Grant Goldman, BSBA ’17, wrote this for the Olin Blog. He wrote in to report that his company, PAIR Eyewear, will be presenting their concept on the episode of Shark Tank, airing tonight (7 p.m. central) on ABC television.
UPDATE 3/16/20: PAIR Eyewear received a $400,000 deal during the March 6 appearance. Read more.
Olin and WashU have played an instrumental role in my career thus far. I arrived at Olin knowing I wanted to be “in business,” but not certain about which vertical. I began in the finance track, but after several introductory business school courses, like Management 100, I found a love for marketing.
While I wanted to start my career in marketing, financial literacy was still crucial. Through my finance coursework, I found myself in Managerial Accounting with Professor Zawadi Lemayian. And even though I struggled with the coursework at times, Professor Lemayian became one of my closest confidants and a source of strength. We still chat regularly, and she continues to offer incredible advice, for which I can’t thank her enough.
After graduation, I joined GREATS, a startup sneaker brand in Brooklyn, New York. There, I focused on analytics and digital marketing. Classes like Managerial Statistics and Marketing Research provided me with the knowledge and tools to raise the bar of analytical standards and processes at GREATS, even in an entry-level position. After about two years, I was promoted to manager of growth marketing and analytics, overseeing digital marketing, and eventually our more traditional, out-of-home efforts.
In August of 2019, GREATS was acquired by Steve Madden and I decided to explore new opportunities. I reconnected with a high school classmate, Sophia Edelstein, who had recently launched a direct-to-consumer children’s eyewear brand with her friend Nathan Kondamuri.
Pivot to peeps
As a second-grader, Nathan had to get glasses for the first time and found the experience to be medical and scary. After interviewing hundreds of families, they discovered not much had changed. With PAIR’s continually customizable frames and colorful options, kids are excited to wear glasses and change up their look every day. Having worn glasses since kindergarten, I immediately connected with their mission.
Although “Shark Tank” is an atypical way to fund a venture, it allowed us the opportunity to seek strategic investment from some of the most creative business minds. What’s more, it was the perfect platform to connect with the millions of viewers and families who have experienced the same challenges Nathan had as a child.
We’ve been fortunate to work with some incredible investors, having now raised $3 million in seed funding since launch in the summer of 2018. Most importantly, we’re proud to have helped thousands of families and kids be enthusiastic about their glasses and excited to wear them every day.
Pictured above: Grant Goldman, BSBA ’17, who is the head of growth for PAIR Eyewear. His company is presenting on “Shark Tank” tonight, although he himself will not be appearing.