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Early Days

Tens, before Tens.

Story by Tens May 20th, 2014

Tom here - I’m (finally) writing up some Behind The Scenes posts about everything Tens. I think I’ve had a folder on my desktop for over a year called ‘Tens Blog’… and an archive of photos in Dropbox getting progressively more disorganised as time passed. Despite being terrible at updating my usual blog in the last few months, I’ll try to keep this one as regular as possible.

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JULY 2011

Sometime in the first week of July myself, Marty & Kris drove from Edinburgh to Inverness - usually around a 3 hour journey, it felt twice as long in Marty’s car with a broken CD player. A mix of weekend hangovers, darkness outside and us trying our best to talk out the drive, we discussed future work plans, our ambitions and aims for the future. Somehow our conversations crossed paths about sunglasses that enhanced our view, that made everything look warmer… brighter… more saturated. Somehow they convinced me we could make an actual product that did this. 
The day after we started a Facebook group & a couple of Google Docs to start noting down our ideas. We had no name, no business and certainly no idea about sunglasses, but the idea was born.


Samples & examples. Boxes and boxes of them. Enter a whole world of communicating with suppliers, factories, sourcing agents - all things none of us had ever done before. An exciting process, but very easy to feel disheartened getting the wrong products. All in the name of educating ourselves and learning to spec the product we really wanted.

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For most of our time spent on Tens, we worked on everything remotely via extensive iMessage conversations, Skype, Google Docs, and later the very wonderful Slack. Whilst modern technology is really great at doing these things, it also takes a hell of a lot longer than sat round a table together in person. I usually spend most of my time on tour shooting videos & photos with bands, so arranging meetings & catchups in different time zones proved to be difficult. Only working on it in the evenings and weekends aside from our ‘real’ jobs was always going to delay progress.

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I’m sure I have loads more photos from around this time but my organisation & archiving in 2011/2012 was not what it is now. But if you imagine lots of boxes of sunglasses & lenses, most of them wrong, that’s pretty much the gist of it.