On Being Independent
Randolph is an eyewear and sunwear manufacturer that’s proud of its American-made legacy. Though it began as an engineering company making tools for the optical manufacturing industry, it shifted gears after factories took their production facilities offshore.
Randolph began making sunwear for the military (a contract it still proudly fulfills) and has created its own brand of sunglasses and eyewear—still made in the U.S. Peter Waszkiewicz, son of one of Randolph’s founders, has been president and CEO since 2007.
Here, he shares with EB his family legacy of quality product and partnering with independent ECPs.
Eyecare Business: What makes Randolph a strong partner for ECPs?
Peter Waszkiewicz: In the late ’90s we decided our own destiny by creating our own brand of sunglasses and eyewear. Today, we are recognized as a global USA-made eyewear brand, selling our product across the globe. But Randolph is still a family-owned business. We appreciate the independent ECP and feel we can offer them an alternative, unique product.
EB: Tell us about the family legacy at Randolph and why that’s important.
PW: Randolph was founded by Stanley Zaleski and Jan Waszkiewicz, two immigrants and friends who came to this country after WWII to pursue their own American dream—opening their own company. Although both have long since retired, their legacy lives on with the second and now third generation in the business. Their legacy is how we run the company today—with honesty and integrity, where everyone is treated as family, where USA-made and quality is our reputation and culture.
EB: What is your focus for the future at Randolph?
PW: While other manufacturing companies took their manufacturing overseas, Randolph never left. We have been consistently manufacturing metal eyeglass frames and sunglasses since the late ’70s. For us to be successful, we must continue to be innovative and keep the focus on quality and USA-made, which is the forefront of our business strategy.
EB: How can ECPs differentiate themselves for success?
PW: Independent ECPs must stand out from the pack by being creative and different. They must embrace social media to reach and communicate their service to their customers, and offer quality product that’s out of the mainstream.