Chandler sisters donate sunglasses to healthcare workers The Chandler Arizonan

Chandler sisters donate sunglasses to healthcare workers

Chandler sisters donate sunglasses to healthcare workers
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ARIZONAN NEWS STAFF

Two Chandler sisters are attempting to give away hundreds of pairs of sunglasses to nurses and doctors working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nicolette Krienert, a Hamilton High School student, and her sister Taylor, a Bogle Junior High student, have spent these last few weeks forming a business that sells a variety of stylish sunglasses.

After their schools closed back in March, the Krienert sisters decided to spend their spare time founding We Give a Shade, an online venture that sells a palette of sunglasses.

The shades range in price from $10 to $15 and each style has its own name.

The “Lucas” sunglasses have a sleek, retro design that’s reminiscent of a bygone era. The “Blair” glasses suggest a luxurious, exotic look with its leopard pattern printed around the rims.

And the “Jackie” model has big, oval-shaped shades that easily hide the eyes of their wearer – similar to the glasses worn famously by Jackie Kennedy Onassis. 

The Krienert sisters said sunglasses seemed like the perfect product to start selling in the summer, as more Arizonans look for protection from the hot sun.

“We decided to sell sunglasses instead of another product because it is something that they will be able to keep and use every day rather than just keeping it at home,” Nicolette said.

But the intention of starting of the business was not just to make some extra money.

The sisters were looking for a way to give back to the community during a tumultuous time when the COVID-19 pandemic had put a strain on health care workers.

“The concept of this business is to give back to the front-line workers and other people who are still working everyday to save lives and help others,” Nicolette said, “and give them something positive after their hard days at work.”

The sisters claim to have donated up to 1,000 pairs of sunglasses to health care workers in Arizona, Iowa, and Michigan.

The medical team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center reported getting a shipment of 100 pairs of sunglasses from the Krienert sisters.

The ultimate goal is to sell up to 4,000 pairs and give away 2,000 to nurses, doctors and firefighters.

The sisters said they most enjoy receiving pictures of nurses donning the sunglasses while walking through the hallways of their hospital.

It’s great to see some joy on their faces, the sisters said, at a moment that must be particularly stressful and challenging for them.

Entrepreneurship appears to run in the Krienert family, since the girls’ mother started her own business a couple years ago by selling t-shirts online.

Jennifer Krienert founded Rock Your Different after a benign tumor was detected in the eye of her youngest child.

The condition required Krienert’s son to wear an eye patch – motivating her to come up with a clothing line that embraced a message of diversity and inclusion. 

“I don’t want kids to be ashamed because they’re different,” Jennifer said in 2017. “The mama bear came out with this. I don’t want anyone to make fun of them because they’re different.

Like her daughters, Krienert gave a portion of her proceeds back to the community by making donations to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The Krienert sisters said their parents inspired them to pursue their own business ventures and hope We Give a Shade could lead to more entrepreneurial opportunities in the near future.

“We hope We Give a Shade will continue to grow so we can give away more sunglasses and keep putting smiles on people’s faces,” Nicolette said.

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