Sometimes you’ve got to just see life with a clear eye view — literally.
NFL player and entrepreneur Jaylon Smith has always approached life with a “clear eye view” mentality. As a native of Fort Wayne, IN Smith has always had big dreams. Yet, with achieving those dreams, he knew that he had to share the wealth with his community no matter where life takes him.
That journey led to him partnering with fellow Fort Wayne, IN native, Jamal Robinson, to launch CEV Collection, an elevated eyewear brand that adds our sauce to the spectacles or shades that we sport.
“Having a focused vision or determined belief in [my] dreams has guided me to where I am today and has allowed me to operate throughout my entire life and live for the man above,” Smith said in an exclusive interview with AfroTech.
For Smith, it was about being a part of something different when it came to determining the best business venture to step into. He wanted to create something that was both unique and allowed people who look like him to showcase their creativity and style in something that was more than just the typical clothing brand, or T-shirt line.
Leading With Purpose
Smith has always loved sharing his own creativity and style through his entire life aesthetic. So, creating an eyewear brand that was an extension of that was a no-brainer. After connecting with Robinson, who has been in the eyewear business for some time, the pair knew that CEV Collection was something that the world needed.
“It’s all about alignment and principles,” Robinson expressed. “We both aspire to uplift others, specifically in our culture and so we aligned on principles and our belief in what we see in the world and what we believe we can do in the world.”
With Robinson’s experience in the eyewear space and Smith’s determined attitude, the two launched CEV Collection with the hopes of creating a culturally inspired designer eyewear line for an affordable price.
The power of partnerships was bound to work out for the two and eventually, it would help the brand to connect with other like-minded individuals to build something that was truly for the community.
“In business, relationships matter, and they take time,” said Smith. “We’ve developed relationships with some high-quality people and some valuable companies.”
The Power Of Partnerships
It turned out that a valuable relationship with Zyloware would lead the company to bigger and better.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with Jaylon, Jamal, and the CEV team,” said James Shyer, co-CEO and COO of Zyloware. “Their entrepreneurial spirit and mantra for Clear Eye View perfectly align with the Zyloware mission of delivering eyewear product excellence and an extraordinary experience for it all. Together, we will continue our vision of access to quality eyewear for all, helping people see a beautiful day every day.”
As one of the oldest leading optical companies throughout the world, the family-owned eyewear maker has partnered with other athletes turned entrepreneurs, like Shaquille O’Neal, for years.
“Starting early this year, we’ll be in optical retailers nationwide,” Robinson said. “That’s the exciting piece because Zyloware is an expert at that. We’re not the first company that they’ve done this with. Now we’re hitching ourselves with an opportunity in partnership with those that have done it before and done it successfully.”
As the pair continues to take the CEV Collection to the next level, they see this as a winning opportunity to lead in a space where there aren’t always people around who look like us.
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