Who are you? & can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Ashley Johnson, owner and founder of Mohala Eyewear. I’m passionate about gender equality, women celebrating their authentic selves, women in business, and creating sunglasses my customers are obsessed with.
What exactly is Mohala Eyewear?
Sunglasses for the bright future ahead. We sell effortless eyewear created for style, performance and changing the world. http://www.mohalaeyewear.com
What inspired you to start Mohala Eyewear?
A turning point on my journey to starting my own business was seeing Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a powerful documentary that chronicled the victimization of women around the world. That’s when Mohala established a partnership with Room to Read Girls’ Education Program and committed to support their mission. One week of school is donated for every pair of eyewear purchased.
How did you come up with the name?
In the Hawaiian language, mohalameans to bloom, to blossom, to shine and to be free. When a woman wears her Mohala sunglasses and engages with our brand we seek to support and inspire her to bloom into the woman she is meant to be. Mohala women are also a part of a global movement towards gender equality. They are helping girls around the world to blossom, to bloom to shine and to be free through education.
With each pair sold you give a week of school, can you tell us about that?
I am passionate about education because education is power. It creates confidence and self-worth, and inspires dreams and passions, which translate to drive, work ethic, career success and financial stability. This helps prevent people from being trafficked and becoming victims of violence and hunger. Education alters a human’s worldview; it changes lives. An educated girl in the developing world will be healthier, live longer, empower herself against violence and adversity, lift her community and country, help her family, and educate her children so they can have a better life than her. Education builds sustainability; it is transformative.
For every pair sold we donate one week of school to Room to Read Girls’ Education Program. Room to Read operates in ten countries across Africa and Asia and has over 40,000 girls in their program.
Is there a favorite product?
I have many favorites but right now I’m loving our Lina in Coconut Mojito for $139. It’s a beautiful sea glass color with a vintage yet fresh vibe. It’s one of our most popular frames for stylists to pull for shoots and fashion bloggers to select.
What is your favorite part about running Mohala Eyewear?
I love the creative aspect of building a brand and obsessing over the customer and what would spark joy, connection, and how to best serve and represent them. It’s really a study of psychology and sociology in many ways.
I also love the people I am meeting on this journey. Had it not been for Mohala I may have never met them or deepened my relationship with them. The friendships that are growing out of Mohala are ones I want to have for life.
What is your least favorite part about running Mohala Eyewear?
Wishing there were more hours in each day to work on Mohala.
How do you spread the word about your company?
Over our first year of business it has been Instagram, giveaways, email newsletters, retail partnerships, influencer partnerships, placements in magazines and word of mouth marketing.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Keep going. I’m still new in entrepreneurship but being tenacious and having the mindset of everything is figureoutable (as Marie Forleo would say) are necessities of the business.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying?
Fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers. – Chinese Proverb
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
We recently launched our Summer 2019 Collection that features new styles, colors, and a new nose bridge. Women had shared their pain points for sunglasses were sunglasses sliding down their nose, resting on their cheekbones and lifting when they smiled or having long eyelashes brush against or make black mascara streaks on the lenses. A lot of research was done to perfect our new nose bridge design that included researching nose bridges in the Japanese market and testing prototypes on customers. This new nose bridge is universal, but it is especially helpful if you have a low nose bridge, high cheek bones and/or long eyelashes. We offer free shipping and free 90 day returns. This is a line you must try and if it doesn’t fit just perfect, we have simple, easy returns. Shop now at www.mohalaeyewear.com Sign up for email updates at the bottom of our home page and receive $10 off your first pair!