NASHVILLE, TENN., June 6, 2019 – When was your last eye exam? If you’re a woman, there’s a one-in-four chance it was more than two years ago, but it’s not something to be overlooked: More women than men are at risk for vision loss from eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration. To help ensure more women have access to critical eye care, Draper James, the Southern-inspired lifestyle brand founded by Reese Witherspoon, announced today a partnership with VSP Eyes of Hope, which helps increase vision care access to those disadvantaged by income, distance and disaster.
Following Draper James’ launch of their optical eyewear line with VSP Global’s Altair Eyewear earlier this year, the two organizations are coming together to connect thousands of young women in Nashville to local VSP network doctors for no-cost eye exams and glasses. The recipients of that care will include girls and teens who are a part of Girls Inc., a nonprofit described as a place where “girls learn to value their whole selves, discover and develop their inherent strengths, and receive the support they need to navigate the challenges they face.” To date, more than 4,000 girls have been impacted with life-changing experiences and personal mentorship via the Girls Inc. affiliate in Middle Tennessee.
“We believe everyone deserves to see their world in focus, yet many live with vision impairment and without access to the care they need,” said Michael Guyette, President and CEO of VSP Global. “We are honored to be able to join Draper James and Girls Inc. to empower young women through sight – to help them walk with confidence and maximize their potential.”
The partnership will come to life for the first time on June 11 and 12 when the VSP Eyes of Hope mobile clinic visits
Girls Inc. at YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee’s summer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) camp for participants ages 7-14 years old. Local VSP network doctors will volunteer their time onboard the 40-foot clinic to provide comprehensive eye exams, and Draper James will be on-site outfitting campers with eyeglasses, Draper James totes and cosmetic bags. The participants will also hear from a VSP network doctor who will share her own personal journey as part of the camp programming.
“Draper James is very passionate about helping young women and what is more essential then the ability to see clearly to perform well in school and ultimately in your career?” said Taylor Rettig, CEO of Draper James. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with VSP Eyes of Hope to change the way these girls see the world, while feeling confident about how the world sees them – strong, stylish, smart and bold.”
Following the camp, the multi-year initiative will continue by way of distribution of VSP Eyes of Hope gift certificates to Girls Inc. recipients, in addition to other regional community partners, which provide access to a local VSP network doctor for a no-cost eye exam and glasses.
# # #
About VSP Global
VSP Global is a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. Our industry-leading businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for 88 million members through a network of over 40,000 doctors worldwide; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high-quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services, providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the industry leader in practice management and electronic health record software; VSP Retail, which focuses on increasing access to eye care and eyewear through multiple channels, and VSP® Ventures, which offers care-focused, customized choices for doctors looking to transition their practice.
About Draper James
Draper James is a Southern-inspired lifestyle brand that embodies the personal style and sensibility of its Founder and Creative Director, Reese Witherspoon. Reese named the brand after her grandparents who taught her everything she knows about gracious Southern living. Draper James brings contemporary, yet timeless Southern style to your wardrobe and home, no matter where you live. The direct-to-consumer business launched online in May 2015 followed by its flagship store in Nashville that fall. Draper James also has brick-and-mortar locations in Dallas and Lexington and Atlanta. Designed in-house, the collection consists of ready-to-wear, accessories, and home accents. For more information, please visit www.draperjames.com and follow @draperjames on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat.
About Altair Eyewear
Altair Eyewear supports independent eyecare professionals with advanced eyewear technologies and distinctive licensed brands including Anne Klein, bebe, Calvin Klein Jeans, Cole Haan, Draper James, Joseph Abboud and JOE Joseph Abboud, as well as Altair’s proprietary brands, which include Altair Evolution, Genesis, Kilter and Sunlites. Altair Eyewear brands are sold through more than 10,000 independent optical retailers. Altair Eyewear is a division of Marchon Eyewear, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of quality eyewear and sunwear, and a subsidiary of VSP Global. For more information, visit altaireyewear.com for more information.
About Girls Inc. at YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee
Girls Inc. at YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee was launched in early 2008 in response to the limited enrichment activities for at-risk middle school girls in Nashville. Today, Girls Inc. has expanded to 21 elementary, middle, and high schools in the Metro Nashville Public School district, and engages more than 500 girls annually through its in-school programming, spring break and summer camps. The key objective of Girls Inc. is to equip girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. To achieve this objective, the Girls Inc. Experience consists of people, and environment, and programming that, together, empower girls to succeed.