried forth this singular, noble mission. To close the gap, providing educational support to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.

I first learned about the organization through my good friend Dakoto Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient.

The reason I love this organization it honors our veteran’s sacrifice through educating their legacy, they appreciate military families, and they are responsible for giving scholarship opportunities to many young students across the nation as well.

Folds of Honor and their affiliated chapters have many ways you can get involved to support our mission of serving the families of our fallen and disabled service-members. Feel free to visit their chapter pages to learn how you can get involved locally here: https://indiana.foldsofhonor.org/

I plugged a few awesome pics from their social media to illustrate what they’re all about, feel free to give them a follow if you would!

 

________________________________________________

Rico😎 

 

I love racing… 🏎 🏎 🏎

I love racing- love it. Being a Hoosier that grew up in the Indianapolis area, how could I not? Racing is one of the things Indiana is known best for and I love that.

I have been to many races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in my life.The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is sacred ground to me.

My favorite is the Indy 500- I have so many memories from growing up going down to the track with my friends and family.

We used to go to races with my mom to see our Uncle race at Mount Lawn Speedway in New Castle. My first time going I must have been only 4 or 5 years old. We had a not so nice nickname for him that I won’t mention here for his sake, but his real name was Duncan. He raced primarily stock cars.

Mt Lawn Motor Speedway

I mostly only got into racing go-carts myself all around the Midwest. I have some very fond memories of racing at various tracks around the midwest during nice sunsets with my friends..

We used to have a suite at Indianapolis Raceway Park, now known as Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg. The past five years or so we’ve had one at the IMS and our times at the suite down at the track are absolutely some of the best times anyone can have.

Racing means a lot more than just watching cars drive in circles to me. There are great communities centered around the sport. Those that are involved have a great love for their friends, family, and local communities. It is an American thing, and especially an Indiana thing.

With all of these racing events we’ve had the past month I wanted to give a shout out to a local charity that I recently became involved with- American Racing Ministries, who lead drivers and their support teams in prayer before races.

Special gratitude to my friend who I learned about through my friend of 15 years or so, Tim Spillman, who is one of their chaplains.

Here is a picture from one of the recent races they ministered for.

American Racing Ministries is a relatively new charity- we look forward to working with them throughout their growth.

Please consider donating here.

-Rico 😎

My Work with Frames for the World, Inc

A few ago I learned about a unique charity called Frames for the World through my friend and colleague Reade Fahs, CEO of National Vision, who is very involved with them.

Mission: To donate new eyeglass frames to organizations throughout the world who provide eyeglasses to those in need.

Vision: A world where everyone has the opportunity to see.

(Mission & Vision of National Vision)

Frames for the World, Inc. provides screenings, eye exams, eyeglasses and refractive error solutions to the optically underserved in both the United States and the developing world, and has helped more than 300,000 individuals receive glasses, both internationally and domestically.

This is all made possible through frame donations from both frame manufacturers and optical chains, such as my company Fatheadz.

Image result for frames for the world inc national vision

This relationship has become one of my passions- providing eyewear to those who have no other means of getting them but through this group’s efforts. It pleases me to know that some of our donations are going to help bring the gift of sight to individuals who are unable to afford basic eye care all across the developing world.

We currently have several boxes full in the Fatheadz warehouse:

Here are a few examples:

One thing I like is the variety of frames we have donated- as seen above.

Off to ship some now from the Fatheadz HQ!

We have donated several thousand frames in the past- there’s no other organization that we have such a relationship with, and we look forward to continuing this great partnership 😎

-Rico

Learn more about Frames for the World, Inc. and how you can donate here
Have frames to donate? Click here to submit a form. We will be in touch soon.
Would you like your organization to be approved to receive donated frames? Click here to submit a form.

My Trip to Vision Expo East

We just returned home from an awesome week in NYC where myself and the rest of the Fatheadz team exhibited at Vision Expo East, an event put on by our same friends from the event we recently went to in San Diego, The Vision Council.

The event was for the benefit of thinkaboutyoureyes.com, an American Optometric Association initiative designed to educate the public on the benefits of vision health and promote the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam.Image result for think about your eyes

Over 16,000 were in attendance from professionals to buyers to infuencers at Javits Center . Over 700 exhibitors, more than 5,000 fashion and luxury brands, more than 300+ hours of educational presentations. Image result for javits center

At the Expo we got to see some innovative new technologies, some unreleased products certain to disrupt the optometry industry, a few educational sessions, and a few show specials too.

Great opportunity to learn network, and I was very inspired by many of the exhibitors. company’s incorporating recent techological advancements like AI, 3D printing, and even integrating the internet into eyewear (really).

Many awards were given out like Best Practice, Best Booth, and Best New Product.

Vision Expo Todd Rogers

Our good friend and acclaimed “World’s Greatest Mentalist” Jim Karol joined us as a spectacle at our booth.

Image result for jim Karol

A few other fun facts about Jim, he:

  • holds two Guinness World Records.
  • was chosen as a contestant on NBC’s “Phenomenon.”
  • served as a consultant for the movie “Jackass Number Two,” in which he had a cameo.
  • has performed such feats as bending 60-penny nails, allowing a bear trap to close on his hands without injury, and identifying information about audience members.
  • has memorized over 80,000 zip codes, every word in the Scrabble dictionary, and can memorize a shuffled deck of playing cards in less than a minute.

 

Needless to say, he kept visitors of our booth entertained. The beer, wine & cocktails helped too!

😎 – Rico 

Fatheadz is getting a new HQ!

Our team at Fatheadz Inc. is excited to announce we’re relocating to new and bigger digs in Speedway, Indiana this spring!

The new location will be at 2828 N High School Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46224, in an old warehouse previously occupied by an engineering company near the grounds of Central State Hospital.

Fatheadz is moving to Speedway, Indiana

With an expected move-in date sometime in May 2018, the new headquarters will be 10,000 sq. ft. of renovated and expanded space, featuring larger offices and meeting rooms. We’re particularly excited about debuting a new Fatheadz Eyewear Pro Shop too, where customers can check out our awesome product lines and enjoy our welcoming facility.

Fatheadz CEO Rico Elmore reviews plans for the new corporate office

Here I am making big decisions 😉

Image result for Speedway redevelopment commission

I want to give a special thanks to the Speedway Redevelopment Commission for helping us land this deal. We are looking forward to becoming a part of the growing, vibrant town known as the Racing Capital of the World!

We’ll keep you updated on the progress along the way 😎

-Rico

Our trip to SoCal for the Vision Council of American Executive Summit 2018

 

A couple of weeks ago our Senior Sales Specialist Nicki and I were able to escape the merciless Midwest winter cold for a few days during our trip so Southern California for the annual Vision Council of America Executive Summit at the famous Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island, a military base right across the famous of San Diego bridge.

 

 

The Vision Council is a non-profit trade association that represents a large core of members in diverse segments of the optical industry, from family-owned businesses to global companies. The Vision Council offers a wide variety of resources and tools from market research to training to networking events.

 

Image result for vision council of america

In addition, by sharing the latest in eyewear trends, advances in technology and advice from eyewear experts, the organization serves as a resource to the public looking to learn more about eyewear options.

There were over 400 attendees, and we had the privilege of hearing some of the most prominent people in the eyewear, fashion, and marketing industries speak, not the least of which was Daymond John, founder of FUBU and The Shark Group, brands I greatly respect.

Daymond was promoting his new book, Rise & Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life.

 

He had some very insightful and inspirational things to say about entrepreneurship and life in general, as a man who came from pretty humble beginnings to now having a net worth of $250 million 💸💸💸

Image result for daymond john quote

Image result for daymond john quote

 

Artist Erik Wahl also spoke and gave an awesome on-the-spot example of his art during the “Idea to Implementation” segment of the program.

 

The event was not only a nice excuse to get away and taste a little bit of nice weather for a change, but we also left feeling like we learned a lot of things that we can apply not only to Fatheadz but also even a few principles to add to our personal lives. We are really excited with some new things we are working on with Fatheadz and coming up with more ideas of how we can grow ourselves and our community.

Here’s a few more pics from the Pacific Coast 😎

We flew back from LA later that week, and now our next focus will be on our new headquarters we are building. Coming soon…

Rico 

 

 

Story: Our First Online Sale Was to an NFL Pro Bowler

People always ask me “what inspired you to create Fatheadz?”

My answer is always “Because I have a fat head and could never find any eyeglasses that would fit”- it’s that simple.

A much more interesting story is about how Fatheadz received its first online order.

As I recall it was sometime in ‘05 or ‘06 shortly after we had registered the company and had put together the product with a local factory. It was an online order from a person named “Tamerlane Kennedy Jr.” all the way out in Oakland, CA.

I thought to myself, “How in the world did this person even discover our product?” (At this point we hadn’t really done any real marketing of our product, especially anywhere near the west coast).

The order came in when we were at a trade-show in Las Vegas and I remember getting really excited thinking that this may have been a good sign that the business was about to start taking off (it was another 6 months until we got another order in).

We arrived home from Vegas and eagerly shipped out the first pair: It was a our standard ‘Regular XL’ model with our old branding and logo

                

I saw the guy’s phone number filled out in the receipt from the online store purchase and decided to give the guy a call so I could find out how he may have heard about us.

I asked “Is this Tamerlane Kennedy Jr.?” He affirmed that it was.

I said “Well this is Rico Elmore with Fatheadz Eyewear and we just wanted to let you know we are getting ready to ship your order. By the way, how did you find out about us?”

He replied “Yeah, I was actually searching for ‘Fat Head’, trying to find some of their products for a couple of my buddies that I played with”.

Apparently “Fat Head” is the name of the company that allows football fans to buy official NFL-licensed decor such as decals, custom cut outs, murals, canvas prints, and things like that.

Being a huge football fan myself, I enthusiastically responded, “oh, so you played in the NFL?”

He told me that he did and he had actually been playing for quite a few years, and I wondered to myself why I’d never heard of him.

When I told him that we had done stuff with a few Colts players before he told me that he had a couple of friends that played for them, specifically mentioning that Jeff Saturday and Tarik Glenn were “good buddies” of his.

I told him that I’d let them know he said “hello”!

He said to me “they would know me as Lincoln though.”

Whaaaaat!? Lincoln Kennedy? Several time pro-bowler and Super Bowl champ? 

And that’s what started it all. To this day Lincoln remains a good friend of mine and a loyal Fatheadz customer, as well as many other NFL an ex-NFL players.

😎 – Rico