This UXO City runs a sunglasses business whose goal is to fit all faces


Caitlyn Lim Aiting, a young economist with a degree from the National University of Singapore (UXO), grew up in an entrepreneurial household.

Both of her parents started their own businesses – her father runs the luggage industry in Vietnam, and her mother ran a fashion store in Orchard Road. Now she is following in their footsteps.

Since then, she has combined a love of fashion and a vision of an inclusive world to start a sunglasses business that promotes the celebration of diversity.

A self-effacing fashionista, the 24-year-old strives to express herself through fashion, from the way she tailors clothes to her hair color.

She is also someone who is very sensitive to the plight of minority groups around her. For as long as she could remember, she had always advocated for the rights of marginalized communities, including LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) groups.

“It’s very important to accept that not everyone is the same and that we need to accept and celebrate diversity, instead of harassing those who aren’t for us,” Caitlyn said.

“My generation, Gen Z, is more socially and environmentally aware than previous generations. We want to do business and buy products that promote the values ​​we believe in. “

That’s why she started Twistrek, a new generation of fun and futuristic brands of sunglasses that target a younger audience dedicated to supporting social inclusion.

I start with glasses, because there is an old saying that says “eyes are windows to the soul”. We experience the world differently through our thoughts, feelings, and belief systems. So everything we project and see with our own eyes is a reflection of what is going on in our soul.

I hope to use Twistrek sunglasses as a platform to drive change at the soul level. It is a brand of glasses that suits faces in all races. The product itself is a celebration of diversity and inclusiveness, changing the beliefs of one customer and one soul.

-Caitlyn Lim Aiting, founder of Twistrek

Fitting faces into all races

caitlyn lim twistrek
Caitlyn Lim, founder of Twistrek / Image Credit: Caitlyn Lim

Caitlyn noticed an obvious gap in the eyewear industry: most fashion sunglasses on the market are designed for Caucasian facial features, such as an upper nose and a pointed face.

Growing up, she realized that many glasses did not fit her along the flat bridge of her nose and the wider frame of her face.

Together with his three friends – Jessica Ho, artistic director from Singapore; Larabella Myers from Italy / United Kingdom; i Matej Majesky from Slovakia / Germany – conducted focus groups in different countries to understand public opinion about sunglasses.

Their research found that people with a higher nasal bridge have different scores than those with a lower bridge.

They also discovered that the problem with sunglasses is not only in comfort, but also in style.

Since existing options in the market can be quite boring and outdated, they wanted to introduce a new, fun, futuristic style that transcends racial, political, and socioeconomic lines.

“We want to design modern, comfortable and appropriate sunglasses for everyone,” Caitlyn said.

Challenges as a young start-up company

Twistrek was founded in 2019 – right after Caitlyn’s graduation – and has been on the rise ever since.

As the founder of the company, she bears the sole responsibility for raising funds to start a business. She had to teach from the sidelines to make ends meet, and all the other members of her team do other jobs while building the company next to her.

To date, it has set aside about $ 20,000, and plans to invest another $ 30,000 later this year.

Caitlyn also had to learn all about sunglasses from scratch – she started with zero knowledge about sunglasses, or how to design and manufacture them.

In fact, none of the team members possess any design or technical expertise to design the best sizes and shapes of sunglasses for comfort and style.

That’s why they’ve boarded a professional advisor – someone who has been adjusting nose pads for glasses for decades – to make sure they’re on the right track.

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Twistrek eyewear palette / Image credit: Twistrek

To come up with a product market, Caitlyn visited optometers and glasses, talking for hours with different people. She also bought different brands to compare and measure, consulted with various industry experts, and conducted various market and market research.

Its foundation didn’t just end there.

Caitlyn also researched the eyewear supply chain industry and contacted various factories and suppliers to select the right partner. She stressed the importance of choosing a socially and environmentally sustainable supplier in Vietnam who cares about the socio-environmental responsibility of its material.

They have since applied for a certified B-Corporation. B Corporation is a certificate that meets the highest standards of proven social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

There is no stability when you start your own business. You define your own success.

You have to dare to take risks and not be afraid of failure. Failure is just another lesson learned, so you need to be prepared for failure and learn every day.

-Caitlyn Lim Aiting, founder of Twistrek

Catered For Conscious Millennials and Gen Z

Despite being installed in 2019, Twistrek’s glasses were launched only in June 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak.

One of the key challenges posed by the pandemic is production delays in Vietnam, and this is exacerbated by the fact that the team could not fly there to speed up production.

sunglasses twistrek
New Age Beauty (left) and Cyberpunk (right) / Picture of merit: Twistrek

Nonetheless, Twistrek currently has two collections for sale: The beauty of the new age i Cyberpunk, priced from $ 25 to $ 40 ($ 33 ​​to $ 53)

True to its vision and mission statement, Twistrek sunglasses are bold, different, fun and relevant to different groups and identities.

According to Caityln, so far the customer response has been positive. She added that Twistrek sunglasses are most attractive in the United States and Singapore, and most purchases come from younger millennials and older Gen Z demographic groups.

We’ve even managed to cover up so far to cover our operating costs in this startstrapping launch, but of course, we haven’t really made a big marketing boost.

-Caitlyn Lim Aiting, founder of Twistrek

She explained that the lack of marketing is because they have not yet launched the full model because they are still waiting for their design range to be ready, which should be released in September 2021.

These original designer sunglasses will be supplied in various combinations to suit as many shapes and sizes as possible.

From now on, Twistrek focuses on building their community and a niche digital presence that sets them apart from the competition.

For example, they participated in the TikTok and Instagram challenges, as well as contacted community members and influential people to place their sunglasses.

They also designed community activities to build their brand on messages about inclusion and diversity. They recently launched a Weird newsletter on Monday, where they profile a unique member of the community every Monday.

“Our community is called Twistfam,” Caitlyn proudly shared.

“In our family, you can freely accept what you are – we celebrate your individuality, your uniqueness and your personality. We celebrate you to the fullest! ”

Displayed images: Twistrek

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