read the breeze

Big Pimpin'

Ken Read, Terry Hutchinson, Ray Davies, Stu McNay, David Hughes, Tom Burnham, Mike Toppa, JJ Fetter, Steve Hunt, Lars Guck…and the list goes on. What do all of these great sailors have in common? They’ve all bought Tajima Direct polarized replacement lenses for their favorite sunglass frames. When it comes to reading breeze and gaining an advantage, all good sailors understand advanced polarized lens technology makes all the difference. And not all polarized lenses are created equal.

Tajima-Direct.com is the brainchild of recent 2020 Stanford graduate and former sailing team captain Jacob Rosenberg who saw the need for superior polarized lens technology – for any frame – no matter the brand or frame style.  Growing up in a “sunglass household” where his father Steve was an executive at Oakley before founding sunglass brand Kaenon and inventing the SR-91 polarized lens technology, he understood what quality lens technology and eye protection meant.

With over 4 million pairs of plastic sunglass frames dumped in landfills each year Jacob saw the frame and the lens as two distinct products. Frames are about someone’s lifestyle and lenses should be about pure visual function, performance, and protection. So why not take his dad’s patented Tajima Urethane™ polarized lens technology and make it available to everyone – anytime, from any device, for any frame. 

 After completing a business outline between his sophomore and junior years, he went back to Stanford and worked with professors in the Hasso Plattner design school to begin incubating his business concept – what would become  known as Tajima Direct – premium polarized lens replacement. Including prescription. The merging of a 100% native digital technology e-commerce platform, with the world’s leading polarized lens technology – in both polarized sunglasses and prescription polarized and clear Rx lenses. With his dad driving the product and lens processing area of the biz, Jacob focused on the technology and product market fit at Stanford tapping into the vast resources of higher learning the university offers.

Soft launched to the public just before he started his senior year in the fall of 2019, Jacob knew he had something special two months into business when Olympic skiing legend Bode Miller bought two pair of Tajima lens replacements for his Maui Jim and Prada frames, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called to buy prescription Tajima polarized lenses for his Oakley’s, and friends and teammates were jumping on board putting his lenses in a variety of frame brands and styles. 

Heading into the spring quarter and sailing season, he had finished his degree a quarter early and planned to focus on Tajima Direct and college sailing with the ultimate goal to win Stanford’s first ever College Nationals before graduation in June. Stanford was ranked #1 in the country. Life couldn’t get any better for the graduating senior. Then Covid-19 gripped the world and the music stopped. Stanford won their first Team Race regatta of the spring season and it was on that flight back to school from St Mary’ the coach announced that campus may shut down.

Not knowing what the future might look like, but told to vacate campus, he drove home and immediately realized one thing was certain. With all stores closing, eye doctor’s offices shut, shelter in place orders gripping the nation, it occurred to Jacob he had just built the modern-day business model for the new economy the world was entering.  Instead of waiting until June post-graduation to really push Tajima Direct, it was fast forward into full time focus on Tajima-Direct.com.  He hasn’t looked back since.  With sales doubling every month and word getting out about Tajima’s superior lens technology and contact-free lens replacement service, Jacob hasn’t missed a beat. In an effort to put it all in perspective and help move past the unceremonious ending of losing his final year, Jacob blogged about his experience and the epiphany moment when he realized he had already built his covid-proof future. Read it here.

With eye doctor’s offices closed, and customers anxious about going into stores, Tajima Direct prescription polarized and clear Rx lenses are not only higher in quality than you’ll receive from your optical outlet, they’ll be a fraction of the cost as the mark-ups and middlemen are removed. All you need is your valid prescription and your favorite frames. Polarized Single Vision are $295 with progressives $395. Clear Rx start at $235. All using Tajima’s patented Tajima Urethane with top shelf digital lens designs and premium lens treatments all included in the flat simplified pricing model.

With an accomplished history in sailing and optics, the Rosenberg’s are often asked their advice on the best lens tints for sailing and what might be best for certain people and bodies of water. You can read more about the best lens tints for sailing here.