THE BLOG
07/12/2012 02:24 pm ET | Updated Sep 11, 2012

Glasses for the Masses

Employee #1 -- Warby Parker

Warby Parker is so hip it hurts. The online purveyor of glasses, monocles, and Godard-influenced promotional videos is named like a Williamsburg baby wearing a Ramones onesie. For 95 bucks they'll sell you tortoise shell nonagons that say "I buy vinyl." But somehow, it's found a wider audience. In only two-and-a-half years, Warby Parker has transformed itself from a four man startup into a thriving 80-person success story. We talked with Mara Blanaru, the company's first hire, and the current director of customer experience. When Blanaru started in February of 2010, she was working out of the founders' apartments, helping process orders and answering phones. Today, she heads a team of 30, charged with managing operations and customer service, and interacting with nearly every member of the retail, tech, and supply divisions.

The start-up is a long way removed from those early days in the apartment. But the growth has been grounded by the company's eight core values, which Blanaru points out are posted in the company kitchen. They include "Do good"" (the driver behind their Get a Pair, Give a Pair program) and "Inject fun and quirkiness in everything we do" (which came through loud and clear at their SXSW Citizen's Circus).

While there's only one employee #1, they do have 22 open positions.

Now go forth (and get framed).

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