I’ve been rubbing elbows with some of the awesomest social impact entrepreneurs from around the world for over 4 years now, so it takes a lot to really impress me.
It especially takes a lot to impress me when we’re talking about a social impact business that takes a ‘normal’ item (like eyewear, clothes, food, etc) and beautifully weaves a social cause into the fabric of it’s brand.
Peter Antonsson is the founder of the social good sunglass company AntonFrans and he managed to impress me with just such a mission 🙂
To be honest, when I first met Peter and he told me about his mission to revolutionize the sunglass industry, I wasn’t sure what to think. I’m sad to admit that I hadn’t ever really given enough thought to the sunglasses I was buying or how those companies were impacting the world.
But, before I get to sunglasses, let me tell you a personal story about Peter…
See, several years ago, Peter’s mom was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. Peter is a lifelong entrepreneur, so for him, an incurable disease like Alzheimers was a devastating bit of news. As entrepreneurs, we’re used to being able to take on problems and solve them. Not so with Alzheimer’s. There is no cure, no easy answer, and no easy path.
However, Peter, like any great social impact entrepreneur, was NOT GOING TO BE STOPPED. Instead of seeing this tough news as an impossible challenge, he saw it as a tremendous opportunity. He was already in the works of creating his business (which I’ll tell you all about in a minute) so why not build a business that would give back to causes his customers cared about?
And that’s exactly what Peter did. His mom’s experience became central to his WHY: to create a revolutionary sunglass brand THAT ALSO gave back.
And that’s how Anton Frans was born.
Well, that and another life changing experience that Peter had…
See, right about the time Peter found out about his mom’s diagnosis, he was trying to figure out how to create an awesome sunglass company like his role models at Tom Fords and Ray Bans. So, he went straight to the factory that made them and got some sunglass samples to see what he could learn. What he found would forever change his life’s direction…
Peter realized as he held those samples in his hand that all the famous sunglasses out there he had come to love were basically made in ONE place by ONE MASSIVE company. He felt cheated and lied to. He felt deceived. Despite all the marketing and branding out there that made those brands seem so different, they were really all just the same cheap plastic with different logos.
Worse still, the same company that made them all also controlled the entire chain of production. So, anyone looking to take on the industry would have to play by their rules.
Peter thought that was a load of bullshit, so he got about the business of creating his own sunglass company (called AntonFrans). He got around the big bad sunglass company that was controlling everything by completely revolutionizing the quality of his sunglasses. Because he made them in a totally new way, he didn’t have to march to the beat of that other company’s drum.
And that’s what his company is all about – revolutionary sunglasses that go far beyond what the others do.
But what about the social impact that started with the story of Peter’s mom? Well, that’s the most beautiful part of the story 🙂 See, Peter realized that we all have a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts, so embedded with each sunglass purchase, his customers are able to support a cause that has personal meaning to them. You literally just pick the cause at checkout and then start rocking your sunglasses.
This is what all social impact business should be about folks. You lead with a kick ass business (AntonFrans’ quality is truly revolutionary) and follow with a social impact that’s near and dear to your heart (Peter actually let’s people pick one that’s special to them).
I wear and love his sunglasses. You can check the styles and support your favorite cause right here: https://antonfrans.com/