NASHVILLE— Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Warby Parker (warbyparker.com) co-founders Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa announced today the transformative lifestyle brand will open a Nashville office, its first outside of New York. The brand will initially open in a temporary location, with plans to build out a permanent space in the near future. As part of the expansion, Warby Parker will create more than 250 new jobs in Davidson County over the next five years.
“We want to thank Warby Parker for investing in Tennessee and creating these high quality jobs in Nashville,” Haslam said. “Tennessee’s central geographic location and strong creative class makes us a natural fit for a design company like Warby Parker, and today’s announcement is another step toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
“Tennessee continues to set itself apart as a state where companies can feel confident in leveraging new investment,” Hagerty said. “Warby Parker is another example of a cutting edge brand deciding to locate in Tennessee, taking advantage of our low cost of living, ideal, central location, and creative and talented workforce pool. Our state offers visionary companies like Warby Parker an environment most conducive to continued success, and I welcome their expansion to Tennessee. I appreciate these new jobs they are creating in our communities and look forward to their continued presence in our state.”
The Nashville office marks the first time Warby Parker will expand its corporate team outside of its New York City headquarters. The company’s commitment to providing incredible customer experiences means hiring and housing a large, talented team outside of the 300-plus employees who currently work in New York City.
“Nashville is such a vibrant city—we’re thrilled to put down roots there,” Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker, said. “We will continue to expand our New York headquarters, but this is an exciting next step that will allow us to fuel future company and customer growth.”
“We’re constantly seeking ways to build closer relationships with our customers,” Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker, said. “Opening an office in Nashville will allow us to do just that as we expand our Customer Experience team, tap into a talented local workforce, reach customers from a different time zone and build a presence in a really dynamic and culturally interesting city.”
Warby Parker is an online-native brand that has now expanded to include six free-standing retail locations around the country, and eight showrooms, including one in Nashville at Imogene and Willie, located on 12th Avenue South. The new Nashville office will focus first on hiring employees for its Customer Experience team, with the possibility of adding team members to other departments in the future.
“Nashville is known the world over as a center for creative talent, and fast-growing companies like Warby Parker understandably are attracted to the innovation and creative culture in our city,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. “I thank Warby Parker for their investment in Nashville, which further demonstrates the vibrancy of our city, the strength of our workforce, the low cost of doing business here and the area’s high quality of life.”
“TVA and NES congratulate Warby Parker on its decision to locate operations in Nashville, Tennessee,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are proud to be partners with the state of Tennessee, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to support companies like Warby Parker that locate, add new jobs and continue to grow in Nashville.”
Warby Parker is a transformative lifestyle brand with a lofty goal: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses. Founded in 2010 by friends Neil Blumenthal, Dave Gilboa, Andy Hunt and Jeff Raider, the company seeks to radically transform the optical industry while demonstrating that companies can do good in the world, scale, and make a profit without charging a premium for it. Warby Parker designs their glasses in-house, cutting out middlemen and unnecessary markups, while providing their customers a world-class purchasing experience. Eyewear starts at $95, and for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need through their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. To date, Warby Parker has distributed over 1 million pairs of glasses globally to people in need.
The company expects to be operational in Nashville by mid-October of this year and plans to begin hiring immediately. People interested in applying for a role on Warby Parker’s Customer Experience team can visit www.warbyparker.com/jobs.
About Warby Parker
Warby Parker is a transformative lifestyle brand with a lofty goal: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses. Our mission is to radically transform the optical industry while demonstrating that companies can do good in the world, scale, and make a profit—without charging a premium for it. Frames start at $95, and for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. As a stakeholder-centric company, we take our customers, employees, community and the environment into consideration with every decision made.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee was named “2013 State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.