Cultural Experience | Resources

Living the Sweet Life with Nectar Sunglasses #Giveaway

CT Travel Ambassador Lindsey Z from Ohio U speaks with Nectar Sunglass Co-Founder Sean Holmes

College Tourists all over the globe are known for living the sweet life, and there are few brands that represent that lifestyle like Nectar Sunglasses. Founded by two students in 2012, Nectar is all about encouraging young people to live their lives to the fullest, no matter where their adventures take them. We talked with Sean, who helped establish Nectar along with his friend-turned-business-partner Dylan, about how they got started, how college students can start their own business, and how the brand embodies the sweet life.

Tell us about how you got started, how did the idea come about?

The idea came to Dylan in college when he saw the need for awesome sunglasses at an affordable price point, and that light bulb went off. Dylan grabbed a week’s worth of clothes, a toothbrush, and his computer and slept on my couch for a few months and the idea began to take shape! After sampling and creating the website we launched on Feb. 8, 2012.

When starting your own business, what made you decide to focus mainly on sunglasses as opposed to other accessories?

We knew going into this that we had a solid price point and found a gap in the market so we committed to the success our eyewear first, and then accessories would follow as long as the brand did well.

Tell us about your friendship – how long have you known one another?

Dylan and I have known each other since we were 16, and went to rival high schools. After a mutual friend introduced us we couldn’t believe we had never met before and from then on we have been great friends.

How did you start to spread the word when your company was still brand new? How have your promotional efforts changed since then?

We started to promote Nectar with friends and family at the very beginning. Once we saw how well the brand was resonating with everyone, we continued to guerilla-market our products by putting them in the hands of influencers in our market. We will always promote how we did in the beginning, but now it is on a bigger, more calculated scale!

 What advice do you have for any young entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business during or after college?

Now is the time. Take your ideas and make them real. There are so many resources available at your fingertips and outlets to help grow a young business. There isn’t much left but to do, but make it happen! 

What is one thing you wish you would have known before starting your own business?

I wish we would have started this in college and that the time and energy put in would be this great.

What’s new about your Spring/Summer collection?

This Spring / Summer collection is a milestone for Nectar. We have sold wayfarers for the past few years and now are launching four new frame styles that will have a greater pull into our demographic.

Was affordability important to you in marketing to your demographic?

Affordability is something that we feel is so important in a young adult’s life when you’re trying to “budget” for your weekend festivities. Sunglasses should not be a burden on this list.

What do you think sets Nectar apart form other eyewear brands, particularly for the college student demographic?

We market living “the sweet life” and “doing epic sh*t.” College students live the sweetest lives and do lots of epic sh*t! Our brand is relevant for college students that are living in one of the most amazing times of their lives, meeting new friends and making incredible memories along the way. We believe Nectar fits perfectly into the fulfilling lives of college students.

Who else is involved in the design, production and promotion process?

We design all of the color ways as well as the frame styles here and have worked with some amazing companies to help us produce these glasses on a high level.

Tell us about your ideal customer.

Our ideal customer would be someone who is 17-25, a free thinker, a risk taker and someone who embraces the amazing moments that are created each and every day!

What is your tag line about?

“The sweet life” is something we encourage our customers to live while wearing our products. They shouldn’t be worried about losing/breaking their sunnies while going to the beach or skating with friends.  They should enjoy life more in the products that they love.

What has surprised you the most about running your own business?

How much I have learned along the way. It is incredible to be able to grow each and every day and through this process of learning keeps me so humble.

 Have you had the chance to travel to promote the brand since you launched the company? Where did you go and what was your favorite part about traveling there?

We have been blessed to be able to travel quite a bit with the brand. One of our favorite places to go with Nectar is to down to Orlando for The Surf Expo. This is where everyone in our industry goes to showcase new innovations, products and apparel that are coming out for the upcoming season. Each trip we receive incredible feedback that keeps us motivated to keep growing.

What’s next for Nectar – where do you hope to take the brand in the future?

Nectar is going to continue to create great products at an affordable price! The future is bright! Cheers – Sean H.


For a chance to WIN 1 of 3 pairs of Nectar sunglasses follow both @OfficialCollegeTourist and @Nectar on Instagram, find the image below, like it and tag a friend. Offer ends 2-21-15.  Click here

Nectar Comp Image

Lindsey Zimmerman

Ohio University | 19 stories

Lindsey Zimmerman is a senior public relations major from Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from Ohio University this spring, she'll be spending the summer interning in Cleveland before moving to Spain in the fall to work as an English teacher. She studied abroad in Leipzig, Germany in 2013. When she's not planning her next adventure, she enjoys reading, writing, cooking, learning new languages and spending time with her friends and family. Above all, she believes life is too short to speak just one language and stay in the same place. Follow Lindsey on Twitter @lindseyzim716.

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