ImageWear was established in 1996 as a division of Walman —the largest independent ophthalmic company in the United States with over 40 branch offices. Walman and all of its divisions are owned by the employees of the company through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).
With the success of Structure, ImageWear’s first private label collection, the company soon partnered with Hans Stepper in 2005 to distribute the world recognized Stepper Eyewear collection. The Stepper collection features quality materials such as TX5 Grilamid and Titanium and is well known for its high quality and superior fit. Stepper Eyewear continues to be one of ImageWear’s bestselling collections today.
In 2010, ImageWear introduced the Callaway Eyewear collection for men. Soon to follow was Callaway Sunwear for both men and women. Most recently in 2012, ImageWear introduced the London Fog eyewear collection for women.
Today ImageWear has over 50 representatives that sell directly to the Eye Care Professional. ImageWear representatives carry a wealth of products that include proprietary eyewear collections, INvue Readers and Visionaries polarized sun clips.
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If you’d like more information on ImageWear frame and accessory products, please contact ImageWear customer service at 800-414-7656. Our team will be happy to answer your questions or put you in contact with an ImageWear sales representative.
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Walman Optical® was founded in 1915 by Mr. J.A.L. Walman in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mr. Walman was an optometrist, optician and jeweler—a fairly common combination of trades in those days. He was a pioneer in bringing the attention to quality and detail seen in fine jewelry and applying it to the world of eyewear. His standards were extremely high, not tolerating even the slightest blemish in a lens or frame. He even modified jewelry tools for use with frames and lenses. This concern for quality and detail became the foundation for the success and growth of the Walman Optical company.
Since its founding, Walman Optical has grown to become the largest independent ophthalmic company in the United States. While the company’s origin and headquarters are still in Minnesota, Walman is now truly a national company with over 40 branch offices in 19 states. Being owned by the company’s employees through the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), Walman Optical thrives because every employee is responsible for and benefits directly from its success.
The Ophthalmic Laboratory Divisions comprise the largest business units within Walman Optical. The ophthalmic industry follows the classical lines of distribution of manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Walman is positioned at the wholesale level. More specifically, we would be classified as a "value-added wholesaler" or "manufacturing wholesaler" inasmuch as we process lenses from a "semi-finished" state (as purchased from a manufacturer) to a "finished" state for sale to our customers, being any member of the "3 Os"—Optometry, Opticianry, and Ophthalmology.
Walman Optical services these eye care professionals by supporting a number of diverse wholly-owned vision care business units. These business units serve thousands of eye care professionals. These professionals, in turn, care for millions of consumers on a nationwide basis.
With wise foresight, former stockholders and executives of Walman Optical transferred ownership some years ago into 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
Employee ownership means that everyone at each Walman Company has a vested interest in their work at hand. Employee ownership has led to long tenure and smooth leadership transitions. Being an ESOP company also provides unique financial options. This unique structure has created an island of stability in a turbulent industry.
Patient preferences, new technologies, and custom services drive the optical business. Eye care professionals need specialized knowledge and support. Dedicated people make all the difference. Specifically, it helps to work with people who focus on customers, deploy new technologies, create innovative solutions, and believe in lifelong learning. It's also good to work with people who have a stake in what they do.
These are the values that underpin the Walman Optical family of businesses.