The bola story

The day our founder, Phyllis, got the idea for bola several years ago, she was frantically searching every room of her house for her glasses, a daunting task when you only have one pair. But she didn’t just have one pair of glasses; she had tons of those cheap readers—one for every room—purchased at her friend’s suggestion (Wayne, the optometrist). And she still couldn’t find a single pair.

Yes, she had a couple of those old-fashioned glasses lanyards, the “necklaces” your grandma wore that attach to your glasses so you can keep them around your neck, but she wouldn’t wear them because, as she put it, “They hang down the sides of my face and get in the way; they’re always getting tangled in my hair and ear bud cords; and well, um, they make me look old!” A woman of practicality, she dredged through a drawer full of business artifacts and found an old lanyard with a conference badge on it. It had a little ring, kind of like a key ring, at the bottom of the necklace. She pulled it over her head, hung the glasses in the ring, and, as her children and co-workers will attest, she stopped asking, “Where are my glasses!?”

Although it was just meant to be a quick fix, suddenly the baristas at Starbucks and even strangers at the grocery and in restaurants started asking her questions like, “What is that?” “Was that made for your glasses or did you just use it for that?” She remembers one particularly enthusiastic barista of a certain age saying, “I want one of those! Where did you get it?”

All that attention made Phyllis think perhaps she was onto something. There must be other women out there too who need a convenient way to keep their glasses close at hand, but maybe better looking than a makeshift conference badge holder! So she hooked up with this scary-smart and extremely energetic young Cuban woman named Yanely (yah NELL ee), who doesn’t need readers or eyeglass necklaces herself, but who does happen to know a little bit about marketing and a lot about the Internet. Together, they searched far and wide to find the perfect balance between design, good materials and price, and voilà—bola was born!

So what does the name bola mean? Honestly, we have no idea! At Beautiful Solutions, we like to think we don’t take ourselves too seriously; bola is easy to remember and we just like the way it rolls off the tongue. But if you’re one of those people who thinks a name has to mean something special, well, you could say bola stands for Beautiful, Original, Lighthearted, Affordable—all the qualities that will make you love your bola as much as we love ours.

Help us create new bola designs! Visit the Community page and tell us what color, shape and material you’d like to see next. We want to make what you want to wear.