“We are ordinary 50+ ladies who had an idea and a dream and set out to make it a reality. We first met through a previous job a couple of decades ago and never lost sight of our friendship and commonalities. We are honored to call our mentors and colleagues some of our closest friends and are grateful for all the support we have been given. The motivation behind our business was clear. A few years ago we both encountered experiences that left us feeling taken advantage of and vulnerable. We both thought; we can either sit back and accept this OR do something about it to not expose ourselves to this kind of mistrust again. So, we gathered up our ideas and courage and formed Coti Vision (COTI being the acronym for Chuckle On The Inside). We set ourselves the goal to create a different approach to how ready reading glasses are perceived, with an aim to break the old age perception, and to create a unique and original collection guaranteed to restore some fun into growing up, says CotiVision co-founder, Nancy Gries.
“The idea for our CotiVision™ necklace reading glasses was founded on a genuine problem. We both reached the age where we needed reading glasses, but couldn’t find anything on the market that met our needs or personalities. Those 40+ years of age know the stigma around hitting this milestone and needing to extend things at arm’s length to read the small print. Deteriorating eyesight is a consequence of age and ready reading glasses are fundamental for most; however, there is very limited choice and they never seem to be there when we need them. So we thought, why do they need to be worn around the face, when they can be simply worn as a necklace around the neck and lifted when needed like a magnifier? How cool would it be to be able to covert the chain to other colors to mix and match the look? So now gone are the days of rummaging around to find them left lying on the desk/counter, in the bottom of our handbag or perched on top of our head. Worn around the neck, they are always at our fingertips. Reading menus, packaging labels, mobile phone messages, has never been more convenient”, added Julie Hawkins, joint-owner.
The entrepreneurs that founded the Yorkshire-based business CotiVision™ recently secured a £50,000 investment from Dragons’ Den Deborah Meaden and share their excitement about realizing their ambitions on a global platform. Dragons’ Den is the U.K.’s version of Shark Tank, the popular business investment series in the United States.
Deborah Meaden shared, “Having been a reading glass wearer Nancy and Julie’s explanation of why they came up with Coti Vision really hit home. It seemed to me they were bringing an important bit of everyday kit out of the dullness and into the light. The designs are cool, funky, highly wearable, and bang on trend and their extensive background in the eyewear Industry underlined that they understood how to produce a relevant, quality effective product. So…great product presented by two highly experienced professionals…what’s not to like!!!”
“We are very hands-on and have become masters of multi-tasking. Initially, we pretty much had to assemble the products ourselves. Today, we are both involved in all aspects of the business which keeps us connected to our products and customers.”
Not limited just to reading glasses, they have developed a complete range of fashion-forward CotiVision™ glasses chains, which can also be used as mask chains and stand-alone necklaces. The collection AMORE ITALIA consists of an array of unique models in a range of ravishing colors. The collection is lovingly handmade in the heart of Northern Italy from recycled materials. Each CotiVision™ Amore Italia chain is carefully and passionately created to deliver a punch of uniqueness and character. They blend fun, function, and fashion in a palette of bursting colors to inspire a look that is bold and beautiful. With so much focus on cleanliness, it is an ideal way to ensure your glasses and mask are not set down on unhygienic surfaces.
“One of our prized mentors once said: “We have been gifted two ears and one mouth, we need to remember to use them in that proportion”. Due to our experiences and life’s lessons, we have learned to “listen” to situations and “hear’ with both ears, but we are not afraid to speak up with questions, ask for clarification and advice. By using the gifts we have been given we have become people who can be “counted on”. Being people who can be counted on builds trust, and this is the foundation for building strong relationships. We aim to celebrate each person’s unique personality and approach life with a sense of creativity and fun. We are just ordinary ladies who feel we have a story to tell and hope through our journey we can inspire many other women to also find the courage to realize their goals and ambitions”.
See the entire line on their website cotivision.com.