1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
I am the President of Oplee, a company focused on providing products that make traveling with contact lenses and glasses easier. Oplee's products have been featured in multiple industry publications. Before starting Oplee, I focused most of my career on product development and marketing.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
I bought a travel contact lens kit a few years ago to help make traveling with contact lenses and glasses easier. After a week of using this kit, I developed an eye infection. My eye doctor informed me that transferring contact solution from my large bottle to the small bottle provided in the kit was likely the cause of the infection. Transferring solution between bottles is not a sterile practice and should always be avoided.
I then tried to find a kit that worked with standard travel-sized solution bottles available for purchase; this would eliminate the need to transfer solution. Unfortunately, I couldn't find such a kit, and thus began the design process of Oplee.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
Oplee is a small company focused on providing products that make traveling with contact lenses and glasses easier.
4What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
Product design as it allows for problem-solving and can make the user's life easier.
5To you, what makes a “good” design?
A good product design is intuitive and easy to use.
6Describe your design style and its main characteristics.
Intuitive and uncomplicated.
7Tell us about your design process.
The design process for the Oplee travel contact lens case started with describing all the problems associated with traveling with contact lenses/eyeglasses & conducting surveys of people in the target market.
We then began to create simple sketches. Next, we put dimensions to the sketches to better understand the product layout. Finally, with product dimensions, prototyping began.
Early prototypes were composed of nylon fabric, elastic, & velcro materials. These prototypes were created using a craft knife, scissors, & a sewing machine. Using these prototypes, the product specifications were drafted. We then used the specifications to find a factory to manufacture the product.
Factory sample testing consisted of fit & quality checks. Fit checks ensured that the product would accommodate most eye care accessories. Quality checks ensured that all components would stand up to repeated daily use.
After all the needed adjustments were made to the factory sample, production of the first manufacturing run started.
8Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
In recent years there has been a growing appreciation for uncomplicated and minimalist design in the United States. So yes, in that aspect, it impacted the design of the Oplee Travel Contact Lens Case product.
9Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
It means a tremendous amount. It’s validation of our design and product.
10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
Oplee Travel Contact Lens Case makes it easy to transition from wearing contact lenses to eyeglasses or vice versa while on the go. Holds all the needed eye care accessories and includes a built-in mirror.
We chose to enter it in this design competition because we felt that the design is unique and innovative.
11What was the biggest challenge with this project?
I don’t know that there was a single most significant challenge. But there will be unforeseen challenges anytime you create something new and innovative.
12How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Well that’s yet to be seen. But we’re honored to have received this award.
13What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
Solving interesting problems, expressing creativity, and the opportunity to continually learn.
14What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?
I’m not sure what makes the United States unique within the design industry. But we are certainly a country rich in design talent.
15If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
Go for it, don’t sit on the sidelines!
16What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
For product design a sketchbook and journal to capture your thoughts.
17Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Many teachers throughout my educational and professional career. Everyone is my superior in some way, so I learn what I can from everyone.
18What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
What I’ve learned about success can be summed up in a single quote:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”