Profession: Eyewear Consultant and Proprietor of Elegant Eyes & The Eye Whisperer
I have put my passion to purpose by: servicing my community, helping people grow and striving to become an anchor between clients of color and the eyewear industry.
Cabral M. Miller is truly Newarkâ€™s native son. As a third generation entrepreneur, Miller oversees daily business development, marketing and brand management in order to reach beyond the traditional â€œbrick-and-mortarâ€ Elegant Eyes experience.
While attending Rutgers University-Newark, Miller never dreamed of working in the family business. â€œI never imagined myself in the eyewear industry. My sights were set on becoming an educator,â€ Miller tells BE Modern Man. â€œNow I view the waiting room as my classroom, teaching my clients that eyewear is your first introduction to the world. Perfectly fitted glasses, whether optical or sunwear, is most important and should reflect your mood, style and attitude! Just think of them along the same lines as shoes, bags, watches and ties.â€
The evolution of the eyewear industry has changed, especially with the introduction of social media sites like Instagram and Twitter. Joining these platforms has allowed Miller to take an unorthodox approach to providing a hands-on experience with the brands they adore in the form of trunk shows. Spotlighting popular brands like Dita and Thierry Lasry, who boasts clients such as Usher and Letoya Luckett, Miller employs celebrities of color to host the well-attended events. â€œI never relied on a celebrity to drum up business for Elegant Eyes,” says Miller. â€œI insert these carefully selected personalities–like June Ambrose, Bevy Smith and Chrisette Michele–into the narratives as sort of â€œbrand ambassadorsâ€ for clients to enjoy and receive as in-kind gifts for their continuous support.â€
Most of the products in the eyewear industry are from non-African Americans, which forces Miller to champion for causes that represent the company’s overall message and secure a strong anchor in the community. â€œBeing a legacy business that continues to thrive is the foundation to supporting initiatives that your forefathers would approve of,” Miller tells BE Modern Man.” My grandparents opened the first shop in 1962 and, since then, we have engaged in several philanthropic efforts with the NAACP, Newark School System, Chamber of Congress, and in local coat and food drives. The best advice I ever received was: Take care of yourself so when others need you, you are prepared. And trust me, the community has done the same for us.â€
(Continued on next page)