For the second consecutive year, Safety Glasses USA represented itself with an exhibit in a merchant barn at this year’s Grange Fair in Centreville, the heart of Saint Joseph County, Michigan. In the 160th year of the event, the fair again featured major grandstand events, 4-H exhibits, rides, games and a variety of other activities on the 150 acre fairgrounds.
For Safety Glasses USA, this year saw some improvements over last year’s showing. Of particular note is the move to the more spacious looking building 42, and the addition of a third booth space. Said company VP Kendra Eldridge, “we really enjoyed our new booth location and expanded size this year. It gave us an even greater opportunity to showcase some of our more popular styles as well as other products we carry, such as the hi-viz apparel.” Indeed. The company is happy to have recently added to its offering a more cost-conscious line of high-visibility and reflective safety vests and shirts. A big hit yet again was the large bin of $1 safety glasses, consisting mostly of overstock and discontinued styles. Safety Glasses USA displayed over 150 current styles of safety glasses and sunglasses, including some highlighted from their growing imprinting program.
With several brands allowing for custom imprinting on various products, Safety Glasses USA wanted to lend a more local feel to the international scope. They had a selection of safety glasses with local school logos imprinted on the lenses in their respective colors. Logos included were for Three Rivers, Centreville, Sturgis, and Constantine schools, but any school or business can have their logo appear on glasses or hard hats.
Continuing the custom concept, Safety Glasses USA had some custom-built Oakley sunglasses on display, also boasting local school colors. Sporty styles Half Jacket, Flak Jacket, Straight Jacket and Jawbone were among those on display. The company went a step further and held a drawing, whereby the winner would receive custom designed Oakley sunglasses, up to a $200 value. Corey Johnson of Three Rivers was the lucky grand prize winner. Runner-up Emily Feister won an Oakley backpack, and Phyllis Cupp won an Oakley T-shirt for third prize.
Safety Glasses USA made its first appearance at this fair in 2001, only a year into its now ten-year-old business. But many customers haven’t forgotten. Says Eldridge, “it was a pleasure to see people who remembered our booth from years prior, as well as new visitors.” When asked about manning the large 30-foot booth space for the entire week of the fair, she added, “I know many of our staff appreciated the opportunity to get out of the office or the warehouse and do something different for a week, and directly interact with local customers.”
The company’s growth in necessary booth space is symbolic of its growth over the years. As Safety Glasses USA celebrates its 10th year in business this month, its owners can reflect on how far the business has come, from their garage, barn, and its longtime home on Millard Street, to its current 15,000 square foot facility at 1501 KDF Drive in Three Rivers’ Enterprise Park. The park faces northbound U.S. 131, just South of Broadway. This building also houses the current retail showroom, which is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9am to 6pm.
Customers too far to visit locally are reminded to browse the virtual store at www.SafetyGlassesUSA.com. The website includes the full selection of products, where nearly everything is stocked at the warehouse and usually ships out the same day of ordering.