Abigail Temby has a grand idea. The 26-year-old from Christchurch, New Zealand was walking home and passed her local optician. Admiring the frames in the window, she stopped to consider how expensive they were and how much profit was being made. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could buy a pair of well-designed frames and at the same time, the profit from your purchase allows someone less fortunate in the Pacific Islands or Papua New Guinea to see again, through cataract operations or a new pair of glasses? I met up with Abigail in Christchurch on Sunday and we had a great chat.
Inspired by a similar idea, Tom’s Shoes, Abigail began to obsess over this idea. Instead of just thinking about it, she is trying to make it a reality – researching, finding designers, manufacturers and local celebrity spokespeople already. Now she is looking for funding to kick it all off.
Abigail has found a company that can design, manufacture and distribute the frames in Australia and New Zealand and has been in contact with renowned local designers to see if they are interested in adding their own touch. This week she is meeting with a group in Auckland who travel to Pacific countries and perform thousands of eye tests and cataract operations to find out more about what they do.
Add a background in corporate communications and a long-held desire to start a business-that-matters to her obvious passion for this project – and it is easy to see that she is capable of making it a success.
“Over the years I’ve often had business ideas of products that could make a positive, measurable difference to those living in poverty. Mostly I’d just yap on to my friends about these ideas and never do anything.
The main problem was I didn’t have the kinds of skills or knowledge these projects needed. I’ve since realised that I don’t need to, what I’m good at is networking and bringing people who are far more competent than I am together and that that’s a skill in itself. “
I’d love to see this project succeed and will be posting updates as I hear from Abigail. If you’d like to follow her progress, she has a blog. If you’d like to help out, you can get in touch with her here.