When co-founders Joe and Elizabeth Earley shipped their first order of Tifosi sunglasses to Liberty Bicycles in Asheville, NC on April 8th of 2003, little did they know that their small company would grow into the global sports optical company that it has in designing, manufacturing and distributing high quality sunglasses to over 5000 retailers in more than 38 countries.
Joe was an independent sales rep who noticed there were basically two types of sports eyewear: cheaper, virtually disposable sunglasses that provided little true protection from harmful UV rays, and fully-featured, high tech sunglasses that came with a lofty price tag. What this industry needs – Joe surmised – is a brand that fills the void offering high quality at an affordable price. Something that would appeal to small and large retailers alike.
Since that first shipment went out in 2003, the product offering has expanded from 21 styles to well over 200. Specifically, the golf collection uses technological advancements that allow you to better track the ball in flight and helps in reading the green. Something I find quite useful is the ability to more readily spot the ball under the water!
Comfort features include temples that won’t slip when you sweat (my pet peeve) and a rubber nose piece. Many Tifosi sunglasses come with interchangeable lenses; other models include Fototec light-adjusting lenses, single lens styles, and polarized models. Tifosi backs its products with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defect. Tifosi sunglasses are sold at over 5,000 retail and e-tail locations in over 38 countries.
Tifosi’s growth will continue to be centered around three main objectives: keep producing quality optics within proprietary designs, employ a dedicated inside account management team which maintains the same high level of customer service that has elevated the company to where it is now and become the first choice for retailers looking to carry an eyewear brand with aggressive margins.
I was fortunate enough to be able to test a couple of models on the golf course – the Veloce with interchangeable lenses and the Jet with a single lens. Tifosi lived up to what it claimed: the greens seemed easier to read and I could see the ball better as it flew off course into the water. I could also see the ball better under the water – if only I had a ball retriever long enough to get it back. The rubber nose piece ensures that the sunglasses stay put; there’s nothing worse than having them move around as you start your downswing. I prefer rimless models that don’t allow the sweat to pool, something that is very common when playing in the heat of Florida in August.
As I visit courses around the state, I am seeing a Tifosi display popping up in more and more pro shops. I happened to be at the counter of one golf shop in Naples as a gentleman was purchasing what he said were his fourth pair. Not because he had lost or worn out the other three pairs but he liked the design and most importantly the price. Can’t argue with him there.
For more information on Tifosi eyewear products and where you can purchase them in your area, visit www.tifosioptics.com. Give them a try; your eyes and your wallet will be glad you did.