Inspired by travel to "remote" parts of the world, Alex Humphries '08 has created a business that helps people in poverty to make a living.
The company, Humps, Inc., sells Polarized and UV-protective sunglasses, all for under $30. For each pair sold, the company donates a pair of prescription or reading glasses to someone in need in third-world countries, through Restoring Vision, which has successfully distributed over 1 million pairs of glasses throughout the world. As the Humps, Inc. Web site states, "Many people in developing countries make their living with their hands, doing tasks such as fishing, sewing, cooking or assembly-line work. The loss of close-up vision can threaten their livelihood, and even their survival."
Economics major Humphries says that he had the idea for the company because, over a number of years, he kept losing or breaking expensive sunglasses, and cheaper models often are not Polarized or UV-protective.
I think I have always wanted to run my own business," Humphries says, adding that he owned a business in high school and college that was profitable, selling and installing home entertainment systems. "I wanted to do something a bit different this time ,by not just looking to help myself but also those less fortunate out there. I have traveled a bit and surfed some pretty remote parts of the world. On these trips, you really get to see how a lot of the world lives, which is in poverty. So, I figured why not try to create a cool company that helps people too?"
Humphries was a member of the swim team as an undergraduate, and was involved in the student government organization, the Thelomathesian Society. His mother, Jill Humphries '72, and sister Julia '10, are also St. Lawrence graduates. All live in California.
Posted: January 13, 2011