INTERVIEW: Designer couple behind Jonas Paul Eyewear

Honored and happy to present an interview with designer couple Ben and Laura Harrison from Jonas Paul Eyewear. They are an inspirational team and their story is not just designer-inspired sunglasses and prescription glasses for kids, their tale is much deeper and heart-warming.

Laura, Jonas Paul and Ben

Who are you?

We are Ben and Laura Harrison from Grand Rapids, MI. We have one son, Jonas, and we are expecting our second child in July 2015! We met at Taylor University where we both were receiving our undergrad degrees.  Ben’s focus was on Computer Graphic Arts and Photography and he later went on to receive his MFA in photography from Kendall College of Art and Design.  I, Laura received my degree in Communication Studies and Public Relations. We’ve been self-employed for 10 years now and currently run Jonas Paul Eyewear (a children’s eyeglass company) which was named after and inspired by our son Jonas Paul who was born visually impaired.

How long have you been designers?

We’ve been designing children’s glasses for almost 2 years now since the inception of Jonas Paul Eyewear.  But we’ve always had an appreciation of the arts and good design as we’ve both been professional photographers now for close to 10 years.

What does style mean to you?

Style has always meant a lot to both of us … both our personal style as well as our home decor and our businesses and how they are branded and what they represent.  We want good style to just be a part of what we do and who we are and we have a great appreciation for it.

And we knew when we would have kids that they too would need to be stylish little folks!

Is there something you would never put on a child?

Embarrassing eyeglasses.  When we found out Jonas was born visually impaired we knew that he would need to wear glasses and we both felt strongly that if he was going to wear glasses they were going to be cool and stylish.  Hence the birth of Jonas Paul Eyewear.

What’s your favorite place for shopping?

We love JCrew and Anthropologie and for Jonas we love for him to wear clothing from Zara Kids, CrewCuts, and Baby Gap.  For our home we shop waaayyy too much at West Elm!

What’s the latest wow-moment you had?

Just last week, we went for a walk with Jonas and we have a stop light close to our house and on our walk he started yelling out the colors when the stop light changed from green to red to yellow.  It was a moment that we stopped and just started to cry as we’ve never known what Jonas can see or what he would be able to see and standing there on the side of the street brought such joy and happiness to our hearts.  We’ll never forget that moment.

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