Celebrating 10 Years of Kids Eye Gear: A Decade of Vision and Impact

Celebrating 10 Years of Kids Eye Gear: A Decade of Vision and Impact

29th Jun 2023

Hello, friends and families! Writing this post fills me with a sense of immense gratitude and pride. It's been 10 years since I founded Kids Eye Gear, inspired by my son, who was diagnosed with cataracts at a very young age. What started as a personal quest to make patching easier for my child has grown into a socially conscious entity that has touched thousands of lives across Australia and beyond.

In 2013, when Dane was diagnosed with his cataract we were petrified and felt completely alone and isolated. Facebook support groups didn’t exist and the hospital wasn’t able to share details of any previous patients with the same condition. For years we had to buy eye patches overseas that were not only expensive but took months to get to us, and we knew a handful of other families in the same boat who were frustrated too.

Our son Dane started patching at 7 months of age due to a unilateral congenital cataract. 

So, faced with the challenges of patching and the limited options available, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I developed the first Australian-designed adhesive orthoptic eye patch, offering a much-needed solution to parents and children navigating similar challenges.

Now, a decade later, Kids Eye Gear has not only disrupted the market by becoming the first Australian business to manufacture orthoptic eye patches and sell them directly to consumers, but we've also made these essential medical devices more affordable. The ups and downs of the business journey are all worthwhile when parents get in touch with their thanks to us for making a difference in the cost and accessibility of eye patches. We're always thrilled to hear stories of their child's improved vision, even more so when vision goals have been reached and there's no longer a need to patch.

We've now helped more than 10,000 Australian families with their children's vision. 

As we celebrate this milestone, I hope you can indulge me while I share with you some of the achievements that fill me with satisfaction and pride:

  • We've helped more than 10,000 families improve their child’s vision. Each success story is a testament to our mission and a reminder of why we do what we do.
  • We've made our presence felt in the optical industry, participating in numerous conferences and trade shows, such as the Orthoptics Australia conference, O=MEGA 2019, NACBO 2018, SILMO Sydney, and the Squint Club.
  • Our commitment to giving back to the community has led us to support charities like Cataract Kids Australia, Fred Hollows Foundation, Guide Dogs Queensland, Hear & Say Centre, and Glaucoma Australia.
  • We've extended our help beyond Australian shores, sponsoring children in the Philippines and Malaysia by providing pro bono patches to those who cannot afford them.
  • Our efforts have been acknowledged by the Ausmumpreneur Awards, where we've been nominated and reached the finals in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
  • We've published the Little Aussie Eyes Report annually since 2020, a research initiative that has become a valuable resource in the optical industry.
  • In 2022, we supported authors Nhu Thach and Amanda Duong to have their children’s book about patching published, promoting children's eye health through literature.
  • Our website hosts over 90 articles about kids' vision and eye care, offering a wealth of knowledge for parents and caregivers.
  • We've received two Queensland Government small business grants, which have helped improve the Kids Eye Gear website.
  • We provide employment to two local people who help pack orders—one a teenager and the other over 60.
  • We collaborate with several mum-owned small businesses for various needs, creating a network of support and entrepreneurial spirit.

As I think about what we have achieved, I am reminded of how powerful our mission is and how important our work continues to be. I am proud that Kids Eye Gear is now the go-to place for fun and colourful optical accessories for children, making the experience of wearing glasses and patches more enjoyable for them. Thanks must, of course, go to all the families, industry partners, and supporters who have been part of our journey.

Here's to another decade of making eye care fun, improving children's vision, and empowering parents with essential knowledge and resources. Because at Kids Eye Gear, we believe every child deserves to see the world clearly and confidently. 

Happy 10th Anniversary to us all!