The Aviator Sunglasses Story
How we became the company that fosters
the love of aviator sunglasses
By John M. White
OUR STORY STARTS HERE
In 1955 my mother passed away leaving my father with one son (me) and five little girls. In a flash the family income was cut in half, and the family faced a difficult future.
It was made clear to me at the age of 13 that I was to contribute to the family assets and not be a drain on those resources. I seized that opportunity and began working very hard to help the family by running a trap line in the winter and selling the pelts in the spring. We lived in a rural setting and I found work through local farms.
Over the years I worked many jobs, from farm labor to golf caddy, to working in hot houses and selling shoes in the local strip mall. When I graduated from high school in 1959, I was expected to leave home, and I did by joining the U.S. Air Force. There I was taught Russian and sent to a remote island at the end of the Aleutian Islands followed by 3 years in England.
While in the Air Force I learned to fly airplanes, a long-held passion of mine, and after I was discharged, I went to Michigan State University to get my bachelor’s degree. At MSU there was a flying club called “The Winged Spartans”, and over my college years I earned all the pilot ratings I needed including becoming a flight instructor. At first, I worked in the dry goods department of a local department store, but eventually made enough money teaching others to fly to pay for my college.
From there I moved to Battle Creek, MI where I became the chief pilot for a fixed base operator, and through that experience was hired to start a flight department for a local insurance company. Several turbine aircraft and DC-3’s later I left to start an aviation insurance agency. Not much of a surprise; my early days at home had honed my interest in entrepreneurship. 30 years later I sold the business and retired.
But I was not prepared to spend the rest of my life in a Lazy Boy chair watching tv and taking long naps. Enter the parent company of Aviator Sunglasses, Pilot Supplies & Sunglasses LLC. I recall the old statement “You can take the child off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the child.”
I guess you can’t take the entrepreneurial spirit out of an entrepreneur.
We are tired of cheap aviator sunglasses and the waste of money when they break, don’t protect our eyes and steal our money with glitzy looks in the center aisle of our food store.
As a pilot I know the importance of a strong, great performing pair of aviator sunglasses. At altitude our eyes are at even greater risk than at the seashore. Protecting our vision is important, but more critical is for us to be able to see the outside world free of distortion and in its natural colors. The first responsibility of a pilot is to see and be seen, and only a great pair of aviator sunglasses will allow us to fulfill that responsibility.
But your eyes are every bit as important if you spend any time outdoors. Even when it is overcast the sun’s ultraviolet rays are streaming into your eyes. When you are young you won’t notice the effects, but as you age you will learn about skin cancer around the eyes and eye problems like cataracts and other diseases.
We research the aviator sunglasses marketplace and choose only the very best sunglasses, most American made. We understand their construction, how to repair them, how to make sure you get the correct size and fit. We know which lens tints work best for you and have knowledgeable staff to assist you in making the best choice for your situation.
OUR GUIDING STATEMENTS
VISION STATEMENT: To change the way consumers see aviator sunglasses.
MISSION STATEMENT: To foster confidence in protecting your eyes through knowledge.