The Story of My Pet: Inspiring Stories of Animal Rescue, Fostering & Adoption

Eyewear That Gives Back to Rescue Animals

November 14, 2022 Julie Marty-Pearson, Christy Chand Season 1 Episode 22
The Story of My Pet: Inspiring Stories of Animal Rescue, Fostering & Adoption
Eyewear That Gives Back to Rescue Animals
The Story of My Pet: Inspiring Animal Stories
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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I welcome my guest, Christy Chand. Christy is the founder and president of SPEX Eyewear Inc. SPEX is a new online eyewear retailer that donates 100% of its profit to animal rescue. Before launching SPEX, Christy was a tenured associate professor of dance. She earned her B.F.A. in dance from Cornish College of the Arts  and earned her M.F.A. in dance from the University of Washington. Despite all of her amazing accomplishments, Christy’s heart truly belongs to animals–especially to the five rescues currently in her fur family. And her wonderful husband, Sid.
Follow Christy and SPEX on their website & socials

www.spexeyewearinc.com

https://www.facebook.com/spexeyewearinc

https://www.instagram.com/spexeyewearinc

The rescue groups and organizations SPEX currently partners with are listed here: 

https://spexeyewearinc.com/pages/spexfriends

Though, any non-profit rescue or animal welfare organization may be designated when purchasing at SPEX. More: 

https://spexeyewearinc.com/pages/customer-donation-designations

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The Story of My Pet Podcast
Host: Julie Marty-Pearson
Guest: Christy Chand
Episode 22: Eyewear that Supports Animal Rescue

[00:00:00]
Hello, hello, hello, my friends and fellow animal lovers. Welcome to another episode of the story of my pet podcast. I'm your host, Julie Marty Pearson, and I'm excited to welcome a new guest today. Thank you for joining me, Christy Chand. Hi, thank you so much for having me on.

[00:00:18]
I'm really to be here. I'm very excited for this conversation. It's a very interesting topic we'll be talking about, and I think it's really great what you're doing. So I'm going to tell my listeners a little more about you. Christie is the founder and president of Specs Eyewear.

[00:00:34]
Specks is a new online eyewear retailer that donates 100 of its profit to animal rescue. Before she launched Specs, she was a tenured associate professor of dance. She earned her Bachelor's Arts in Dance from Christy College of the Arts, and she was a professional dancer teacher and choreographer for ten years. That's amazing. She then got her Masters of Arts in Dance from University of Washington, and she worked as a graduate teaching assistant there.

[00:01:09]
I've done that too. Love graduate teaching assistance. But her heart belongs to animals, especially her current five rescues and her wonderful husband, Sid. Amazing. I can't wait to hear the story of how you went from dance to eyewear and animals.

[00:01:29]
It's not common, I don't think. No, but, you know, I guess I'd meet and just people in general. There's more and more, especially us women pivoting in our professional careers and realizing how amazing it is and how great it is to try new things. I think it's amazing. Thank you.

[00:01:48]
So tell me a little bit about your background before we talk more about Specs. So you were a dance student and professor. What was your history and love of dance like? Sure. Well, my history with dance goes all the way back to being a three year old and having my parents put me into just a community class with two neighbors, and they hated it, and I loved it.

[00:02:16]
So my parents then moved me to our local studio, and as many do, I fell in love with dance and did a lot of it growing up. I joined our performing group at the studio called Pizazz when I was eight years old, and we did tons of shows. When I think about how much we performed, it was a lot as an eight year old. And I stayed with that company for a while. I did nutcrackers.

[00:02:43]
They did all sorts of different involvement, I guess. And then I had decided that I wanted to go into physical therapy because I was injured a lot as a dancer as well. And one of my dance teachers had said, hey, go audition for this scholarship at Christy, and if you get it, you're meant to be a dancer. And I was like, okay. So I auditioned and I ended up getting it, and it's a scholarship that changed my life.

[00:03:09]
It was a full ride. Everything paid for by the Crawl Shimmer Foundation in Seattle, and it was pretty special to get that. And so my parents were like, well, I guess you're getting a degree in dance now, just completely pivoted. And from there, I said, I got to be a fan dance from Christy. And then I danced professionally with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and I taught a lot all over the place.

[00:03:39]
I've been in the company in Colorado for about 20 years. I'm all over with dance. That's brief history. That's amazing. I danced when I was little wasn't the best, but I enjoyed doing it.

[00:03:52]
And I think it's a great story because there are a lot of people, little girls and little boys who want to dance but aren't sure, and they think about doing other things. And I really love that. Your teacher said to you, go for this, try it, and if you get it, that's what's meant to be, and if you don't, then do something else. And I think that's the power of a great teacher. Absolutely.

[00:04:14]
It's still a mentor in my life, so that's positive, for sure. Yeah. So you ended up going back to school for a Masters in Art and Dance. How did that come about? Yeah, so I've been teaching like I said, I started teaching right out of high school, actually, and then taught at several studios.

[00:04:32]
And then I had a couple of different adjunct positions in some universities and colleges. And this was all up in the Seattle area, which is where I'm from originally. And in order to get a more full time position in higher education in the dance world, you need an MFA, which is our terminal degree. We don't have to go onto PhD unless we want to, but so I went back to University of Washington to get that MSA in dance. And then how I came to California is I was throwing out resumes all over the place.

[00:05:07]
It's very difficult to get a tenured professorship in dance. There's just not very many and there's not many openings each year. I can imagine. Yeah. So I was offered a position down here in California, and I took it, and then I was there for about nine years.

[00:05:25]
Wow, that's great. My professional background is in higher education. I worked in higher education for 20 years in adjunct faculty, staff roles, administrative roles. So I totally understand the world you're talking about, and it is so competitive in all areas to get a full time tenure professor position. People who aren't in the world have no idea, and it gets tougher each year.

[00:05:50]
But I can imagine with dance, since it's not a program that that every university that is probably filled a lot by adjunct and part time. So that's an amazing thing to find one and you go where the work is. Absolutely, absolutely. So after being in that position for nine years, you decided to shift and try something new what made you decide to go into the eyewear business? Well, the eyewear portion of it ended up being kind of this chance encounter with a wonderful man named Bruce.

[00:06:26]
He is a lens manufacturer and he is the one that makes the actual glasses come together for specs. He lives up in Washington state and he had been working for another IRA company that has since closed that also gave to animal rescue but they supported just one rescue and in meeting Bruce and he still wanted to work and I was like I want to do that. Honestly the organizational skills necessary to run a company are really similar to a lot of the same skills that I had as a it's not just going in front of students and teaching dance all day, right? As I know there's a lot of other work that is involved in a highered position and as being even up to chair and I was also director of the dance company, I was in charge of our social media, our marketing, graphic design, the list is all of the things that I was in charge of. So when I thought I can do this budget, financial or a big part of it so with all of that I thought I could do this and that shift, this is one of your questions I guess I could go there but that shift came from when?

[00:07:43]
It was in December of 2020 that I started volunteering at the local animal shelter, the county shelter, and I started dog walking. And if that rings a bell, that was pretty high COVID at times, and at our university, we're still completely online. So the only interaction I was having was with my husband, which is great. I love my husband, my animals, which I also love. And then everything else is virtual.

[00:08:11]
And I knew that our shelter was in need, and so I decided to start walking dogs. I just did it once a week but in those 3 hours that I was there with those dogs every week I felt a sense of just purposes. Yeah, I love teaching, I love my students, I want to make sure that that is very clear but there are a lot of other things that are going on that was really challenging for me. I started having panic attacks that I'd never had. I broke four teeth in a period of two months.

[00:08:46]
Like, oh, my. I was having these physical reactions, but when I would go to the shelter, I felt great and just wanted to be able to do something that would give back to these beautiful beings that have meant so much to me and so many people that I know and love in my life. That's amazing. I think sometimes people don't realize that teaching in higher education is just as stressful as high school or elementary school. And a lot of times you get to the point of burnout.

[00:09:19]
And I think that's what happened for a lot of us during COVID and the way we did it and what we did change so much when it was virtual, that oftentimes it kind of changed how we felt about it or how we received the good part of what we were doing. So I love that you started walking the dogs and just found that powerful relief and purpose because that's what animals are for us. You were dog walking for the local county shelter and I think that's an important thing for people to know that at least I know at mine they're so limited on staff and what they can do for the animals that dogs aren't getting walked every day. Most shelters don't have enough staff to do that and so they rely on volunteers to come in like you, whether it's once a week or whatever it is. And that's when the dogs get out of their kennels and you get to see more of their personality and they get to have fresh air.

[00:10:13]
And that's such an important volunteer role for a shelter. Absolutely. I will never forget the person that trained me as well as the person that I ended up working a lot with these two different men that both highlighted the role that we humans play in the dog, that obviously it's the logistics of getting them out, getting the fresh air, finally use the bathroom. Because this shelter that I was in didn't have any type of outdoor access unless you actually came into their kennel and took them outside. So if the shelter closes at five and we don't get there till 08:00 a.m.

[00:10:49]
The next day, that's a really long time. And for dogs especially, that they were found as strays or whatever else had actually been in a home and were trained not to use the bathroom inside, the stress that can overcome these dogs of knowing, like, I can't go in the tunnel, I have to wait. And that's really a long time to have to wait to get out, to go to the bathroom. So we would just get in there and like try and get through the dogs as fast as we can and then take them for a more meaningful walk later. Because some of those dogs that were more reactive, some of them that presented as very shy, that wouldn't be probably the first to be adopted because they were cowering at the back of their kennel.

[00:11:29]
The time that we spent with them was so incredibly important because it helped them learn to trust in humans again, for so many of them that don't have that trust, that was broken. So it was so emotional. Every Saturday I would be there from eight to at least 11:00 a.m.. I would come home and just kind of rest the rest of the day with this feeling of elation from feeling so good with the animals, but also this just like deep emotional toll and toil that had happened from giving so much. Absolutely.

[00:12:02]
Because you're seeing the animals in a vulnerable place, in a difficult place. They're scared, they're anxious, they're unsure, and you take on a lot of that emotion when you're trying to help them and walk them. And that's why, again, I always highlight the amazing things that the shelter workers are doing because they do that every day, all day long, and they're seeing the worst of the worst. They're seeing stuff that we won't ever see. And so it is such a powerful thing, but it's also very draining.

[00:12:35]
And that's another reason why I wanted to do because I also saw just the need. Obviously they need more people, but they also need funds to be able to get things tolled right. Food, obviously, all the things that you need to take care of animals. It's a lot. Absolutely.

[00:12:52]
So then you decided to do something about it, I guess, and start raising money for animal rescue. Yeah. And so specs eyewear inc. Opened in April of 2022, and we sell online. We've got 28 different frame styles to choose from as of now.

[00:13:17]
We hope to expand that as we progress. And within those different frame styles, we have at least two, if not up to four different colors of the frame as well. So there's a lot of options, a lot of size options to try to find something for everybody. And we then we have a couple different ways that you donate. So one is through our Specs Friends program that is essentially like an affiliate program, if people are familiar with that, where a shelter or rescue can provide a link to our website that is their specific link, or a discount code.

[00:13:52]
And when supporters of that rescue or shelter go and shop at Specs using either that link or discount code, they get off their purchase and then we say goes to the rescue. But it's really a lot more than that. So depending on the prescription and what people need, the cost of everything are very different. So 10% isn't even like an office. It's really up from there.

[00:14:20]
Then the rescue gets a portion of that. That's amazing. Affiliate work with nonprofits and businesses is such an important way for them to get support and people to get things they need. I mean, everybody needs new classes. And my husband was actually just talking about it last night and I said, how funny, I'm interviewing somebody who runs the eyeglass.

[00:14:46]
Yeah, I think that kind of connection is, I think, so important and there's so many different ways. And then they're helping you to market your company and you can then market the organization and get more people involved and to learn about them. So it's such a great way to such a great business model, I should say. Thank you. What have you learned in doing this in terms of starting the company and helping animal rescue?

[00:15:15]
In terms of the needs of animal rescue and how we can best support different shelters and rescue organizations. Well, a couple of things. I'll start with the rescue side, as I'm sure yours is probably the same, but let's say Instagram is only rescues and shelters. So as I scroll, I have to really put limits on myself because I feel myself going down into a very deep, dark place because they're all like, of course, there's the and we get really good news as well. But I feel like that's fewer than the urgent plea.

[00:15:56]
4 hours left. Or we need more funds, or we just had eight puppies dropped at our door. We need fosters. The call for help is just staggering right now. And I mean, it's the worst that I've ever seen.

[00:16:12]
It's just draining. And that's just for me on the outside again, to think about what it's like for the people that are actually face to face with those animals every day is even more difficult. So I just fire underneath. There's already one there, but it's gotten bigger. Just trying to do as much as I possibly can to get sales so that we can give more.

[00:16:37]
Knowing also that this is a really tough time for not just rescues, but really everybody financially. So there's a part of me, too, that feels bad, like, hey, buy glasses by glasses for me. And we're not the cheapest out there by any means. There's many other online shops that you can go to where you can get a pair of frames and lenses for like 495. We can't compete with that, right?

[00:17:01]
If people are just looking for the cheapest glasses that exist, that's not us. But we're also a lot less expensive than many, many other places. So there's a part of me it just feels like I'm in this constant struggle of wanting to give but not wanting to push too much from people. So that's a little bit challenging right now. I guess that crosses over into things I've learned from the business side as well, right?

[00:17:26]
I would say one more thing I've learned about the business side is just I've been a reading glasses person. Like, I've got my readers here. I just got my first distance prescription the last time I went for glasses. So now I have two pairs. I should probably get a pair of progressives, but I have this assumption that people that wear glasses know everything there is about glasses, and I've learned that's not the case, and that there's a lot of education to be had.

[00:17:53]
So that's where my love for teaching and research comes back in to be able to find ways to help people learn that it's not that hard to buy glasses online. I can help with that and that they don't have to. They're not stuck with going to only their local optical shop that's going to charge them a ton more, which supports business as well. But I'm also local for Fresno people to help people understand, like, what their frame size is, what their prescription looks like, and that you can buy from wherever you want. And if you have a heart for animals and you want your money to go towards good, please choose that.

[00:18:32]
No, I think that is such a great point in so many ways. First of all, I think people sometimes believe that where they go to get their eye exam is where they have to buy their glasses. And that's so not true. And there are so many more options now. And I know for myself, I have several eye issues.

[00:18:49]
I have asigmatism. I have both near and farsighted. I have a cataract starting in the other eye. So I have all the things I have severe dry eye. A lot of times we just go, all these glasses, I can't see anymore.

[00:19:05]
I need a new pair. But there is so much more education behind taking care of your eyes and the best glasses for you. And, you know, Blue readers are such a hot topic right now because everybody's on a laptop. You know, there's so much more to learn about that. So I think that the fact that you're able to do that education part is really great.

[00:19:22]
Yes, I really enjoyed it. Like, this last week or every week, I do a Tip Tuesday email to our email subscribing list and I try and give this week I focus on just all trends. But one of the weeks the falt trend was tortoise. Tortoise is really in fashion this fall, and I didn't know that when tortoise shellframes started becoming more popular in about the 1920s, I didn't know that when they first started, they were actually tortoise shell from turtles. I didn't know that.

[00:19:57]
I didn't know that either. Yeah, awful to read, but thankfully that practice isn't in existence anymore. I mean, almost some places might do it, but I know that most places don't do it. So I've got these temples right here, tortoise. And that is not a real turtle.

[00:20:14]
Yeah, I've had tortoise in glasses and sunglasses before, and that's shocking. I have two tortoises, so that's like. Oh, my gosh, even imagine it's terrible. No, that was a bad thing to learn. But I've also learned a lot more.

[00:20:30]
Like I said, the heart that I have for research and for teaching didn't go away. So just being able to transfer that into this world of vision has been really exciting and really fun. No, that's great. I love that. Because whatever your topic is or your business is, there's always room for educating people and learning more.

[00:20:53]
Sure. We've talked about how you're volunteering with the dogs and walking them and stuff kind of inspired you to do more, but we haven't really talked about your own per family. So in terms of your love for animals, did you grow up with animals or is it something you did later in life. So I grew up with dogs one at a time. But our first family dog, her name was Julie.

[00:21:19]
She was a Shetland sheep dog, and she was the Blue Girl. So she was the gray, black and white, and she had a black marking on her thigh that was in a perfect heart.

[00:21:34]
I couldn't have asked for a more perfect family dog for me. I have all sorts of photos of her in a bonnet and T shirts and wrapped in blankets, and this poor girl put up with so much from me. But I absolutely adored her. And sorry, I still get emotional talking about her. 2000.

[00:21:58]
I was in 11th grade, which was a long time ago now, but she made a huge impact on my life. And yes, she's a good girl. I totally understand. I had amazing dogs as a child, and especially our last Champ, I got him as a puppy when I was having health issues, and he, you know, changed my life. So I totally understand.

[00:22:20]
And I think that's something some people maybe, who whether they've never had a pet or it was different for them, don't realize. Our whole life is impacted by them. And thinking about that makes us happy, but also makes us sad. Absolutely. So after Suzy, we adopted a Jack Russell, a black and white smooth coat Jack Russell.

[00:22:43]
That her name was Roxy. And I adored that dog as well. She was fantastic. But I didn't have the same relationship with her because we adopted her when I was a junior in high school. I didn't have the time with her that I had with Suzy.

[00:23:01]
I moved out at 18 and never moved back in, so it's just a different relationship. But obviously, I still loved her so very much, too. And then now I have five rescue in our house. You want to be here about each of those two? Yes, please.

[00:23:20]
No, go ahead. Everybody listening wants to hear all about them. Well, okay, so I'll go in order of adoption. So let's see. I adopted my husband.

[00:23:32]
Just kidding. So we got married in 12, 13, 14, so in December of 2014. And then we, shortly after that, moved into a new kind of tri level townhome, and that was in the garbage beach area. And there was this lot next to us that the backyard was huge, and it had a I think of it as, like, 1980 style satellite dishes, this huge satellite dish that was just, like, being grown over by nature, as well as a boat that was also being thrown over by nature. This was the weirdest backyard.

[00:24:10]
But also back there was, like, this gang of cats that I would go every morning outside with a cup of coffee, and I would literally talk to the cats. They're like, I'm on the second floor balcony of our place, just, like, talking to all these cats in fanghai. I mean, I did that for a while, my husband thought I was crazy. But one day we noticed one of the cats was on our balcony. And to get there she had to jump up like quite a tall fence to then another fence to our neighbors balcony, then into our balcony.

[00:24:43]
So like she had to want it. Yes. And she was there. And we went outside and said hidewear. And she immediately jumped up on my husband's lap, curled up and heard to then fall asleep.

[00:24:56]
We were like, don't give a cat, which has happened. So we opened up our door, she came inside, she sniffed around and then we let her back out. But then she came back in. So she stayed at night with us. My husband immediately went to the store, got a little box, got the essentials.

[00:25:12]
But we know she had a caller. It was later at night. We thought maybe we shouldn't, we need to call people. So we started calling. The caller number was disconnected.

[00:25:23]
So the next day we started calling on to all the local vets just to see if they have that number on file. They did. It was for an orange cat who comes with a gray cat. We were like, what's going on? Walked around the neighborhood, everything.

[00:25:34]
But like I said, I've been seeing this cat out there for a while. She had a sleek hall around too, that was super sunfated. Okay, I don't know about this. It feels like this cat might have been left behind somehow. And so asked all the neighbors, did as much as we possibly could, we felt, to see if they make sure we weren't catnapping anybody.

[00:25:53]
We also let her back out the next morning and we were like, if she comes back, she's ours. And we want them to. I couldn't focus all day long. We're just like, I'm already in love with her. And that night my husband and I were sitting on the couch and I'll never forget like, our door was over here and every 2 seconds I was here and one time I looked over and there was pookins with her.

[00:26:15]
Beautiful. She's a Russian blue, partially right. So she's got those cheek. She's just like went grabbed her and she's been an indoor cat with us ever since. That's amazing.

[00:26:32]
That's such a great story. I always say oftentimes our pets choose us. She definitely did. So she rescued us. The rest of us like our second cat, ELB, we thought that couldn't even find a friend.

[00:26:45]
We were very wrong. They've never gotten along. We did all of them, put them in two separate rooms and the bowl of food next to the door. We did all of the things on every blog that's ever existed. Jackson, galaxy everything.

[00:26:58]
And so they're not friends. And then a couple of years later, since in 2018, my husband saw a social media post for a cat that needed a home. And he fell in love and so we adopted Linus, who had just broken his legs, so he had to go through the osteoexomy hip surgery. So trying to keep a kitten in a confined space and not letting him jump around was challenging. But once he was recovered, he still really wanted to play.

[00:27:28]
And Putin's and Albi were like, no. So we found out that his brother, biological brother, was still the last of his litter that needed a home. We're like, Well, I guess we're going to adopt this one too. So we ended up with Linus and Franklin who are from the peanut themed litter. Great.

[00:27:46]
And then lastly, we adopted this at my feet next to me right now, our dog Freddie in March of 2021 and he's our latest and last for now addition to our family.

[00:28:02]
What kind of dog is he, Freddie? We did do an embark DNA test on him because the shelter we actually adopted him kind of story. But like, through the shelter that I was volunteering ath, when he came in, they thought that he was a Chihuahua. Miniature pincher mix. He looked like that for sure.

[00:28:25]
Step along legs and the kind of min penn markings, but he has no miniature pinscher in him whatsoever. He's like 37% Chihuahua, but he also has like, pecanese maltesug, a little bit of Dashbound, cocker spaniel, I mean, huge list of other dogs that are a part of him, but he's kind of got a longer body, tiny little head. This is disproportionate to the rest of his body, but I love him with everything. Yeah, it sounds like he has a lot of the dog breeds that we have a lot of in California. Chihuahuas and Dachshunds and Pugs and a lot of that.

[00:29:07]
Unfortunately, people breed themselves even though they shouldn't be, and they end up in shelters. So if you live anywhere in one of Chihuahua, come to California, you will find them in our shelters, or at least a mix of one. Oh, true. Well, that's amazing. I love a big fur family.

[00:29:24]
How does Freddie get along with all of the cats? He gets along best with Linus and they kind of play with each other a little bit. Frankie. Frankie gets along with him pretty well too, but I would think he's second. LB really doesn't want anything to do with him.

[00:29:47]
And Poogens tolerates. Yeah.

[00:29:56]
She makes it very known that she does not want to be near him when she walks by or anything.

[00:30:04]
Whereas Cookins will just walk by and just kind of give like a sideeye find that you're here, but I'm not in love with this. Or you're still here. Yeah, I'm still waiting for the time when there will be cuddling. I haven't seen that yet. Like Lina's and Fred who's been close or we've gotten a couple of times when a tail has flipped onto Freddie and I'm like, not really?

[00:30:32]
That's amazing. I had four cats at one point and there's. Such different dynamics between every two pets and every two cats. As cats and dogs, it all comes down to personality. And no matter what people think, every cat, every dog has their own unique personality.

[00:30:50]
And the whole point of is just to let them be them. And so it sounds like that's exactly what you guys do. You have an amazing mix of your family. I'm jealous. I only have two cats right now and I'm like, oh, I want more.

[00:31:06]
There's plenty out there, as you know. Oh my gosh, I know. I've thought about starting to foster kittens because that's such a need. And I'm like, yeah, I have a feeling they'll all end up staying with me. I'm going to try it anyway.

[00:31:24]
And the problem is.

[00:31:31]
That'S a litter box right there. I've got quite a few litter boxes in the house. Oh, yes. And see, my husband's in charge of the litter box. That's why he says don't to mortgage.

[00:31:42]
But we all do what we can. And every rescue is important, whether it's one or five or whatever we can do. But I think, like you have said, it all happens for a reason. The pets come into your life when they're supposed to. And on top of that, if you can't have more than one or even having one is too difficult for you financially or whatever it may be, volunteering is the next best thing.

[00:32:07]
Just like what you talked about walking dogs. Yeah. Or even, you know, I actually just wrote the Specs blog theme this week. Yesterday was ways to help. Right.

[00:32:20]
And in the volunteering aspect, you think it's not just the hands on stuff. It's like they need help sometimes with social media or photography things. They are grant writing things that you might have a passion or a talent for that if you don't want to actually have interactions with animals, do you think you're going to adopt them all or you think it's going to be too hard or too sad? Like you hear that a lot too of like, oh, how could you leave them? Things like that, that are real.

[00:32:49]
There's ways to be of help without actually having fun on the premises. Absolutely. And that's something. I have talked to the volunteer coordinator at my local shelter, answering phones, doing paperwork, helping the foster coordinator with coordinating events and trainings for their fosters, being somebody at a booth for an event that they're at. There's so many different things that you can do, what's the most valuable is your time and helping the shelter in whatever area that they need you.

[00:33:21]
I think that's such an important thing. And I will definitely check out your blog and link it for our listeners. Thank you so much. Try to have some fun with that. So I really appreciate our conversation and having you here.

[00:33:36]
Before we wrap up, I just want to know, is there anything about what you're doing with Specs and helping animal rescues and shelters that you want to talk about or add that we haven't already discussed. Sure. I just want to also elaborate on the donation portion. I talked about the Specs Friends program, but we also have a way to just designate any nonprofit that's in animal rescue because I want to have a focus not just locally, but really across the US. So if you live in North Carolina, let's say, and you work with a local shelter, you have a place that you adopted from, or you just like a local shelter.

[00:34:17]
When you buy glasses from us, then we have a whole process. It's really easy. You just write in the shelter's name in the cart, and then we will donate directly to them. So the profit from your glasses will go directly to them. So we have ways to make it a really personal experience to where you know where your donation is going.

[00:34:37]
And if you don't have a place that you want to go, then you just don't designate anybody, and then it goes into our general fund, and then we have discretion as to where we want to direct those funds, which is also nice. That's really great because I think oftentimes we see we donate 10% to this or that, but sometimes people really want to help a specific organization, and they're like, well, I need glasses, and I can't afford to make an additional donation. So that's a really great way for them to connect to a local group or organization or like you said, someone somewhere they've adopted from, and they want to be able to help support them. That's a really great option for them. Yes, thank you.

[00:35:19]
That's why we wanted to just try and make it as personal as possible. And I would say that other thing I want to add is just that buying online, I realize that you have kind of a spectrum of shoppers that ranges from somebody that wants zero interaction with anybody, and that's why you're buying online. Going to do it in the shadows. Or people that maybe never bought online before don't know how to buy online they want. I had a 45 minutes conversation with a buyer the other day to walk them through the entire process, which I'm happy to do with anybody.

[00:35:50]
We do zoom calls, like anything. So whether you want to be alone or you want to have a friend walk you through the process, we try and make it as easy of a process as possible, especially those, because I think last I read, they are like 9% that had bought glasses online. So I think that lots of people have bought, but really not a ton of people have bought glasses online. So that seems like a scary idea. We're here for you and can help get people through that process.

[00:36:22]
That's great because there are different customers. I myself like to be hands on, whether it's virtual or not and ask all the questions, and my husband is what you're talking about in the shadows. Nobody can I don't have to talk to anyone. So that's great because one thing is with people's work schedules, busy family schedules, it's hard to make an appointment to go in and spend the time trying them on and looking and doing all that. So binary Line is such a great option.

[00:36:49]
And to know that people can come to you and ask all the questions even though they're buying online is wonderful because that is something that I think people worry about when they're buying online, that they don't know what they're doing. So that's a great service that you provide. Yeah. Amazing. Well, I'm so excited to have met you and heard your story and learn about what you were doing.

[00:37:13]
I think this is really great. And anyway, my podcast can help support you and spread the word. I am very excited to do that and I hope my listeners will check you out. And I will definitely be posting more info about specs and the work that they do and how to shop online. I might be checking them out myself.

[00:37:33]
You always fantastic. I actually grabbed a couple for you if you want, because I saw that you had kind of like a cat eye look. So I grabbed a couple if you want to that's our more modern cat eyes. Those are metal. I think ears are acetate.

[00:37:48]
Sometimes it wouldn't have a different one because the ones I wear oftentimes, they have a bulkier, and sometimes you want to see better.

[00:37:59]
This one comes in three different colors. It's called long hair, short Hair, don't care. Oh, my God. That's amazing. This one is I just put this on.

[00:38:11]
This is called Fancy Cat, and it. Has a little gem in it. So that's why it's a fancy cat. You can see there's a little gem on the side. And then this is our other cat eye frame that is watching birds on the windowsill.

[00:38:26]
So they're all just kind of animal themed. And a lot of old sites have, like, Aubrey or like, a first name that is really common. I just want to kind of mix things up and make it different. Well, I love a fancy Cat, that's for sure.

[00:38:45]
I'm definitely going to show my husband your site because he only wears the wire. He doesn't like bulky frames. So you're definitely going to have a customer in him. And I love and then I can Instruct him what organization he can donate to. Perfect.

[00:39:03]
So that's great. I appreciate you showing me. I'm definitely going to look more I'm always thinking it's always nice. These are progressive, so I have near and foresighted in them. But it's always nice to have maybe a pair just for driving or just for reading or whatever it may be.

[00:39:20]
So it's nice that there's so many options, and I'm excited to look at everything you guys have to offer. So thank you so much for sharing. And to my listeners, please check out Specs Eyewear. You can look at it in terms of shopping for your next pair of glasses, but also to learn more about what they are doing to help animal rescue in your local area or across the country. And all the links to Christy and her website and her social media will be in the show notes and all of my contact information, as always.

[00:39:57]
So thank you again, Christie, for being here. It's been a really great conversation and hopefully we'll get to catch up again soon. Thank you so much. Julie OK, bye. Listener.

[00:40:10]
See you next time.