Tracy Vontélle Green and Nancey Harris, co-founders of Vontélle. Photo by Matt Frisbie
“Bring function and beauty to the ordinary.”
In French, Vontélle translates “there she goes” or “to go.” Tracy Vontélle Green and Nancey Harris, co-founders of Vontélle, an eyewear company based out of Brooklyn, want those who purchase their glasses to stand out from the crowd and turn heads. They met at Morgan State University and are both native New Yorkers. They set out to showcase their culture and African ancestry through design. “When you enter an optical retailer, the majority of the glasses look the same,” Nancey Harris says. “We bring luxury, colors, and patterns that are bold and beautiful. We create handcrafted eyewear made for diverse faces.”
Photos by Felix Natal, Jr.
The truth is, running a startup is difficult but possible. Tracy and Nancey looked to colleagues to assist in marketing, social media, branding, and other digital and promotional assets. Through research, the co-founders concluded that many people are wearing ill-fitting glasses. Vontélle glasses are more inclusive. “We designed wider bridges for your nose, longer temples for a better fit behind the ears, and larger lenses for high cheekbones to fit comfortably on your face,” Tracy says.
Photo courtesy of Vontélle
To give back, Vontélle partnered with the New York City-based organization Women in Need (WIN) who operates over 12 family homeless shelters. In May, they did an event at a Brooklyn shelter to not only provide free eyewear but eye exams as well. They now provide these services to hundreds of families year-round. Tracy and Nancey are currently working on an optics line for children from the ages of 6-15. “More to follow on this in the near future,” Nancey says. “It’s important to know that we are using our textile expertise to create fun and hip glasses and sunglasses for the youth who are fashion-forward.” An upcoming collection will focus on HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). “With the right partners and marketing, Vontélle is limitless,” Nancey says. “There is no doubt that the co-founders will ultimately transform the eyewear and fashion industry.”