Maui Jim

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Maui Jim
Privately held company
IndustryFashion, manufacturing
FoundedLahaina, Hawaii, U.S. (1980)[1]
FounderJim Richards
HeadquartersPeoria, Illinois, U.S.
Key people
Walter Hester, CEO
Mike Dalton, President
ProductsSunglasses, eyewear, apparel
Websitemauijim.com

Maui Jim is a Peoria, Illinois-based manufacturer of sunglasses.[2] The company was founded in Lahaina, Hawaii in 1980.[1]

As of 2015, the company was the third largest producer of sunglasses in the world.[1]

History[edit]

The company's roots began in 1980 when a fisherman named Jim Richards began selling sunglasses on the beaches of Maui, Hawaii.[1][3] He was known as the original "Maui Jim".[1] Several years later, the company was the first on the market to develop polarized sunglasses to protect eyes from glare and ultraviolet rays.[1]

In 1991, Walter Hester, a boat captain turned oilman, purchased the company after trying the sunglasses.[3] He named the company Hester Enterprises, Inc.[4]

In 1994, Illinois-based RLI Vision became the mainland distributor for the company, then called Maui Jim Sunglasses.[1]

In 1996, the company bought RLI Vision from its parent company, Peoria, Illinois-based RLI Corp., and named the new combined entity Maui Jim Inc.[5] The transaction was structured such that RLI Corp became a major shareholder in Maui Jim, and the company moved its headquarters to Peoria.[3] The company kept an office in Maui.[6]

In 2004, the company opened a distribution center in Braunschweig, Germany, a location that eventually became its European headquarters.[7]

In June 2006, the company opened its first prescription lab in Peoria, IL.[8]

In 2011, the company bought Zeal Optics, a Boulder, Colorado-based designer and manufacturer of action-sport polarized goggles and sunglasses.[9][10]

By 2015, the company had approximately 500 employees.[1] Also in 2015, the company became the title sponsor of college basketball's Maui Invitational Tournament.[11]

In March 2018, the company started selling optical eyeglasses.[12] In July, the company opened its first prescription lab outside of Peoria, located at its European headquarters in Braunschweig.[7]

Products[edit]

As of 2016, the company sold 125 different styles of polarized sunglasses in over 100 countries.[13][14] In addition to their non-prescription sports and fashion sunglasses, Maui Jim also produces prescription lenses for their designs including progressive lenses.[3][12]

The company's glasses incorporate a patented polarization technology called PolarizedPlus2.[15]

Locations[edit]

Besides its Peoria headquarters, Maui Jim maintains an office and store front in Lahaina, Hawaii, a Canadian office in Mississauga, Ontario, and a European headquarters in Braunschweig, Germany.[6][7][16]

Sponsorships[edit]

The company sponsors college basketball's Maui Invitational Tournament, called the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.[11] The company also sponsors professional marathoner Meb Keflezighi and golfer Ernie Els, who are brand ambassadors.[17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Extra: For Maui Jim, one simple word says it all — aloha". pjstar.com. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  2. ^ "Company Overview of RLI Vision Corp". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  3. ^ a b c d Jargon, Julie (2005-12-05). "Do baby boomers equal bright future?". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  4. ^ "Company Overview of Maui Jim, Inc". bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  5. ^ "Maui Jim buys RLI Vision". bizjournals.com. 1996-12-18. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  6. ^ a b "Maui Jim Sunglasses is passionate about giving back". lahainanews.com. 2014-01-23. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  7. ^ a b c "Maui Jim acquires Zeal Optics". visionmonday.com. 2018-07-05. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  8. ^ "Optical Lab Leaders: Tech Titan: Paul Ponder". opticallabproducts.com. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  9. ^ "Sunday BIZ: Zeal President John Sanchez On Building An Uncommon Brand". adventuresportsnetwork.com. 2012-11-24. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  10. ^ "Maui Jim Enhances Service to Europe With New Lab in Germany". snewsnet.com. 2011-05-06. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  11. ^ a b Eleni Gill, Lorin (2015-03-11). "Maui Jim is title sponsor of Maui Invitational basketball tournament". bizjournals.com. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  12. ^ a b "Cult sunglass brand Maui Jim gets into eyeglasses". fastcompany.com. 2015-03-11. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  13. ^ "Top Vendors in the Global Sunglasses Market". technavio.com. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  14. ^ "Tarter: Aloha spirit goes hand-in-hand with sales growth". eastpeoriatimescourier.com. 2015-03-13. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  15. ^ "Maui Jim retains status as Best Sunglass Company". dfnionline.com. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  16. ^ "Maui Jim Canada, Inc". manta.com. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  17. ^ "Meb Keflezighi Is Running the NYC Marathon—But Will He Make a Run for the Tokyo Olympics?". runnersworld.com. 2018-10-08. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  18. ^ "Maui Jim". ernieels.com. Retrieved 2018-11-08.

External links[edit]