Charlotte-based accessories label Johnny Fly Co. will open its first storefront in NoDa on Wednesday, July 19.
It’ll be located next to Neighborhood Theatre at 519 E. 36th Street.
The public grand opening kicks off at 6:30 p.m. followed by a free concert next door beginning at 8 p.m.
Following a successful retail pop-up at Birkdale Village last winter, founder John Freeman knew the established five-year-old e-commerce brand was ready for an in-store buying experience.
Johnny Fly’s global footprint could have landed the first store just about anywhere. In fact, Freeman and his wife and business partner, Tara, say the brand has only started to gain steam in the U.S. in the last year. They saw earlier success in Europe and Asia and have offices in the Netherlands and Mexico to help fulfill orders.
But when it came time to put down roots, they chose to do so at home where Johnny Fly was born.
Johnny Fly is known for its eco-friendly wooden sunglasses and chemical-free leather bags.
Sunglasses (priced at $74 – $120) are made with sustainably-sourced wood (like bamboo, beechwood and redwood) and a unique cotton-based acetate that’s lighter, more durable and less environmentally destructive than plastic.
Technical features include polarized lenses and medical-grade spring hinges. True to the brand, they’re packaged in 100% wooden carry cases.
For every pair purchased, Johnny Fly plants a tree with One Tree Planted, a global nonprofit focused on reforestation in North America, South America, Asia and Africa.
Freeman says they’re working to accommodate prescription eyewear and currently offer it by request.
Johnny Fly recently expanded its product portfolio with the addition of leather bags and travel accessories.
The response was huge. In a year-and-a-half, Freeman says they’ve sold 6,000 bags.
They’re made with chemical-free leather that’s tanned without the use of artificial dyes.