SAN DIEGO - What started as a class project at San Diego State University has developed into a company that provides cataract surgeries and eyeglasses to vision-impaired people in 12 countries.
While enrolled in an MBA program, SDSU graduate Jenny Amaraneni said she learned that 80 percent of the world's blindness is preventable. The lesson inspired her to connect people in need with eye care.
Amaraneni enlisted the help of her classmate Craig Stern and they developed SOLO Eyewear.
The company has a line of hybrid bamboo-plastic sunglasses where each pair purchased helps fund a pair of reading glasses and a cataract surgery for someone in need.
Their actions have bought 750 eyeglasses and provided 105 cataract surgeries to people in India and Sub-Saharan Africa, Amaraneni said.
“Each pair purchased helps fund a pair of eye glasses and a portion of sight saving surgery for people in need,” Amaraneni said. “We’re actually able to help people across the world. Our donations so far have reached 12 countries.”
The environmentally sustainable shades are manufactured in China and retail for about $70.00 online. The co-founders said 10 percent of that money goes to charity.
“We’re affecting lives because we decided to take action with an idea and it’s amazing,” Amaraneni said. “We hope when people see our sunglasses that they’ll inquire about them and learn about the bigger story behind it.”