“My love and knowledge of the product has driven us to where we are,“ Smouha says. “Our customers are fashion-conscience consumers looking for the most up-to-date eyewear available. By being constantly in tune to this, Starlight has grown to the leader it is.” Being a family owned company, the road to success for Starlight Accessories took determination, as it had to compete with major eyewear corporations that dominated the market. “Being a small company initially seemed like a challenge but we learned quickly that our size was actually our strongest asset. We were able to provide large retailers with a more personal, hands-on approach to customer service and retailers quickly took notice as this went beyond what they were used to.”
Smouha has created a casual, yet professional environment for his team where some of them have been with him and his brother since the early days.
“I want to make sure my employees wake up in the morning and are excited to go to work,” he says. “Maintaining the atmosphere of a family run company now at a larger scale allows our business and our team to flourish as we continue to grow.”
The Right Fit
Thanks to the company’s ability to adapt quickly and think outside the box, Starlight Accessories has turned its focus to licensing. They have dominated the industry by selling generic licenses and private-label eyewear to specialty department and mass trade retailers. Starlight Accessories eyewear can be found in a number of stores such as Forever 21, Target, Hot Topic, Sears and Urban Outfitters. “The new focus of our company is to stress more licensed products to complement the current business,” Smouha explained. Along with Caribbean Joe, One Direction and Miraculous, one of the company’s most recent licensing acquisitions is Yo-Kai Watch, a Japanese video game, turned comic, turned television cartoon series that recently made its debut in the United States. Smouha felt it was an exciting property that was going to become very popular very quickly. Turns out, that instinct was correct given the brand’s booming success in the U.S. market.
Starlight Accessories dove headfirst into the Yo-Kai Watch brand, liking the message it represented to its audience and the fashionable, creative opportunity it offered its younger eyewear customers. Additionally, through Yo-Kai Watch, the company is bringing swim goggles to the marketplace. With previous experience in generic goggles, licensed goggles are a new venture.
“We are looking to present our new licenses with a fun twist,” Smouha explains. “We are taking fashion and adding more creativity to the product. This will be a breath of fresh air for the consumer, who have been used to a safe formula. It’s time to get innovative about licensed sunglasses again.”
By thoughtfully selecting their licensing partnerships and retailers, Starlight Accessories is able to make a larger impact in the market. “We want to pair the right retailers behind the brands,” Smouha says. “By planning ahead, we are able to make sure the brand resonates with the target clientele.”
For a brand geared more towards children like Yo-Kai Watch, Starlight Accessories thoroughly researches and absorbs the story of the brand to ensure the product they design is relatable. “We’re always making sure we have the passion and feeling for the product so we can really take it to the next level. Starlight is excited about the brand, therefore exciting product is being launched,” Smouha adds.
Through private label and licensing, Starlight Accessories boasts that it provides full eyewear programs for its retailers and treats all of its partners as a member of its extended family by bringing the best of customer service and innovation. The company is constantly working on new products and designs while on the lookout for the next big trend or license.
“I’m very proud of the growth and the success we’ve achieved over the years,” Smouha says. “We have been able to penetrate into the fashion-forward, trend-setting accounts and it’s an exciting time as we build on that. We see the future in licensed products and with our continual dedication and focus, Starlight will further make its mark on the eyewear world.”