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Specs on Wheels: a local case study in business development during a pandemic

The wheels on the Sunnies Specs bus go round and round, all the way to your home

If you have been on Instagram these past few years, you will be familiar with Sunnies Studio. It would not be an understatement to say that the brand’s rapid growth in popularity (and subsequent sales, with a capital $) is due to their impressive social media reach. Their stores around the country are essentially an extension of their carefully curated Insta-aesthetic, perfect for a flattering selfie to tag them in.

In this health crisis, many local brands have pushed their online storefronts. Comfortable with their strong online presence, the Sunnies team took this opportunity to churn out a unique solution to the unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in. 

Their latest venture, Specs on Wheels, is one of the more innovative business adaptations we have seen this quarantine season. More than just a roving store with Sunnies Specs’ eyewear range, the mobile clinic includes a consultation with a resident optometrist, as well as a built-in UV sanitation light system.

Specs on Wheels is an intriguing case study in business development. So young entrepreneurs and business majors, take notes!

How to get started

Like all good business ventures, the Sunnies team responded to the demands of the consumers, looking for a solution to address a real and relevant consumer problem.

“The idea started when we asked ourselves, ‘How do we address the eyewear needs of those who need it most during this pandemic?’” Karina Robles, marketing manager at Sunnies Studio, shares with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “People were messaging us that they found it hard to work or study because they couldn’t reach an optical store or get an eye exam. Specs on Wheels is designed for everyone, but especially for those encouraged or required to stay at home and still need access to eye care.”

Even before the quarantine regulations were implemented, Sunnies Studio took the early decision to close their stores for the health and safety of their employees and customers. But the dedicated Sunnies team has continuously worked to keep the business going despite the challenges they face. The positive response from their customers has made it all worth it.

“We’ve received overwhelming support from our customers. Our team had to quickly open more appointments and adjust our schedules to accommodate everyone,” Karina continues. “We created the Specs on Wheels experience to be similar to our store. Everything that happens in our stores can also be seen on Specs on Wheels. We’ve made it safe, hygienic, and easy as we give the utmost importance to everyone’s health.”

Innovation is key

“Be innovative,” says Karina when asked for tips to give to young entrepreneurs and businesspeople. “Keep on asking yourself, ‘How can I think ahead?’ or ‘What else can I do that hasn’t been done before?’”

For both businesses and customers, a new idea may seem scary at first. But as we talk about a “new normal,” we ought to prepare ourselves for creative concepts and imaginative proposals. Forget what you think you know. Listen to what your consumer base and the general populace are asking for given the circumstances.

“Adapting your business also means progress for yourself and those working with you,” the marketing manager adds. “Take it as an opportunity to learn how you can do better in terms of your products and how you service your customers.”

“And last, never stop caring for others. Your business is dependent on people who work with you and those who patronize your products. They’ve taken care of your business, try as much as possible to take care of them too.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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