Barner is a Kickstarter born company with one mission: Empower the Life of Digital Generations through innovative, functional and beautifully designed products. Barner is a company of the internet, for the internet. Our initial goal was to simply protect tech lovers from the effects of blue light, but there is so much more we can do, which is why we’re working on more products to enhance the lives of the digital generation. We know you want it all, so we are prioritizing innovation, comfort, quality, and design to give you products that are as functional as they are stylish so you never have to sacrifice.
From the beginning, we have understood that living the life of a technology lover has a steep price tag, so we do our best to keep our prices competitive and not break the bank, with our glasses ranging from 59€ to 99€. After their Kickstarter campaign, where they became one of the top 0,2% Kickstarter campaigns over +500.000, Barner was only available online up June 2019, when we launched in retail stores in more than 17 countries. And, at the end of June 2019, they launched our new e-commerce site.
When it comes to the name of the brand, for you to know, Barcelona, also known as “Barna”, gave Barner its name! “Barners” is our way of referring to all the people that, in one way or another, are connected to Barcelona; not because they live there, but because they live the Barcelona lifestyle wherever they are.
The first product we launched are our Blue Light Screen Glasses. Barner’s high quality lenses have a coating specially developed for people who spend a lot of time indoors and are exposed to the blue-violet and LED light of digital devices like smartphones, TVs, and tablets.
Our CR39 lenses block 40% of the blue light on the 430nm-450nm spectrum, and 100% of the blue light at 410nm, which is just about 100% of the UVA/UVB rays.
In addition to protecting your eyes, our glasses can help you sleep better and improve your overall eye health. Unlike our competitors, our CR39 lenses are of the same quality as optician’s lenses, and in relation to traditional optic wear, Barner provides the same quality of lenses for a price four times lower than average.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
It all started with a personal need – we are lovers of technology, but our eyes cannot withstand so many hours every day in front of digital devices. After far too many eye drops, we decided to look for a better solution for our eyes; one that would improve upon current market options with style.
At first, we started surveying our closest circle, around 1.000 people, to check if people with non-prescription needs would wear or not glasses in order to protect their eyes from the blue light. 85% of them confirmed that and then, before creating the company with all the costs involved, we wanted to test it out in a bigger market and this is why we launched our first Kickstarter campaign.
The results were amazing, and not just that, we can say that our community created the final product: they chose the colors, the shapes, the names of the different shapes, they wanted it lighter, more flexible, and much more features they said that they were a must!
Nowadays there is a movement or trend, related to digital detox. We are not part of that, we understand that technology is important and it helps all of us in our daily tasks and needs. No tech gadget or accessory will be better than having a Christmas Dinner with your family, or a walk next to the beach with your boy/girlfriend, being present in that moment, with no distractions from social media. We think that technology has to be used if needed, but always being conscious about that, and that is what we think we need, a more conscious digital world.
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What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Barner has been the adventure of our lives, and we’d love to share hundreds of advices as we have faced too many challenges, and we will face much more! On top of all personal advice we would say: never lose your passion and always try to move your team out of their comfort zones. There is an amazing world out of the comfort zone, and everyone needs to grow professionally and personally to have personal fulfillment.
Regarding the 3 things we think that make Barner stand out. The first being we are a company with a clear mission and we are completely dedicated to. Our mission is to empower the lives of the digital generations with functional, creative and beautifully designed products. Currently, our main offering is cool and comfortably designed blue light glasses (with our sights set on expansion).
We paid attention to every detail to make frames that everyone will feel proud of wearing. Funnily enough, when we first launched so many people in our network asked when we’d launch sunglasses and the answer was, we wouldn’t. Speaking back to our mission, all of the products we put out would be to empower the digital generation and sunglasses don’t achieve this.
The second being, our values. We have 4 really strong values that we share internally and externally. They’re what bond us with our community, and they dictate our goals and how we navigate our day to day.
And lastly, we are a purpose driven company. We have answered the UN’s call to action through its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, there are four key goals we focus on. We take pride in our efforts to be carbon neutral and take action to be as such (we have already planted more than 16,000 trees to date). We have also donated prescription glasses to those in need, which will not only help improve their daily lives but create opportunities for folks to work again, and earn an income to contribute and reinvigorate their community’s economy.
What can we hope to see from Barner in the future?
MUCH MORE! Since we decided what our purpose was going to be: empower the life of digital generations, everything changed. People think that when you launch your first product you settle down in that industry, but it’s not like that, what matters is your purpose, your mission. We are always working on new exciting projects and we think this is what makes us thrive.
It’s true that we have started with blue light glasses, but currently we’re working on an exciting new accessory (unrelated to eyewear) that we suspect will further empower the digital generation. We cannot disclose what is going to be yet but we’re hoping to launch this in February or March.
Interview with Ramón Pérez and Eduardo Gaya Sanchez, Co-Founders at Barner