The Solaro Story: A Rise of New Performance Baseball Sunglasses
Solaro Shades was created for a simple purpose: to bring performance baseball lenses to everybody. The company was co-founded by Mark Paul, who's best known for his work as a baseball comedian on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. He's also the creator of MPTHREE Baseball brand.
To celebrate the launch of Solaro Shades, here's a Q&A with Mark Paul to shine some light on how Solaro came to be.
What led to Solaro Shades?
Mark Paul: The story of Solaro is kinda a funny one, really. Funny but intentional.
All this started with me selling baseball sunglasses on my website. I called them MPTHREE Shades and offered them as a low-cost alternative to the big brands.
And those did well. Like really well. So well, even, that I wondered about maybe getting some MLB players wearing them, and I talked to an agent.
To summarize, he told me that MLB players care about two things: having good quality sunglasses... and repping a cool brand. A 39-year-old baseball comedian's brand -- one named after his social handle, at that -- was probably "not cool."
I get it, trust me. I'm big on Maui Jim glasses and always want to be looking cool, so I totally understood where he was coming from. But that conversation inspired me quite a bit and I decided to design even bigger, better sunglasses with crazier designs and patterns, and maybe even loop in other influencer/athlete friends. Just like that, Solaro was born.
Why Do You Sell Baseball Performance Glasses?
That's another great question, and for that we'll have to back up a bit.
So a year ago I was working 40-hour weeks and TikToking on the side, but I had enough people asking me for funny t-shirts that I figured, "Y'know what? I might as well try this." So I made a website called mpthreebaseball.com and began selling shirts.
I have the best fans in the whole world, and thanks to their support, I was able to do this full-time. And the shirts are funny -- I love coming up with them, don't get me wrong -- but the more I did it, the more I realized I could make a difference.
I have mad respect for Oakley and their baseball glasses. They really changed the game with the Sutros and some of their other lines, and I have my own pair of Oakley's! 100% is another great example, crossing over from cycling glasses into baseball.
But the thing is, not everybody has $200 to spend on sunglasses. And I'm "the travel ball dad," they say. I know just how much money we all pump into this, so by the time you're paying fees, buy that $400 bat and the rest of your kid's gear, you're probably not looking to sink another $200 into a pair of shades.
So with Solaro, they're great sunglasses that come from the same factories that make the rest, and I'd really put Solaro Shades up against anybody, but they're not $200. That's the biggest thing, for me. Making baseball more affordable so more kids can love it like my family.
What makes Solaro Sunglasses Different?
Like I said, Solaro Shades are made by the same factories that make the $200 sunglasses but they're less than half the price.
Each pair of performance glasses comes with 5 lenses: the primary color, black-out polarized, silver mirror, yellow night-vision and clear. I know we have another post coming about what each lens does, but they're great and all serve a unique purpose.
They're also all backed by the Solaro limited lifetime warranty. If anything happens, we'll replace your sunglasses. I've always believed that if somebody is willing to try my product over a competitor, I want them to be able to rest assured knowing that I've got their back, and this is my way of doing exactly that.
Plus, let's be real, these glasses look pretty awesome. My MPTHREE shades looked like the big companies... Solaros make people say, "Wow, what are those?"
Why did you choose the name "Solaro" for your brand?
This was a tough one. Obviously, I wanted the name to be something memorable, and my business partner and I put our heads together and tried to come up with something really unique and catchy -- something that nobody had done before.
For a minute, we wanted to call them "Eclipse Eyewear," but there were a lot of drawbacks to that (and some competition with similar names).
Solaro just kind of made sense. I don't even remember who came up with it, honestly. It went along with the sun theme... it's just "solar" with an extra "o." But with our lineup of glasses to come, you might start seeing more and more themed glasses.
You mentioned other influencers might get involved?
Oh yes. I don't want to give away too much yet, but I've got some stuff cooking with some really special people.
I've had a lot of success with MPTHREE Shades and have been very fortunate because of the support of my fans. Now, I'm hoping to help other creators in my space do the same thing -- create their own unique styles and colors of Solaros to share with their fans. This isn't my brand. It's a brand for all of baseball.