FramesDirect.com Founders Featured in Houston Chronicle Business Article

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Moneymakers series questions local optometrists about their dot-com eyewear vision.

The founders of Houston-based eyewear company FramesDirect.com (http://www.framesdirect.com) are featured in the Houston Chronicle’s Moneymaker business series about local entrepreneurs.

The article, titled "Five questions with Guy Hodson and Dhavid Cooper" (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/3167182) features a history of the FramesDirect.com web site and the vision of the transplanted South African duo who built up five Houston optometry practices in the 1980s and sold them in 1994 to take advantage of the newest technology of the day, the Internet. FramesDirect.com was rolled out as a 24-hour/7-day-a-week online eyewear store in 1996 and currently features 110,000 products, including designer frames, eyeglasses, sunglasses, prescription lenses and contact lenses.

Always looking for new technology to enhance the business, FramesDirect.com recently launched a patented new online technology for finding eyeglasses, sunglasses and frames, the FrameFinder Virtual Try-On System (http://www.framefinder.com), which allows users to “try on” frames from their personal computer by simply uploading a photo of themselves. Currently, more than 13,000 frames are in the system and available to sample.

When questioned about how the web site survived the dot-com bust in 2000, Dr. Hodgson said that FramesDirect.com followed “a well-crafted and articulated strategy grounded in earning real profits” and manageable growth, which allowed the company to prosper while other web sites failed. That strategy continues today, with sales 52 percent above last year at this time, he said, and international expansion with the upcoming launch of a new South African contact lens web store, 0860 Contacts.

About FramesDirect.com

Dr.’s Cooper and Hodgson have been in practice in the Houston area for over 20 years, and founded FramesDirect.com in 1996, which is a global leader in online eyeglasses sales. They have a Houston eye care office and eyewear showroom, employing two additional licensed optometrists and a staff of experienced opticians. The websites can be viewed at http://www.framefinder.com and http://www.framesdirect.com and the office can be reached at 1-800-248-9427.

Contact:

Richard V. Burckhardt

1-800-248-9427

richard@framesdirect.com

Skype: rburckhardt

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Richard V. Burckhardt
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