Dr. Juliette Nelson developed a passion for fashionable eyewear while spending a year teaching in South Korea in 2012 and has turned it into the eyewear brand NURILENS.
NURILENS comes from the name Nuri, which Nelson was given during her time in South Korea. When she returned to the U.S., Nelson discovered how expensive eyeglass frames were. She also found out many frame companies didn’t make environmentally friendly, sustainable frames in various styles and colors.
‘That led her to create NURILENS in 2020, which sells handcrafted, sustainable wood frames that are friendly to the environment and quality, polarized high index lenses.
“NURILENS, when you break it down, it literally means ‘to share my lens,’ and that’s why I share my passions, my purpose, my triumphs, happy times, and sad times in different ways, and I encourage my customers to really strive to step out as their best, authentic selves and be impactful in the things they do as well,” Nelson told Travel Noire.
NURILENS eyeglasses are also blue light blocking and provide UV protection, features other eyeglass manufacturers charge additional money for. The doctor believes eye health is an important part of eye fashion and made sure to include health-positive features as a standard for all her eyewear.
“Our standard of quality is making sure we have all of the premium features in our frames, especially for our eyeglasses,” Nelson added.
All NURILENS glasses are named after locations, including Montego Bay, Elwood City, the Port of Spain, and New York, to inspire and remind its customers of times and memories they’ve made in their lives.
Black representation in the eyeglass industry is often ignored, but that’s beginning to change as other Black-owned eyewear brands, including Bohten Eyeglasses, Coco and Breezy, Eye Dare You, and more, are gaining a foothold in the market.
Nelson added that NURILENS ensures Black people are involved in every aspect of the design of each frame, including the planning process, the curation of each product, and input for new designs and innovations.
“I created a product that would celebrate my customers, their cultures, backgrounds, and what makes them unique, Nelson wrote on the NURILENS site. “Every time you open up your eyeglass case, you’re unraveling a treasure, and an experience that reminds you to be the best version of you, be purpose-oriented, and remain on your path to excellence, no matter the challenges.”