San Diego-based Blenders Eyewear has been growing at breakneck speed since its launch in 2012. In a little more than five years, the retailer was generating “tens of millions” in revenue.

And it all started with a DJ.

The sunglasses retailer is the brainchild of Chase Fisher, who came up with the business idea for Blenders after buying a pair of $5 neon green “beater” sunglasses from Target to sport while taking in one of his favorite DJs at a downtown San Diego nightclub.

“There was all this buzz around my $5 shades,” says Fisher, who is Blenders’ founder and CEO. “I realized there was a massive gap in the market. There were cheap pairs, like the pair I was wearing and the expensive brands like Oakley. There wasn’t a brand in between.”

Fisher sought to fill that gap by borrowing $2,000 from his roommate and launching Blenders, which sells vibrant shades priced from $20-$65. The brand features a tagline “live in forward motion” as it aims to appeal to consumers with active lifestyles.

Thanks to an aggressive marketing strategy to build buzz around the brand, the business quickly took off. What began as Fisher selling shades out of his backpack while doubling as a surf coach during the company’s first year is now a rapidly growing business with 18 full-time employees and roughly 1,000 street team ambassadors who work on commission and promote Blenders on social media and in their communities.

Building a brand

Blenders’ marketing strategy relies heavily on brand building. Those efforts…

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