Twickenham entrepreneurs celebrate after their sunglasses business breaks records


Ali Watkiss and Zoe Armstrong launched SunGod last summer


By Thomas Woods

Two young entrepreneurs are taking the sunglasses industry by storm with their ‘Topgun’ inspired SunGod brand.

Twickenham-based duo Ali Watkiss and Zoe Armstrong, both 27, have adopted the popular aviator style and are making them widely customisable for individual tastes.

The innovative approach of Watkiss and Armstrong doesn’t stop there. Last summer they launched a crowdfunding campaign on the international fundraising site Indiegogo, to help get their first set of ‘Classics’ custom sunglasses into production. The fledgling campaign sky-rocketed and became the largest crowdfunding fashion project in UK history. In less than a month, Watkiss and Armstrong had shipped an incredible 3,500 pairs across the world and raised £82,588 in the process.

Understandably, the ambitious pair now want to repeat their moment in the sun, and are nearing the end of their crowdfunding process for their ‘Mavericks’ collection. The unique appeal of the SunGod brand in a crowded (and often over-priced) market, comes in the fact that these polarised sunglasses are refreshingly bespoke. They are also built from innovative memory plastic TR90, a durable, lightweight and highly flexible material which protects the glasses from snapping or breaking.

The Mavericks offer consumers the choice of three different frame finishes: black, silver and gold. Added to this are six polarised and mirrored lens options, and eight tip colours. The polycarbonate lenses filter 100 per cent of UVA and UVB rays, avoiding the nuisance of glare. Watkiss and Armstrong put their early success down to months of dedicated research, as they worked with over 100 manufacturers to test scratch and impact resistant lenses – originally used for aircraft windscreens.

The SunGod crowdfunding effort will end on 28 May and all the signs are that these sunglasses, inspired by Tom Cruise’s most iconic role, will wing their way to customers from July.

Zoe Armstrong said: “We’re so excited that we’ve hit our target and will be going into production. There are only two days left of our campaign and we want to keep the momentum going to make it as big as we can!”

The Mavericks retail at £35 and come with a lifetime guarantee.

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