Weber State alum Michael Diamond is turning to the Internet to start a business making sunglasses that can float.
Westwood is using crowd-funding site Indiegogo as a platform to raise money to launch the company. Supporters who donate can receive perks like discounts on Westwood’s sunglasses.
Diamond and Westwood’s co-founder, Adam Jackson, came up with the idea when they realized all the sunglasses they had owned would sink if lost in a lake or river during water sports.
The Westwood sunglasses are made of wood and weigh 0.8 ounces. Because wood floats, the sunglasses will float if a consumer drops them while participating in a water sport. Not only do the glasses float, but they also have polarized lenses, which reduce glare.
“The idea is to create a product that benefits Utahns,” Diamond said. “I hope it becomes a widely-known brand.”
Westwood needs to raise $6,500 in order to produce the first order of sunglasses. As of Nov. 18, the company had $5,400 pledged, according to the Indiegogo site. Diamond said the effort is 60 percent ahead of what they expected.
The retail price of Westwood sunglasses will be $65. While the company is still working on launching via Indiegogo, consumers can purchase the sunglasses off Indiegogo for as little as $35.
The sunglasses are one size fits all. All sunglasses can come in three different colors of wood: ivory, maple or smoke.
Westwood plans to launch other lines of sunglasses in May or June next year.
“They are a similar style to your old-school Ray-Bans but a little bit different,” Jackson said. “The great thing about wood is there are so many benefits compared to plastic. They are more ecofriendly compared to plastic.”
Westwood hopes to launch other products in the future, but right now plans are under wraps. Westwood is a local company whose founders both grew up in this area, participating in the outdoor sports that Utah offers.
Most of Westwood’s sunglass models have gone to WSU or are still attending school at WSU.
“We have had a lot of Weber State students help us, either being our models or helping spread the word,” Jackson said. “It’s a brand I feel that both Weber State and Ogden can be proud of.”
Josh Stuart, a Westwood ambassador promoting the product, said he thinks that Westwood can be set apart from other companies because it is providing a unique product within an established industry.
“Westwood provides a worry-free pair of glasses that you don’t have to worry about if they fall off while you are boating,” Stuart said. “They are very sturdy in the fact that you can ride with them on mountain bikes and hike with them on the trails.”