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neubau meets Jennifer Bitsche of Hingucker & Faceprint: discussing her blogging and greater eyewear empire with sustainability and style

It takes a cer­tain degree of drive, pas­sion and above all self-con­fid­ence to even ima­gine the level of suc­cess which Aus­tri­an cre­at­ive and busi­ness queen Jen­nifer Bitsche has achieved. She’s the founder of Face­print, a dis­tinct­ive eye­wear blog ded­ic­ated to explor­ing the increas­ingly diverse range of eye­wear products and optom­ic­al innov­a­tions, and togeth­er with her hus­band she runs one of the most dar­ingly cool and aes­thet­ic­ally innov­at­ive eye­wear concept stores in Aus­tria: Hin­guck­er. With the inten­tion to provide an hon­est and insight­ful per­spect­ive, Jen­nifer has been able to craft a busi­ness mod­el that offers its cus­tom­ers the chance to learn spe­cif­ics about a product; where it comes from, how its designed and how it can be improved. 

In an age where mar­ket­ing aims to cur­ate a false truth for the sake of income, this hon­est concept seems to be some­thing hard to come by. Above all, Jen­nifer has provided a rare thing, a brand and busi­ness built with the desire to inform and inspire. We got the chance to speak with this cre­at­ive vis­ion­ary behind the artistry, provid­ing cus­tom­ers with a unique per­spect­ive on the innov­a­tion and extraordin­ary designs found in the wide range of eyewear.

You clearly have a spe­cial pas­sion for eye­wear and product design, what is it that you find so fas­cin­at­ing about eyewear?

If you look some­body in the face, glasses are the first thing you will recog­nize. With every style and col­or, the wear­er stets an indi­vidu­al state­ment. So I look at a face and always ask myself, what’s the story behind this face?

Your hus­band is an opto­met­rist and has col­lab­or­ated with you on the devel­op­ment of your concept store, Hin­guck­er, and it seems that each of you holds a spe­cif­ic skill set and dif­fer­ent kind of interest in eye­sight. How does your rela­tion­ship inspire your brand and its growth?

As you already said, my hus­band is the opto­met­rist and has a deep pro­fes­sion­al know­ledge. I stud­ied mar­ket­ing and was always focused on recog­nising and search­ing for trends. Per­son­ally, I do not chase every single trend, I want to have a deep­er know­ledge of it and always have a proof of qual­ity and design. Always stay­ing true is one of the most import­ant things. Also, our range in Hin­guck­er is not per­suaded by trends that come and go. We stick to qual­ity pieces that we know will last the test of time. 

How do you, as a couple, bal­ance work­ing togeth­er in a pro­fes­sion­al & prac­tic­al busi­ness part­ner­ship with your romantic rela­tion­ship?

We have clearly set our respons­ib­il­it­ies, but that was also easy because of our edu­ca­tion. Hon­estly, we really talk a lot about our busi­ness, our goals and our vis­ion, but we do try to talk less about our com­pany, as we don’t really sep­ar­ate busi­ness from free time. Basic­ally, both our rela­tion­ship and our busi­ness rep­res­ent our future and so we have tried to make the best out of everything. 

How can design­ers, store own­ers and advoc­ates like your­self main­tain the bal­ance between the increas­ing demand for fash­ion­able products with the need to cre­ate and sell sus­tain­ably?

Some­times you have to think trans­versely and make a step out of the box. Have a goal, have a focus and stay on your path. Then you will find the per­fect products con­cern­ing sus­tain­ab­il­ity, design or qual­ity for you and your cus­tom­ers. Nowadays sus­tain­ab­il­ity is not just nice, these days it’s indis­pens­able. Nat­ur­ally, you can’t change everything in your busi­ness in one day, but if you focus on goals and make it step by step, you’re on the right way.

Both Face­print and Hin­guck­er have emerged from their humble begin­nings as suc­cess stor­ies and their reach is only ever-expand­ing! How did you find the trans­ition from blog­ger to busi­ness own­er and where do you see your busi­ness mov­ing from here?

It’s not really a trans­ition, because both of them are my busi­ness and my pas­sion. Face­print is my cre­at­ive path and visu­al space to bring you closer to the eye­wear industry. Hin­guck­er is my phys­ic­al path to show in a more tan­gible space that eye­wear is not just a nice access­ory but also a strong state­ment and neces­sity. But Hin­guck­er is more than just eye­wear, Hin­guck­er is more like a liv­ing room, where you can find products for your­self, like interi­or items, books, care products, Gin & Whis­key, jew­ellery and so on. All of them are spe­cif­ic pieces, with good qual­ity, awe­some design and of course, with a story behind them. 

Do you remem­ber your first pair of glasses? How has your style and rela­tion­ship to your glasses changed?

Oh yes, I do. And it was hor­rible. I really hated to wear my speckled blue glasses and the teach­er at my school always forced me to wear the glasses oth­er­wise I had to sit in the front row. Time and style have since been chan­ging and I’ve been con­stantly look­ing for more accept­able and awe-inspir­ing glasses. The more I was get­ting to know this branch, dif­fer­ent labels and the pos­sib­il­it­ies, the more I was get­ting pas­sion­ate about it. I really like to see fancy and col­our­ful glasses on oth­ers, but I am more the type who suits or prefers the min­im­al­ist, laid back style. I always want to feel com­fort­able in the clothes and glasses I wear, with effort­less ease and true style. 

All pho­to­graphs by Mar­ina Schedler 

15 Sep 2019 · neubau eyewear