Blenders Eyewear CEO on How Bootstrapping a Business Builds Clarity

Jamie Williams
­Jamie Williams is the host of the “PCH Driven” podcast, a show about Southern California entrepreneurs, innovators and its driven leaders on their road to success. The series celebrates and reveals the wonders of the human spirit and explores the motivations behind what drives us.
Blenders Eyewear CEO Chase Fisher
Courtesy of Chase Fisher

Chase Fisher founded his San Diego-based eyewear company a couple blocks off the Pacific Coast Highway in 2012. Eight years later, the company was acquired by the second largest eyewear company in the world for $90 million.

The journey was a long one for Fisher, who says he doubted whether he'd be a successful entrepreneur.

“I was not the smart kid in school,” he said. “I always looked up to the kids that were getting a 4.0. [grade average]. I was bred to think that those were the guys that were going to go out and change the world.”

Fisher was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and struggled in reading and math. It wasn't until starting his own company that he realized there was more than just one pathway to success.

“If I had not started Blenders and still been using school as a scorecard, I would be an ultimate failure,” he said.

Fisher launched the company when he was just 22 years old and fresh out of college, attending an entrepreneur fair at San Diego State to sell his first 300 pairs of sunglasses. By the end of the day, he’d only sold 10.

Fisher described it as a “gut punch,” but the experience taught him the importance of bootstrapping, focusing him on building his skillset as a salesman and mental toughness as an entrepreneur.

“If I would have started with a lot of money, I would have failed,” he said, “because I wouldn't know how to spend the money.”

“You need that scrappy grit to really work through those hard times. And if you don't have that in your toolbox, you're gonna lose, and it's a perishable skill,” he added.

In 2020, Italian eyewear brand Safilo Group acquired them.

Having grown the brand by hand, Fisher reminds himself and his employees to be humble and appreciative when they see people wearing a pair.

“Don't ever take it for granted. Anytime you see somebody wearing Blenders in the world, right? Like, smile at them, give them a high five, get curious, ask them questions, how they heard about us, compliment them on their sunglasses. To me it never gets old,” said Fisher.

Subscribe to PCH Driven on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

dot.LA Engagement Fellow Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Pasadena's Numerade Believes Tutoring Is The Solution To Online Schooling Setbacks

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

kid looking at computer screen for online school
Andria Moore

Nationally, kids whose schools met online in the 2020-2021 year performed 13% lower in math and 8% lower in reading compared with kids who had in-person schooling.

Nhon Ma, co-founder of online tutoring platform Numerade believes that this issue will continue to persist unless more students gain access to tutoring outside the classroom.

Read moreShow less

Kroma Wellness Founder Lisa Odenweller on Breaking Into the Nutrition Industry

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Kroma Wellness Founder Lisa Odenweller
Image courtesy of Kroma Wellness

On this episode of Behind Her Empire, Lisa Odenweller opens up about her superfood nutrition company, Kroma Wellness, and the difficulties of breaking into the wellness industry.

Odenweller began her career in the wellness space in 2011 when she opened a chain of superfood cafes around Southern California called Beaming Wellness.

Read moreShow less