Capital Eyewear

For the last few years, I’ve been noticing wood sunglasses in all of my favorite shops. There are few accessories I love more than a good pair of sunglasses – but it’s not that easy to find handmade, ethical options. I met with Steven of Capital Eyewear while in San Francisco a few months ago – he makes incredible glasses – often using sustainable materials… And is launching an acetate line soon! Read on to learn more about his work!


After college, I found that I didn’t like man of the opportunities that I was presented with. I wanted to build something on my own versus work for someone else. I’d always loved eyeglasses, but had no idea how to work with plastic – the machinery felt foreign to me. Once I realized I could make glasses with wood, I got started. My dad had had a wood shop, so I was familiar with wood work.

I went to local woodworkers and asked questions to learn – I got a lot of funny looks! But through that, I was able to build a rough prototype. I knew that if I wanted to make real glasses, I’d have to make this a business – the start up costs (machinery, equipment, etc.) were high. It took me about ten months to officially launch, and things are still changing every day.

Our products aren’t perfect, but we are improving them all of the time. We prioritized and work to make each pair better than the last rather than try to be perfect from the beginning.

capital-eyewear-steven-kilzerWHAT INSPIRES YOU?

The feeling of making stuff. In a lot of ways, that is what makes people, people. Everything else has a function. People are able to make things that are not purely functional, but that can look good and work really well. It’s a really good feeling.

capital-eyewear-womenWHY GLASSES?

They are a really manageable thing – which makes them fun. Anyone can use them, and there is no limit to how many you can fit in your space. They are stylish, but they can stand alone.


A lot of coffee. I’m never too frustrated – there are ups and downs but it’s pretty rare that I’m not wanting tod o this. Just doing this job gets me through the week. Find something that you love to do, and you’ll never work again.

I loved this video showing the production process:

Handmade in the USA from Capital Eyewear on Vimeo.

Photos by Capital Eyewear – follow along:

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