By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor

NEW YORK—The cover story for this issue touches on the continued growth of online eyewear retailing and the challenges more traditional eyewear providers are faced with in light of their success (See page 41). Well, one eyewear supplier is finding HOPE in the optical e-tailing business model.

Eyes of Faith, the Christian faith-based eyewear company, has taken a page out of the online eyewear retailer’s playbook and is now offering the HOPE box. The box contains one of each color and style in the brand’s entire frame collection, or 91 styles total, and they are sent free to a potential or current optical customer who can then browse them at his or her own pace.

“Online retailers are using in-home try-ons of five frames very effectively,” said Jim Schneider, president and co-founder of Eyes of Faith. “Since we are not ‘locked-in’ to a sales force, it makes sense for us to use the same try-on method to create a fun, no-pressure, ‘in-office’ shopping experience with our entire collection.”

Eyes of Faith’s HOPE box puts potential and current optical partners in complete control of the buying process. HOPE works by allowing members of independent opticals to see and feel the quality, fit and style of the collection before making an order commitment. There is no obligation to buy but if the ECP does choose to add the collection to their inventory, than Eyes of Faith provides free shipping on all orders placed while HOPE is visiting their office. After a three-day visit, FedEx will then pick up the HOPE box and deliver it free to another office.

“This is the future of frame buying for the independent optical,” added Chris Clark of Blueridge Optical in Roanoke, Va. “I was able to take my time, show the collections to all of our opticians, and get everyone excited about the product.”

Since HOPE doesn’t requires the payout of a sales commission, it means Eyes of Faith can give more back to its Wear and Share program, which provides complete pairs of prescription glasses or sunglasses to mission groups around the world through Sight Ministries.

“We’re a hope-inspired eyewear company,” continued Schneider. “This program allows us to streamline the sales process, it gives our partners time and flexibility and, most importantly, it allows more people to see our product and share their hope through Eyes of Faith.”

To receive HOPE, ECPs just need to complete a request form available on the Eyes of Faith website at