Top British glasses designer beloved by Ed Sheeran and chef Heston Blumenthal has eyes for the US market
- Tom Davies set up his hand-made glasses business in 2002
- The premium glasses maker hopes to double sales at his eponymous group by expanding his more affordable Catch London brand across the Atlantic
- Davies hopes the expansion will push sales up to more than £10million
Tom Davies the celebrity glasses designer dubbed ‘the Willy Wonka of eyewear’, is plotting an ambitious expansion to break America after being saved by Government investment during the pandemic.
The premium glasses maker hopes to double sales at his eponymous group by expanding his more affordable Catch London brand across the Atlantic.
He set up his hand-made glasses business in 2002 and has gained a celebrity following that includes singer Ed Sheeran and chef Heston Blumenthal.
Specs appeal Emma Thompson in Cruella has glasses by Tom Davies
More than half of the 70,000 frames the company plans to make next year are earmarked for the US. Davies hopes the expansion will push sales up to more than £10million. He said: ‘We are throwing the kitchen sink at exports to America next year. We’ve opened a Chicago office and there are just so many opportunities.’
TD Tom Davies Limited profits should hit £665,000 this year, after making a loss of around £238,000 in 2020. The firm received £500,000 equity investment during the pandemic from the Government, which Davies said had ‘saved the company’.
The US expansion will be funded by a £500,000 loan from the firm’s chairman, a Malaysian businessman. The firm’s glasses are made in a factory in Brentford, West London, using unusual materials such as crushed meteorites and buffalo horn, and cost up to £600.
They are sold in five Tom Davies shops in Central London, online and at Boots. Davies has also made glasses for use in Hollywood films including Cruella, starring Emma Thompson.