Warby Parker is settling into its new optical lab, almost eight months after inking a lease for the facility, and it’s ramping up production and hiring efforts.
The New York-based maker of optical frames and sunglasses said the lab will help the brand fulfill online and in-store orders of its frames for customers west of Texas.
Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker’s co-founder and co-CEO, said the lab is the company’s second facility, adding that its first optical lab opened in New York in 2016.
“We wanted to ensure that we could build and scale a manufacturing facility — have it be one of the most advanced technologically — before opening up another one,” he said. “And we chose Las Vegas because of its people and because of its talent and its proximity to our customers.”
The 69,000-square-foot warehouse, on the corner of West Sunset Road and South Buffalo Drive at 7900 W. Sunset Road, now has 30 employees, but Blumenthal said it plans to hire a total of 130 workers by 2023.
The lab allows Warby Parker to have more control over the manufacturing process, typically it would partner with third-party optical labs to fulfill orders.
“There’s a lot of advanced machinery in our optical labs. There’s special training for our team members and I think sometimes people may forget that we’re creating custom products for all of our customers,” said Blumenthal. “Yes, they’re a fashion accessory … but they’re also a health product and we take that very seriously.”
And similar to the company’s first and only Nevada brick-and-mortar store in Downtown Summerlin, the optical lab is decorated with pops of its signature blue shade including several murals by Las Vegas-based artist Pretty Done.
Warby Parker launched in 2010 as an online eyewear brand, opening its first store in 2013 in New York. It made its public debut through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange in late September, hitting a valuation of more than $6 billion on its first day of trading.
The company now has more than 150 stores in the U.S. and Canada, including at least 30 locations across the West Coast.