We are pleased to introduce you to Ashley Marvin of STL Eco Eyewear - an eye care company entirely focused on sustainability from their office practices to their 100% biodegradable eyeglasses.
Q: Tell us the story behind STL Eco Eyecare and what led you to start it?
A: “I wanted to create a practice that really fit into the unique feel of St. Louis as a city, while also finding our niche. With the overwhelming evidence of the changes occurring to the planet, we felt it was an easy choice to create a practice that made sustainability a priority. We wanted to make our patients feel good about doing something good for the planet, while doing something they would need to do anyway - coming in for their annual eye exam.”
Q: We love a good sustainability story but have to say that sustainable eyewear is a really unique niche that we're glad you're paving the path for! How has this mission/focus made your business journey unique from maybe others in your industry?
A: “Sustainability in the optical industry has certainly come a long way, but we have so much more to do! Few people know the amount of waste that goes into creating just one pair of glasses, from the materials used to manufacture the frame as well as the wasted lens material after blanks are cut. It was honestly so fun to learn about the impact that can be made at every single step in the business creation process when we focused on making the smallest global impact possible. This included building the office from the ground up using sustainable materials, choosing programs and equipment with reducing paper waste in mind, and creating our own line of plant based, 100% biodegradable eyeglass frames.”
Q: What is something people often don't realize about your business?
A: “We are a small team of 3 incredibly driven women hoping to make a difference in a big industry! Our small female driven team gives us a fresh, unique perspective in an industry that could really benefit from our shared experience.”
Q: What inspires you?
A: “It's such a joy to truly make an impact on a patient's life by doing something we so often take for granted - helping them see clearly. When I'm in an exam with a patient, the stress of launching a business (during a pandemic, no less!) falls away and I am easily reminded why I'm doing what I'm doing.”
Q: Any new projects or launches coming up soon?
A: “We are so excited to be launching a myopia management program for our adolescent patients! This is a cause I'm truly passionate about and can't wait to bring to the St. Louis marketplace. More info can be found on our website!”
Q: How has being a part of The Women's Creative impacted you and your business?
A: “It's been so amazing to meet other female small business owners in St. Louis - to hear their passion for what and why they create what they do drives us to continue. It's also been so helpful in seeking out help from other women who have been in the business game for longer than I have; it is truly an invaluable resource.”
Q: Are you looking to partner or collaborate with other local businesses?
A: “ALWAYS! Please reach out - we're all about spreading the love with our sustainable eyewear!”
Q: Where can we find you online?
A: “Our website is full of fun info about our team, what we do, and the services we offer! Check us out at www.stlecoeyecare.com, and you can even book your appointment online! We're also on Instagram @stlecoeyecare and Facebook @EcoEyecare!”