Genusee, which was featured on ABC World News Tonight in May, has set up shop in Flint to manufacture the eyeglasses with hopes of growing more in the future.
The company is the vision of Ali Rose VanOverbeke. Her dream of producing glasses made in Flint from the same water bottles used to save people from drinking lead-tainted water is now coming to life.
“It’s crazy, to be honest, and it’s really exciting,” she said.
Genusee uses 15 water bottles and turns them into a pair of eyeglasses. The glasses can be customized for various needs, including progressive lenses, blue light filters and bifocals.
Genusee is selling the glasses across the country thanks to receiving $90,000 in funding after ABC News Anchor David Muir featured them in his “Made in America” segment.
“You know we really believed it was a great idea, but to know that the community also thought it was as well and has been on the journey with us and making this product come to life and into a business,” VanOverbeke said.
Genusee has hired on employees through the FLINT M.A.D.E Institute, which helps returning citizens in the area of workforce development.
“We have just hired our very first three employees and are well into our way of manufacturing our first production run and getting our 800 preorders out to all of our Kickstarter backers,” VanOverbeke said.