Judith and Martin Cunningham are professionals who decided to change direction in life and form Sunnyreaders Ltd (of which Funky Readers & Eye Eye Design are trading names) in 2013. Below, Judith and Martin tell the story of how they came to the business.
Funky Readers is a company that has been in the making for several years. We have travelled extensively in Europe during that time - particularly in Italy and France - and noticed that the reading glasses of the Europeans were more trend setting and fashion conscious than those seen at home in the UK. Judith spotted a pair of velvet reading glasses in Siena, purchased them, and Funkyreaders was born. We now sell them in our La Scala range!
We have an idea that reading glasses should reflect the image, the look, the fashion and the personality of the wearer.
As Funky Readers, we source reading glasses from iPronti, a Milan eyewear designer, and reading glasses from See-Concept, a design team in Paris. The iPronti by Epos range of reading glasses are stylish and sophisticated. The See-Concept range of reading glasses from Paris are bright, funky and exciting fashion reading glasses.
iPronti by Epos reading glasses all have polycarbonate frames with acrylic lenses. The styles we have chosen for you reflect the stylish look that is Italian fashion. Very contempory in a range of colours, the frames have a look that suggests designer rather than ready readers! The quality also reflects that, with a feel that far outweighs the price. All the glasses come with their own pouch and are available in strengths from +1 to +3.5.
Funky Readers introduced See-Concept reading glasses in 2013. From Paris, the company has already gained a design award for their See Home glasses and See Magnet glasses, as previously featured in the The Mail on Sunday. These beautiful glasses again reflect quality way beyond their price, with 3 styles all available in 8 colours, which are added to depending on the season, and range in strength from +1 to +3. The glasses come complete with a felt pouch and matching box - convenient for storing all the colours you need to co-ordinate with your outfits! These glasses are one of our best selling ranges at the moment and come really highly recommended.
There are also further ranges of fabulous designer reading glasses, sunglasses and sun readers from Swiss designer Montana and German designer I Need You. In addition, Aptica from Belgium have now joined our suppliers with daring frames from their ART collection.
Our Sunglasses range features Apro Spectacles from Naples, as well as Eye Respect - a British brand crafting exquisite Italian handmade sunglasses made from the finest acetate and high quality Zeiss Lenses.
See-Concept's Autumn and Winter range of reading glasses, sunglasses and sun readers are now also available with a zero strength - perfect for the style conscious man or woman who doesn't need glasses specifically for reading!
After only one year, we have seen our small idea blossom into a viable business due to the popularity and excitement generated around the products we source for all our customers. We took Funky Readers to the public during the spring and summer, travelling to major fairs at stately homes such as Chatsworth and Bleinheim Palace. To save accomodation costs we purchased a caravan (affectionately named La Traviata - the working girl!). Staying in fields with no amenities was not pleasant but getting to meet all of our customers, suppliers and the show organisers was a genuine pleasure and we look forward to the next round of shows coming up soon!.
So what do we hope for 2017?
Funky Readers' vision is to continue to bring fresh, new high-quality, fashionable and innovative reading glasses to the UK for you all to enjoy. We're hoping for continued steady growth so we can continue to concentrate on providing a 1st class service with quality products for our customers - after all, without people to wear them, glasses aren't quite as Funky! Our ultimate goal this year is to create our own new brand of reading glasses that will be innovative and modern.
The work has already started on design and branding and we are expecting our first batch of samples in January 2017 witha view to launch in May at the Badminton Horse Trials.
Ciao for now !!
Martin & Judith Cunningham