Spring break is associated with the sun and nothing is more important in the sun than a stylish pair of sunglasses.

To get a pair of shades you can break the bank for a name brand or head to the local gas station and get a $10 pair that falls apart on your face. Adam “Ace” Moyer saw this situation, had a problem with it, and did something about it.

Moyer is the founder of Knockaround, a sunglass company based in southern California.

“My dad used that word a lot when I was growing up,” Moyer said. “Specifically, he called the sneakers he used to mow the lawn his knockaround sneakers. He had a nice pair of sneakers and then his knockaround pair. It seemed like a good fit for what I was trying to do with sunglasses. You’ll always have your nice pair of sunglasses- but you also need a knockaround pair.”

Moyer majored in studio art in college and after graduation he decided to get his MFA (master of fine arts) degree at UC-San Diego where he was offered a full scholarship.

“I had two months before classes started in the fall. I was bored, didn’t know anyone, and had always wanted to start a business. San Diego is sunny everyday … sunglasses are expensive … I had lost like three pairs of nice sunglasses … VOILA! That’s how Knockaround was born. When classes started a few months later I had a great way to break the ice with people: ‘Hey I just started a sunglasses company! Want a pair?’”

Moyer no longer has to ask people on the streets of California if they’d like a pair of his glasses, (not saying that he wouldn’t), thanks in part to a strategic advertisement plan focusing on social networking Web sites like Facebook.

Roland Eckstein ‘10 owns two pairs of Knockarounds.

“I saw their add on Facebook and checked out the Web site,” said Eckstein. “I told a few friends about them and they were in immediately. I think all together we ended up ordering six pairs between the four of us.”

College kids from the east coast aren’t the only ones who dig Knockaround’s, even the President is in on it. “My wife’s uncle is former US Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE).  He genuinely likes Knockaround sunglasses — he’s been supportive since Day one and wears them all the time.,” said Moyer. “You can imagine my delight.”

Knockarounds are priced from $7 to $25.“I think that is central to our company philosophy,” said Moyer. “I want all of our products to be classically designed, tough, and affordable. The artist in me loves color — and so I try to put out products in as many colors as I can.”

As for the future? Moyer has big plans. “I want to add new products — not just sunglasses, but other accessories — and start sponsoring events, bands and athletes. Oh, and I want to build a cedar strip canoe in our warehouse in National City, CA. I’d call her ‘Lady Knockaround.’”

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