Community Spotlight: Revant Optics

Founded in 2010, Revant Optics is a direct-to-consumer company offering replacement lenses for high-end eyewear. With its headquarters and manufacturing operations located in downtown Portland, Revant has been a vocal advocate for sustainable product and business practices.

We spoke with Jason Bolt, Founder and CEO of Revant Optics, about the importance of community involvement and what compelled him to recommit his business to its presence in Portland’s Pearl District.

Tell us about Revant Optics and how you had the idea for the company.

Bolt: We’re a company that manufactures replacement lenses for basically any sunglass frame in existence. We’ve been doing it for 13 years.

I was down in Eugene, doing a post-baccalaureate pre-med program at University of Oregon. It was over a summer, so a lot of time on my hands, and I was mountain biking quite a bit. I’d always loved Oakley products, and one bike ride in particular, I had just bought these $200 glasses—as a student, that was a lot of money—and I ended up scratching a lens on my first run down. They fell off, hit a rock, and I was like, “Oh, these are just useless now unfortunately.” But the lens had kind of popped out. And at that moment I was like, “Oh, interesting. I wonder if I can just get a replacement lens.”

Can you tell us a bit about your headquarters and why you decided to base your operations here in Portland?

Bolt: This is Revant world headquarters. About a year ago, when our lease was up in the Central Eastside, it was either move out of the city or recommit to Portland in a different space. Weighing out all the options and working with the city and Prosper Portland, we were able to make this space work financially and then also from a manufacturing standpoint, which was also a big question. It’s like, can we sustain manufacturing in a major city? Which is kind of a crazy concept to a lot of people, but because of the way we’ve developed the manufacturing lines and how we’ve set things up, we were able to make this space actually optimal for what we do.

I am personally very committed to Portland. I love the people here and this maker, entrepreneur, creative energy that comes specifically from the Pearl. There’s a lot of great brands here that were born in Portland and are trying to do great things in the consumer product space.

How do your teams and operations work here at the headquarters?

Bolt: About 50% of the team comes in two days a week, the rest are pretty much remote, and then the manufacturing team comes in five days a week. Downstairs, we have a lens manufacturing line. Orders come in from all over the world—we sell to 120 countries—and we have a system that generates UPC codes that tells the machines which lenses to cut, which shape, what tint, coatings, anything. It’s a fully online business. All direct-to-consumer, no B2B right now.

I think we’ll have our own retail shop within the next 36 months or so. There are some interesting opportunities to build a unique experience for our customers to get replacement lenses and other products they need.

Are there particular ways in which you try and facilitate a positive office environment and promote a healthy work-life balance for your employees?

Bolt: During the pandemic, I think every leader was wrestling with this idea, this tightly held idea that presence equals productivity. We kind of blew that up and said: What does that actually mean? Let’s get down into, Why is being in the same room beneficial? One reason is for meetings. Oftentimes, the meeting after the meeting is where a lot of the creativity is generated.

We buy lunch for everyone on Friday. We have a little arcade set up downstairs. These are little things, but if you come in, we want it to be better than your workspace at home, whether you need to focus away from family or kids, or you just want to be around other people. It’s been a big win for us and a good balance.

How does Portland affect your business and the way you work?

Bolt: Portland, and Oregon more broadly, should be the consumer products hub or epicenter of the country—and I include our type of product in that. Consumer products, technology, sustainability, the intersection of all of those.

People here are very willing to give up their time and expertise. There are a lot of people that come from Nike, Adidas, On, and others who are now investing in companies that want to grow, create more jobs and localize manufacturing. Just being in proximity to these other brands, we’re already realizing a lot of benefit there.

“I spent a lot of time building up my network when I moved here, from Oregon Entrepreneurs Network to Built Oregon, and that network really supported me through the challenges of growing a business. “

—Jason Bolt, Founder and CEO, Revant Optics

How do you feel Portland is regarded in terms of supporting businesses and manufacturing?

Bolt: It’s not really elevated or branded as well as I think it could be in terms of the talent and the brands and what Portland is all about. Revant has benefited from Prosper and other organizations that are investing in brands, but I think there’s still a lot more work to do to really showcase what we are and who we are. When we post jobs now it’s 200, 250 applicants, and especially on the marketing creative side, you get the best in the world. I think it shouldn’t be a secret anymore that we make the best product and we care deeply about making and sustainability.

The more we can highlight those brands and people and products that are really changing the game in their respective fields, the more we’re going to be an attractor of talent in other companies. Even outside of shoes—everyone comes here for the shoe and sneaker culture—there’s so much more that’s going on here that could rise to that level eventually.

What do you feel has kept you and your business here in Portland?

There’s an energy. It’s hard to actually quantify, but when you’re on 13th and you’re next to Keen and Filson and Adidas popups, and then you can go to Wieden+Kennedy and get inspiration… What makes Portland unique is that shared knowledge and energy that creates a space where maybe the collective is more powerful than the individual. Just being in proximity to these other brands, we’re already realizing a lot of benefit there. My theme this year is radical collaboration. How do we start to share knowledge, things that we’re doing that are unique, that are working for us, and also reach out to others and learn from them?

What’s your philosophy around community involvement?

Bolt: There are all these through lines when I think holistically about what business should be. It’s not just focused on revenue, growth and profit. I see it as holistic, good for people and planet, and then you have the financial component. The problem is we’ve been isolated for three or four years, especially in Portland, where the lockdown was so restrictive. And so I view a part of our mission as being to break down those barriers again. You’re going to work harder when you know the person next to you; you’re going to be more invested in what we’re building as far as the mission. And I’m already seeing that. We had our most productive and successful year ever last year coming out of this time when everyone was isolated because I think we’re connecting more dots.

Portland A&O powered by Prosper Portland supports the success of Oregon’s 800+ Athletic and Outdoor firms through community, peer-to-peer learning, events, and programming.

Portland A&O Community features are our way to highlight different jobs, roles, and programs impacting and supporting Oregon’s impressive A&O industry. By sharing stories, advice and experiences, we can continue to support the industry and the people who make it thrive.

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Prosper Portland creates economic growth and opportunity for Portland. Our vision is to make Portland one of the most globally competitive, healthy, and equitable cities in the world by investing in job creation, encouraging broad economic prosperity, and fostering great places throughout the city. We aspire to be a workplace of choice with passionate staff excelling in an open and empowering environment and sharing a commitment to our collective success.


Portland A&O powered by Prosper Portland aims to support the success of Oregon’s 800+ Athletic and Outdoor firms through community, peer-to-peer learning, events, and programming.

Prosper Portland/Portland A&O strives to support emerging A&O/Consumer Products brands by providing opportunities such as assistance with attending wholesale trade shows, education and peer support, and networking events.