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Zeal Optics Founders Featured on CNN Money

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Zeal Optics founders Michael and Wink Jackson, who are married, were featured on CNNmoney.com (aka Fortune Small Business) yesterday.  Both are former pro mountain bikers and triathletes who met in Japan while teaching English before making their way back to the states.  After racing and running a pro mountain bike team, Michael was recruited by Cannondale around 1990 to develop its sales and production division in Japan.

Complaining that his sunglasses were always fogging up or falling off, Michael moved with Wink to Moab, UT, in 1995 and started Zeal.  13 years later the company has sales of $2.3 million and relocated to Boulder.  That was 2008.  By 2019, they want to be at $25 million in annual revenues.

According to Scott Jaeger, a senior analyst at Leisure Trends Group, the top three brands — Oakley, Costa del Mar and Smith — own 70% of the market.  If you’re like us and enjoy seeing how cycling and sports companies start and grow, you can read the full story here.  Interestingly, it also taps expert opinions on a lot of business and marketing tips for how Zeal can improve its operations.

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14 years ago

Hi! thank you for the shout out on the FSB article. We are still very involved in the cycling market that near and dear to our souls. After all, our cycling experiences and the need for a better performing eyewear (especially for women) is why we created Zeal!
CEO/co-founder Zeal
zeal means an extreme passion for what you do!

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