BUSINESS Randolph’s American Dream By Gwendolyn Plummer Friday, September 10, 2021 12:54 AM RELATED CONTENT Made in USA State and AO Reach New Heights 100+ Years of American-Made for ArtCraft Optical Thema’s Winning Combo: Italian Designed, American Made Made in Brooklyn, With Love from Modo Hilco Vision’s American Safety Like Its Home City, Lowercase Never Sleeps The McGee Group Plans to Start Making Frames in the U.S. Randolph was born when former Royal Air Force navigator Jan Waszkiewicz and machinist Stanley Zaleski both immigrated to America with a very specific dream: “to build the world’s best sunglasses,” Randolph’s marketing manager Amy Bean told VM. In 1973, the pair opened a factory in Randolph, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, and built everything from the ground up, including all the machinery. Today, Waszkiewicz’s son Peter Waszkiewicz is at the helm of the company, which still calls Massachusetts its home. It’s been quite a year for Randolph—most notably when the White House chose to gift the company’s iconic Concorde frame to other world partners. President Biden, a well-known aviator aficionado himself, handed over the frames as a gift to other world leaders in Geneva this June. The frame isn’t just a Made in the USA work of art, either—it was originally engineered for military pilots, like many of Randolph’s frames. The company has been supplying its Authentic Aviator frame to the U.S. military for over 43 years. But it’s not just The White House and Geneva for Randolph—things at home in Massachusetts are just as important. Each frame is handmade in Massachusetts; Bean said that it takes a total of six weeks and over 200 steps to make each pair of sunglasses, using many of the same machines and even some of the same engineers as when Randolph first began. “It’s important to us that we continue to support the craftsmanship, community and heritage that comes with being a Made in America brand,” Bean said. “It means that we’re dedicated to our people, our product and our roots. This is where we started and this is where we’ll stay.” The beginning of the pandemic forced Randolph to scale down its workforce for a brief time, but with an uptick in sales Randolph has brought everyone back to the workforce and even expanded in several departments. This is due in large part to a change in consumer habits, Bean said. “Customers were doing more research online to discover independent, American-made brands like Randolph,” she explained. “Our customers have a deep appreciation for our Made in USA brand. They know that we stand behind our quality, because we hold ourselves to a higher standard, so it’s safe for them to invest in a pair of Randolphs and we’ll be there with them every step of the way, beyond their initial purchase. “Randolph eyewear was our founder’s American Dream. Making our frames and much of our machinery in-house with quality components while supporting our immediate community was just as important to us then as it is today,” Bean said.