How one moms suffering is positively impacting thousands


can remember vividly the joy we felt when we became parents for the first time.  It is true when people say that you never knew that you could love so deeply.

I can remember even more vividly the doctors telling us that our son may be blind … and the overwhelming sadness that followed for my wife and I.

The physical challenges of our son’s condition have been incredibly hard, he’s undergone 21 surgeries before his 3rd birthday … all with the hopes of providing him the most potential for sight.

There is definitely truth to the adage, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  That is the unexpected upside to adversity.


Every new parent has dreams of what their child is going to be like, or what activities they are going to do with them … like throwing a ball back and forth, or teaching them to ride their first bike, or seeing them drive off to college someday.   

And though we’ve had to release these dreams … they have been replaced by a reality that is actually more beautiful.  All of us who have children, love the children we have regardless of who they are.  There is something divine in loving a child without motive or expectation; it allows you to find beauty and hope in the existence, rather than the achievements, of such a child.  

As Andrew Solomon stated in his book, Far From The Tree,

“There is a compelling purity in parental engagement not with what might or should or will be, but with, simply, what is.”

When Jonas was born we were thrust into a new space of visual impairment in which we recognized quickly that the majority of eyeglass solutions were incredibly cost prohibitive and focused purely on function, often at the expense of a child being embarrassed to wear glasses.  We were determined that if our son was going to have to wear glasses at a young age, they were going to be a fashion statement and he was going to feel like a little stud muffin in them.

So, like you do shortly after having your first child, you start a children’s eyeglass company. 🙂

jonas paul eyewear kids glasses group shot


Rob Bell articulates how suffering often inspires creativity when he wrote the following in his book Drops Like Stars,

“We plot. We plan. We assume things are going to go a certain way. And when they don’t, we find ourselves in a new place-a place we haven’t been before, a place we never would have imagined on our own.

It is the difficult and the unexpected, and maybe even the tragic, that opens us up and frees us to see things in new ways.

Many of the most significant moments in our lives come not because it all went right but because it all fell apart.

Suffering does that. It hurts, but it also creates.”

I can only speak from my experience, but in when I was in the space of comfort I found myself becoming emotionally numb to the needs and suffering of individuals around me, I found myself searching for a greater purpose, and though I would have never imagined it, or wished it upon anyone,

I received a clear answer in the form of intense pain and suffering, and my life was disrupted.

kids glasses jonas paul eyewear laura harrison


Often times, a natural response towards disability is to withdraw … and I do not fault anyone for taking this approach as I understand the challenges of being in public with a child that isn’t “normal.”  The ignorant questions, the stares and double takes, the inability for other parents to relate.

But for us, a more natural response was to push out our suffering and use the energy to create.  I attribute this response to our fine art education/background paired with the business ventures we had started … its as if we were being molded to be able to respond responsibly to an incredibly difficult situation and push it out to make an impact.  

“The greatest thing is, at any moment, to be willing to give up who we are in order to become all that we can be.”

Max DePree, former CEO of Herman Miller

Though I can’t speak to what life is like as a blind woman, I can relate to the truth behind Hellen Keller’s quote,

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”  

I can say with confidence that our beautiful son changed the direction of our lives and  gave us vision.


kids in glasses jonas paul eyewear

I’m not sure if any of you wore glasses as my husband, Ben, did as a child, but he remembers the whole process being de-humanizing.  From having a doctor tell you that you need to wear glasses, to selecting a pair from the small, cartoon laden collection for children, to walking into school the first day with an object on your face that was impossible to hide.

And still today there are millions of children in America being barraged with the confidence deflating words “nerd” and “four eyes” — their peers mocking them because they have to wear corrective eyewear.  While to some this may seem trivial or “kids being kids,” a child’s self-esteem and identity can be cemented as young as the age of 8.  This identity is deeply molded and influenced by their peers as they form an initial view of how they fit into the world.

I would assume that everyone reading this bears a scar from being teased as a child … and if we can use a beautifully designed product and brand to prevent some of these scars and boost the self-esteem of children, I feel confident that we are going to make a lasting impact.

As Doug Foresta, LICSW, wrote,

“The more I have a chance to write and reflect on the subject of creativity, the more convinced I become that creativity is an essential part of the healing process.”

And to be honest when my husband and I started designing these frames and working through the concepts for Jonas Paul Eyewear – I never found myself so inspired, encouraged, focused and driven.  I felt like this had the potential to influence a future generation.

And I am confident that creativity was one of the key components to my healing.

To finish, I would like to leave you with a quote we received from a mom, Lauren, who purchased Jonas Paul Eyewear glasses as I believe it summarizes why we have chosen to start Jonas Paul Eyewear :

“I just wanted to send my sincere gratitude for creating frames that won’t make my daughter feel different. She has frames now like ‘mommy and daddy’ and thinks that princesses sent her the box to try on. So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what you are doing. Your son is absolutely adorable and in his short life, I am sure has changed the lives of many….ours included.”

kids in glasses playing in a field

Jonas Paul Eyewear was started with the mission to bring stylish and affordable kids glasses to a market that was missing both.

Buy Sight, Give Sight : For every pair of Jonas Paul Eyewear glasses purchased we provide sight to a child in need. To date, the Buy Sight Give Sight program has positively impacted over 15,000 children in developing countries!

Laura Harrison is the co-founder of Jonas Paul Eyewear and most importantly, an amazing mother to her two beautiful children, Jonas Paul (3 years) and Sophie Ruth (7 months).  She has extensive entrepreneurial experience, having co-founded 4 businesses alongside her husband, Ben.

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from Jonas Paul Frames – Blog


Cold or Spring Allergies?

Spring is officially here. The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and the sun is shining. The bees are flying around and the air smells like flowers. You take a second to enjoy this moment and just as you are settling in to the beautiful world around you, you begin to hear sniffles, “achooo” and coughing in the background.

Uh oh. As exciting as it is that Spring is here, so are Spring allergies! Pollen is swarming around and sneezes are becoming excessive.

But how do you know that these sniffles and sneezes coming from your little one are allergies and not just a cold?

Here are some symptoms to tell if they are Spring allergies:

Sign #1: Repetitive sneezing

Sign #2: Running nose that is a thin, clear substance

Sign #3: Itchy eyes, nose and roof of the mouth

Sign #4: Watery Eyes

Sign #5: Allergies last longer than colds. Colds tend to go away in 2 weeks or less. Allergies can stick around for much of the year, especially when pollen is high.

Sign #6: Outdoor allergies tend to arrive between ages 4 and 6

Sign #7: Do allergies run in the family?

If you recognize any of these signs, then they might be allergies.


As allergies tend to get in the way of plans and the excitement of Springtime, here are a few tips to avoid those allergy triggers from your child so they can be on the road to happy and sniffle-free.

Lesson #1: Pollen counts are highest in the morning – avoid having your son or daughter play outside early in the morning (if that even is a problem).

Lesson #2: As much as we love fresh air and that great Spring breeze coming from our windows, try not to open the windows, at least in your child’s bedroom.

Lesson #3: Have your child take a shower and change their clothes after they have been playing outside all afternoon.

Lesson #4: Change the air filters consistently.

Lesson #5: Have your child wear tight fitting sunglasses to protect their eyes from pollen.

If problems continue to rise, seek a prescription from your doctor before those allergies are too out of hand.

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from Jonas Paul Frames – Blog

The Five Stages of Wearing Glasses


One minute you’re taking your child for their annual check-up and the next minute your child is trying on a pair of glasses. 

Somewhere between hearing your doctor suggest your child will need glasses to having your little one try on different pairs, your mind was swarming with questions that had no answers.

“How did this happen?”

“How did we get here?”

“My child will never wear there glasses.”

“Is there anyway to avoid this?”

“This breaks my heart.”

“This breaks my child’s heart.”

“What will it be like at school for them?”

Sound familiar? Every parent that finds out their child will need glasses goes through this plethora of questions.

 We call this the Five Stages of Wearing Glasses.

It’s hard on you, just as hard as it is on your little one. However, with the five stages, there is a silver lining: Acceptance. It may seem impossible to get there, but we promise you, you and your child will. Follow along as we take you through the five best books to deal with each stage until you reach complete acceptance, and find that wearing glasses is kind of, sort of adorable.

DISBELIEF: Luna and the Big Blur by Shirley Day // Luna figures it’s bad enough having a weird name like Luna, now she has to wear glasses, too! Luna looks to find all outlets on why she can’t wear her glasses, until one day, her Father helps her learn to feel good about herself when she is wearing her frames. Great read for when your child refuses accept they have to wear glasses.

REFUSAL: Glasses (Who Needs ‘Em?) by Lane Smith // Story of a young boy’s refusal to wear his new glasses but the doctor ensures him all the wonderful benefits of glasses. If your child is angry about having to wear glasses, this is a wonderful story to read on telling them the awesome benefits!

OBSTACLES: Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses? by Rhonda Fischer // Randy found out he had to get glasses because he saw double. At first, he hated wearing his glasses and looked for all obstacles to get rid of them – throwing them in the garbage, placing them in the sand, or even have a car back over them! It wasn’t until Randy’s father convinced him that glasses are cool! A great story for any child who is trying to bargain out of wearing there glasses.


TROUBLING: Princess Peepers by Pam Calvert // Princess Peepers loves wearing her glasses—until the other princesses at school make fun of her. So Princess Peepers decides to take off her glasses, but that just leads to all kinds of trouble! Perfect read for your daughter who needs a little pick me up about wearing frames.


Pearl and Wagner: Four Eyes by Kate McMullan // Wagner finds out that he will need glasses, but doesn’t want them. His friend, Pearl, tries to cheer him up by talking about how great glasses are. Wagner isn’t convinced, but ends up wearing glasses shortly after. Great story about how friends can stand up for each other, and help each other feel better about themselves.S

HAPPINESS: What can Pinky See by Lucy Cousins // Pinky wears glasses so he can see well. This story is about all the new things Pinky can see now that he is wearing his glasses. Great read for a child learning to accept the beauty of wearing glasses after having blurred vision.

Check out these books! We hope that they will help YOU and your little one celebrate what glasses are all about! Wonderful sight & adorable faces!

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from Jonas Paul Frames – Blog

Pinterest Spring Challenge!

THREE simple steps and you could win a FREE pair of sunnies and a $75 Visa giftcard!


You have from March 14-March 20 to ENTER!

Happy Pinning!

Click here to see our board: MY JPE SPRING BREAK

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from Jonas Paul Frames – Blog

Fact Vs. Fiction

We think we know a lot about our eyes and how to treat them best. But how many facts are actually true and not just fiction?

Take our quiz and see how much you really know. You might surprise yourself!


FICTION: Reading in dim light is harmful to your eyes

It is actually not harmful. Reading in dim light can make your eyes feel tired, causing you to believe it can damage your eyes, but this will not cause any damage.


FICTION: You do not need to have your eyes checked until you are in your 40s or 50s.

Explanation: This is NOT true. You should have your eyes checked annually, starting as early as six months old. Several asymptomatic yet treatable eye diseases (most notably glaucoma) can begin prior to your 40s.


FACT: Using a computer screen is not harmful to the eyes.

Explanation: How many of you said Myth? Although using a computer screen is associated with eyestrain or fatigue, it is not harmful to the eyes.


FICTION: Wearing poorly fitting contact lenses does not harm your eyes.

Explanation: Poorly fitting contact lenses can be harmful to your cornea, the clear front window of your eye.


FACT: Eyes cannot be transplanted.

Explanation: Many people believe that eye surgery involves transplanting the eye, however, this is untrue. The eye is connected to the brain by the optic nerve, which cannot be reconnected once it has been severed. However, the cornea can be transplanted.


FICTION: You can wear contact lenses while swimming.

Explanation: You should not wear contact lenses while swimming. Blinding eye infections can result from swimming if you wear your contacts.


FICTION: An eye exam is only necessary if you’re having problems.

Explanation: Go to the ophthalmologist BEFORE you notice your problems. Everyone should follow a proper eye health program that includes a regular eye exam.


FACT: Eating carrots is not necessary in order to improve your vision

Explanation: How many of you tell your children to eat carrots to improve their vision? While it is true that carrots are high in Vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for sight, only a small amount is necessary for good vision. Leafy, green vegetables are even more effective for health vision.


FICTION: If you need glasses, your eyes are not healthy. 

Explanation: Wearing glasses has nothing to do with your eye health. 


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