Bajío Sunglasses

Dos Reasons to Celebrate!

 Today we have two reasons to celebrate: It’s a Mexican holiday commemorating victory over the French in 1862, AND it’s Bajio’s two-year anniversary!

At Bajío, besides building killer fishing sunglasses, saving the flats and inspiring the next generation, we’re all about kicking back with a cerveza (with lime) and having a good time. Seriously, we couldn’t have picked a better day to start our company.

“Milestones are important,” reflects Founder Al Perkinson. “On a birthday or anniversary, it’s good to pause and take stock—to celebrate what’s gone well and challenge ourselves to be better in the future.”

How Bajío Began

Al and his wife Marguerite started Bajío because they wanted to have an economic engine to drive a conservation effort and inspire youth to care about the flats.

“Rather than convincing other companies to fully embrace our vision,” explains Al. “We decided the best way to fund our mission was to start our own company. After decades spent in the industry, we knew sunglasses inside and out, so we went for it!”

The goal for Bajío was to be environmentally friendly and sustainable with a relaxed and comfortable workplace—no dress codes, dogs in the office, free lunch Friday—every employee a shareholder. 

“We want cool and talented people to feel like they can work for a company that is just an extension of who they are, not some giant corporate entity,” Al explains. 

In the fishing industry, most major brands are owned by a private equity firm or huge strategic conglomerate. This sucks the life out of a brand because it becomes all about making money—the fun is over and you're working for the man.

Not here. No way.

“Today we celebrate our fierce independence because we believe it’s important for there to be independent companies.”

Triumphs at Two Years In 

It’s been two years; how have we done so far? Well, it depends on how you define success—in terms of commerce or progress toward our cause (saving the flats).

When it comes to our cause, we’ve created a company to focus on protecting the flats and bring youth to the outdoors to the fight for these critically important areas. Our first feat was taking the necessary steps for Bajío to be a carbon neutral from inception—through Emerger Strategies we plant mangroves to offset any carbon emissions, which in turn provide fish habitat and help protect coastal areas from erosion. Bajío’s ongoing Rooster Program has cleaned 12 miles on the beaches of Xcalak, Mexico by selling tees and hats. The Temples of Change sunglass project has planted 300 corals through Oceanus, A.C. on the Mesoamerican Reef. And our mapping projects in the Yucatan Peninsula and Guanaja, Honduras (in conjunction with Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and the University of Alabama) have provided scientists with critical information on the baseline of these areas through drone footage, satellite imagery and ground truthing—so we know where we stand currently and can set goals to improve the health of these flats for the future. In addition to these ongoing cause projects, we are about to announce something big that’s never been done before—something people of all ages and income levels can do to fly fish, gain a global perspective and further our mission…so stay tuned!

From Bajío’s commerce side, well, ya kinda have to be somewhat successful and generate money to do all the above. So, in short, we’re really off to a great start. In just two years, Bajío has amassed 900 retail partners and sold product into 50 countries. We’ve gained a large social following and have a strong e-commerce platform. From a product perspective, Bajío has developed industry-leading blue light blocking LAPIS lens technology that’s gaining momentum worldwide. And we won’t stop there. We’re growing at a fast rate with no plans to slow down anytime soon. Not too bad for just a couple of years under our belts.

Our People 

The people of Bajío are many. Some are employees and some are just drawn to our brand, our shades and our mission, so they support us. Because our culture feels like family, we’ve been successful at creating something that people want to be a part of. 

“We are a crew of misfits in a way, a bunch of wild asses” Al chuckles. “We’re the tattoo artist, the jazz musician, the fishing guide— all in this to prove ourselves and accomplish something. Everyone believes in what we’re doing, so we have a collection of great people focused on doing great things.”

What Does the Future Hold for Bajio?

Our future’s so bright, we’re glad we make shades 😎. But honestly, looking toward the future of the company, Al put it best, “We just see a bigger, better, more impactful version of the present.”

For example, our mission to protect the planet’s saltwater flats through our causes like mangrove and coral planting, flats mapping and beach cleanup programs will grow to be more established and yield greater results. And our goal to empower the next generation to embrace fly fishing and improve the health of the flats is just about to really take off (that “something big that’s never been done before” we mentioned earlier).

We’ll continue to offer exceptional customer service as we grow. And we’ll create fun and innovative products people can’t get anywhere else while continually seeking more sustainable ways to manufacture and distribute them. 

“We’ll grow the tribe and expand our reach to have a bigger, more positive impact on our flats and the people that call them home,” Al assures. “But we can’t do it without you…”

Gracias to Bajío’s Partners & Loyal Customers 

There have been so many people who have embraced what Bajío stands for and what we’re trying do for the environment, and for the youth.

“We are like David & Goliath doing battle with worldwide multibillion dollar companies,” nods Al. “We make killer shades, provide a great work environment, and do good things for the flats. So it’s been humbling to see the outpouring of support we’ve received from all sectors.”

Bajío’s commitment is to live up to the trust our supporters put in us, to live up to the ideals we’ve put out there. So today, on one of our favorite holidays AND our second birthday, we say gracias, and salud (cheers) to you!