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Twelve Highlights From Warby Parker's 365-Page Annual Report

Twelve Highlights From Warby Parker's 365-Page Annual Report

Photograph by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Warby Parker

Warby Parker is the company that sells good-looking hipster glasses for about $95. The founders talk a lot about workplace culture, doing good, and having fun. For the past two years, the company, which is private, has released an online annual report quirky enough to boost sales in the days afterward. This year, Warby Parker has gone all-in, illustrating and documenting the goings-on at the company day by day.

The report is set up as a calendar, and the designers have helpfully classified the 365 entries into eight categories, including class trip, culture, and milestones. There’s a category called data that includes lots of factoids and no financial information. You will, however, learn that 66 percent of Warby Parker employees use earbuds rather than headphones to listen to music.

Here are some other highlights and trivia from Warby Parker’s 2013:

January 10: The product team and co-founder Neil Blumenthal took a cooking class as a team building exercise.

February 11: The design team designates February as the most boring month. Then they create a list of boring items that include traffic (tell that to Chris Christie) voice-mail, supervision, and mailer-daemon.

March 2: An employee named Molly introduces the “Interrupting Fez.” When she wears it, no one is allowed to interrupt her. It works well.

March 20: The original 12 employees head to Guatemala for five days to celebrate their third anniversary with the company. They visit the nonprofit organization that distributes free glasses on Warby Parker’s behalf. (The company gives away one pair of glasses for every pair bought.) They also hike an active volcano.

April 13: The online company gets physical and opens a 2,000 square foot flagship store in Soho.

May 24: Half the inventory for a new collection is delivered to the wrong address.

July 9: The company counts up the number of glasses it has given away since it was founded in 2011 and comes up with 500,000 pairs.

August 12: Warby Parker launches a new TV commercial. Soundtrack: Got My Feet on the Ground, by the Kinks.

September 17: Mickey Drexler, the retailing don, joins the board as its seventh member. “We revere Mickey’s perspective,” the entry concludes.

October 20: Warby Parker counts up the pictures it has posted on its Instagram (FB) account: 945. It also notes that it has 66,022 followers. Eighty-nine percent of the company’s employees have Instagram accounts, too.

November 25: Some retailers are deep into the holiday sales madness. At Warby Parker, it’s just another no-meeting Monday.

December 13: Employees have drunk 213 gallons of cold brewed coffee and 986 pounds of regular coffee during the year.

Berfield is a writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York. Follow her on Twitter @susanberfield.

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