Brands We Love: State Optical Co.
There are very few eyewear companies manufacturing frames in the United States. Weber Vision Care is pleased to carry several of these brands for our America-loving patients. If you want quality eyewear, while supporting fellow American workers, State Optical frames are for you!
Made in America
A set of cousins with an American-made eyewear company in California partnered with another eyewear-making duo in Illinois to create State Optical Company in 2014. The brand was founded under the well-established parent eyewear brand, Europa, and is located in Chicago, Illinois. Proud of their hometown roots, the State Optical Co. website showcases a picture and bio of each “craftsman” to honor the real individuals in America working to make your glasses. State Optical employs about 50 factory workers, who meticulously spend about three days per frame to perfect the handmade aspects of manufacturing.
The State Optical logo is an iconic pyramid composed of 21 dots, which represent Illinois as the 21st state in America. All of their frames have the logo on the temple tip with each dot drilled individually, then “filled by hand with clear epoxy.” There are about 75 steps in the manufacturing process and about half of those steps are carefully completed by hand.
A unique feature of State Optical eyewear is the nearly seamless connection at the hinge of the temple and front of the frame. The custom designed hinge is also pyramid-shaped for added stability and continuity of the State logo. Crystalline nose pads are ultrasonically laminated to the frame to increase comfort and fit. Specialty locking screws help minimize the loosening of screws over time. The quality is apparent just by feeling the smooth, hand-polished acetate (plastic) frames, which are created from a 6-millimeter thick piece of premium acetate.
Each frame is named for a street, neighborhood, or historic landmark in Chicago with inspiration from building shapes, features, and color palettes. State Optical releases new collections twice a year – Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.
One of the newest State Optical Artisan series is called STATE X Japan. These frames are designed and assembled in Chicago, partnering the high quality Japanese-made titanium temples with State’s American-made acetate front. The inside of the temple is laser-etched with USA X JAPAN to signify the finest elements from both optical cultures. The flexible beta titanium makes for easy adjustments to fit most face shapes and sizes. Japan is known for its durable and strong, yet lightweight and hypoallergenic, titanium.
Expanding the Brand
In 2019, State Optical acquired the oldest American optical – not a coincidence that it is named American Optical (AO Eyewear). Originating in 1833, American Optical is a classic brand sported over the years by many famous people, such as President John F. Kennedy, Bob Dylan, and the crew of Apollo 11. Weber Vision Care is also a proud retailer of AO Eyewear. Stay tuned for a future blog about American Optical.
Weber Vision Care is an authorized retailer of State Optical Co. Call our office (717-652-7710) to schedule an appointment to browse the optical with one of our friendly opticians. If you want to support a “Made in America” eyewear company, check out our State Optical frames!