Glasses have been around since the beginning of the Middle Ages. While they were once worn as an optical aid, today they are increasingly used as a fashion accessory. And although each face, each head shape has its own individual characteristics, until now the glasses have only been produced in series. But if the glasses do not fit the face, they are rather unsightly and seem to be a disruptive factor. In order to create a harmonious entity here, four young experts developed an individual eyeglass design and created it using advanced 3D printing techniques. We spoke with Daniel Miko and Sebastian Zenetti, two of the four founders, about the origins and visions of their start-up You Mawo.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA OF FOUNDING YOUR MAWO?
Daniel Miko: The name already reveals part of the story: You Mawo represents your magical world. The idea came about during one of the many backpacking trips we took as a group of friends, more precisely: to a beach in Thailand. We generally wondered about what animated us and were fascinated by the difference in the world, its cultures and its faces. Due to our profession, it was obvious to consider this variety of facial shapes to suggest the need for individual spectacle frames, but this has played only a small role in the eyewear industry so far. Switching from mass products to individual glasses, it seemed to us to be a precursor.
Subscribe to our newsletter!
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE SPECIALIZED APPLICATIONS OF PERSONALIZED GLASSES?
Sebastien zenetti: The scope is very wide. Glasses are a constant companion in everyday life. On average, eyeglass wearers wear their glasses for at least 16 hours a day. It is therefore very important that they fit perfectly. Both with regard to the general size of the glasses and the length of their temples, and with regard to the adjustment of the “respective” nose or its corresponding contact surface. Each person’s anatomy is different. All the basic models in our ready-to-wear collection, on which the bespoke glasses are based, have already been optimized through the analysis of thousands of faces and thus offer the perfect starting point.
WHAT MAKES YOUR GLASSES SPECIAL COMPARED TO OTHER PRODUCTS?
Daniel Miko / Sebastian Zenetti: Our glasses are extremely light, anti-allergenic, very unbreakable, made in Germany and, in addition, “fast forward”, therefore produced with the very latest manufacturing technology. The excess powder generated during the 3D printing process is also recycled, so that there is hardly any waste.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE TO OVERCOME IN THE START?
Sebastien zenetti: At the beginning we thought that it would be difficult to convince opticians of the new material and the still unknown production method. But it worked very well. The optician market is generally a bit more conservative, but opticians immediately liked the concept. Our concept was launched and what no one expected happened: You Mawo was sold out right after our first appearance at a fair.
WAS THERE A TIME YOU WANTED TO GIVE UP?
Sebastien zenetti: ‘No, that moment just hasn’t come so far. Even though we always face obstacles, we never thought about giving up. We are very different types on the founding team. This is probably an advantage, because we are able to motivate each other very well and push each other to do our best.
AND VICE VERSA: WHAT WAS THE BEST TIME FOR YOU REGARDING THE FOUNDATION, WHAT MAKES YOU PARTICULARLY PROUD?
Daniel Miko: There have been a few milestones and milestones that we are really proud of. In the first year, we won the German Design Award for our Denali model. In the show “Hidden Champions” hosted by NTV, we managed to take second place. Last year we won the German Innovations Award and two weeks ago the Pro Sieben team visited us to shoot an article for the Galileo show. It was really very interesting.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN THE COMING YEARS, IN OTHER WORDS: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU IN THE YEARS TO COME?
Daniel Miko: We are constantly working to be innovative. I think we can already say that we will be presenting some great new stuff at the shows. Among them are surprises that you have never seen from You Mawo before and that you probably don’t expect.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU EVERY MORNING?
Sebastian Zenetti / Daniel Miko: In one sentence: the joy of being part of the history of You Mawo and just having fun with the work and the development of the company.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION: WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR BUSINESS IN 5 YEARS AND WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL?
The two: It’s hard to filter an ultimate goal. We want to take our super technology even further, including decentralized production. Being able to produce perfect personalized eyewear even faster and more regardless of location is a challenge as well as many other matters.
Are you interested in start-ups? Here you will find an overview of all our articles on this topic.