A Letter From the Earleys
Ten years ago, we set out to create an eyewear brand that stood for quality, style, function, and value. With the support and passion of our partners and customers, Tifosi has grown to become a recognized, relevant, and trusted brand in cycling, running, outdoor and golf. We would like to take a moment to thank you, our loyal customers, without whom we could not have succeeded. Thank you for helping to make Tifosi the #1 selling brand of eyewear in specialty cycling and running stores.* We look forward to the next ten years,and as always, we welcome your feedback and input in helping Tifosi to be the best brand of sports optics in the world.
Elizabeth Earley, Joe Earley
Tifosi Turns Ten – A Brief History
2013 is a big year for Tifosi. Back on April 8, 2003, the very first sunglass order was shipped from Tifosi headquarters in Watkinsville, GA to Liberty Bicycles in Asheville, NC. Still based in Watkinsville, Tifosi has since grown into a global sport optics company; designing, manufacturing, and distributing to over 5000 retailers in more than 38 countries.
Tifosi Optics, Inc. was formed after co-founders Joe and Elizabeth Earley identified a need for a high quality, value-oriented eyewear brand in the cycling industry. Originally looking for an additional line to sell, Joe, an independent sales rep, noticed that existing sports eyewear brands fell into two categories: limited features and a low price, or fully-loaded features and technology with a high price tag.
Opportunity! Joe saw a need in the market for a sunglass brand that would suit the needs of both small and large retailers from a turns & margin standpoint, and would also provide value to consumers looking for high-quality sports optics.
By April 2003, Tifosi had grown from concept to company with the Earleys, one full-time account manager and a small outside sales force. On April 8, 2003, the first order was shipped from Tifosi’s headquarters in Watkinsville, Ga. Within 10 years, the Tifosi product offering has expanded from 21 styles to over 200, and beyond cycling to include sport-specific eyewear for running, golf, outdoor, and more.
From the beginning, Tifosi’s growth plan has been centered around three main components: continue to produce proprietary designs with quality optics, maintain a high level of customer service through a dedicated inside account management team and become the first choice for retailers looking for an eyewear brand with fast turns and aggressive margins. This strategy has worked as, according to the most recent Leisure Trends reports, Tifosi is now the #1 selling eyewear brand in independent bicycle and running shops across the U.S.A.*
Tifosi backs its products with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defect**. Tifosi sunglasses are sold at over 5,000 retail and e-tail locations in over 38 countries.
Then & Now Photo Gallery
Click on the photos to view in slideshow.
*Leisure Trends Group, Boulder, CO, RetailTRAK Point Of Sale (POS) retail tracking service for Run & Cycling Specialty 2012. Reports are published monthly and represent the industry tracked, including all brands, styles, price points, dollars sold, units sold, average selling prices, market share and (in specialty stores) margins, turns, inventory and sell-through. **may not apply to all Countries due to various laws & regulations.
An Interview with Mike Nix, Co-Owner of Liberty Bicycles in Asheville, NC
and Tifosi Optics, Inc.’s Very First Customer.
How did you find out about Tifosi 10 years ago?
Joe Early [Tifosi’s co-owner] was one of our reps and we were looking for a glasses company to partner with that offered a great value.
Why did you decide to take a chance on a new, unproven brand?
We trusted Joe.
I understand that the Tifosi sunglasses were ordered for a special in-store promotion. How did it go? Was Tifosi well received?
Tifosi was a hit from the start. The styling was great and the quality was great.
How did you inform your customers about this new Tifosi brand?
We had a counter display and most of the staff wore them. They were an easy sell.
What do you remember most about Tifosi in the early days?
Always easy to work with and very generous with product.
How are your Tifosi sales today?
Tifosi sales remain strong and our main line of glasswear.