Vontélle, a Black women-owned eyewear company that launched in October 2020, recently announced a three-year licensing partnership with ViacomCBS Consumer Products to create a children’s eyewear line centered around Nickelodeon’s beloved characters.
“We will soon launch with SpongeBob, Rugrats, and BabyShark eyewear. We are the first African-American women-owned eyewear company to have such a deal,” company co-founder Nancey Harris told Finurah.
The company, co-founded by Harris and Tracy Vontélle Green, creates eyewear inspired by the African diaspora. “Vontélle was founded to satisfy the demand for better-fitting vibrant, luxury eyewear designed and handcrafted to pay homage to the African, Caribbean, and Latin diaspora,” says Green.
The company’s most popular design is the Rwanda Wayfarers, a rich and beautiful textile print that enhances any melanin tone. Harris adds that “the versatile rectangular silhouette adds a sophisticated, professional look.”
Launching during the coronavirus pandemic presented some challenges to the company. However, there were also some positive points.“Due to virtual meetings, eyewear has become a way to show one’s personality as your face is all that you see. Thus, there was an increase in eyewear sales,” notes Green.
Harris added, “Eyewear is meant to reflect your personality and compliment your wardrobe. Vontélle has a vast selection, and you can pick your own adventure from an array of vibrant, pattern enriched designs.”
She adds, “Whether looking for a subtle slay or a powerful pop, our glasses are the solution. Our eyewear brightens up any mood and wardrobe.”
The duo spoke to Black Enterprise last year, where they said of the eyewear industry, “Think about this: According to the Vision Council of America, one billion people worldwide need eyeglasses. In 2019, the global eyewear market brought in revenues over $139 billion and is estimated to grow to $259 billion by 2027.”
“Yet, there are less than a handful of Black eyewear manufacturers or designers. Considering 164 million American adults wear glasses and 218 million wear non-prescription sunglasses (to block sun rays), people need glasses as they are a medical necessity. We are getting into the industry at the right time with our handcrafted ethnic designs.”