Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on February 14, 2016 · Page E4
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page E4

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Page E4
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Page4E Sunday,February14,2016 DemocratandChronicle. com anew look. TempleSox are supposed to refresh old eyeglasses with a colorful new look. Spampinato’s product comes i n 26 colors and designs and he plans to offer more this November, along with s ports team logos. H e has two patents on his products, one that covers the sleeves with a sewn s eam and another without the seam. S pampinato has closed the T-shirt business and he wants to grow Temple- S ox slowly without investors. He’s sell- i ng his product online and said January was his most profitable month. Now he’s t rying to get TempleSox in retail spaces. H e has a display at the Whelpley & Paul Opticians office in Webster. A Whelpley & Paul employee said he believes TempleSox might appeal to a younger and female customer base. “I thought it would be kind of interesting to put them on display and see what kind of interest it might create,” said Scott Davies, Whelpley & Paul store manager. “It could be an innovative p roduct. I don’t see a 35-year-old being i nterested in them, but perhaps somebody between 13 and 18. It could be a niche product.” Davies said he agreed with Spampinato: People believe their glasses get boring after a while. “Women in particular. After perhaps two years of wearing a frame every single day, they tend to want a fresher look,” he said, adding that younger men are starting to join that trend, too. M odifying the look of eyeglasses for f ashion purposes isn’t a new push. There a re do-it-yourself videos on the Internet f or putting rhinestones on your glasses a nd Cincinnati-based Framerisells cus- t om glasses with interchangeable color l ens. A lthough few people know about TempleSox, Spampinato said he expects 2 016 to be the year of profitability. He’s expecting more revenue, in part, because he’s making TempleSox from home instead of paying for an expensive, time-consuming manufacturing process. Last year, Spampinato bought spandex from the Garment District in Manh attan, shipped it to be made in Califor- n ia by a man who makes spaghetti straps f or women’s dresses and finally had the f inishing done in Buffalo before it was s ent back to him in Fairport. I t took him a month and a half to get a s hipment. Now, Spampinato has the s ame machine that the California guy uses and can make 20,000 a week. M eghan Mundy, chief fashion orga- nizer for Fashion Week of Rochester, said TempleSox are appealing based on the fact that eyeglasses have become a fashion accessory more than a method for correcting vision. And since it’s an accessory, people are looking to match eyeglasses to their outfits the same way t hey would a hat, scarf or gloves. T empleSox “carries it a step for- w ard,” Mundy said, to the point where “ you can buy just one pair of glasses.” “ It’s a great way to bring some fun and s ome style into your glasses beyond the f act that you’re using them to see,” she s aid. Amy Bell, a multiple beauty pageant w inner in upstate New York and one of the best-dressed women in Rochester, said eyeglasses are now worn by people who don’t have vision problems. Now that glasses have gone from vision correction to fashion accessory, the rules for accessories apply to specs as well, she said. “ You want all your accessories to m atch your outfit, or at least the fashion- a ble people do,” said Bell, who works as a s ales associate for Premium Mortgage. “ I would love something like this so I c ould look head-to-toe stylish.” K Sleeves Continued from Page 1E JAMIE GERMANO/@JGERMANO1/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER TempleSoxare tiny colorful spandex sleeves that slip over the temples of eyeglasses to change the look of the frames. help people with job openings for the displaced workers. Others admitted that they had yet to figure out their next move. “I’ve been casually looking,” said Myers. “I should look a little harder, according to my wife, but my concern right now is the employees here and trying to get them jobs.” Myers grew up the Brighton area and once owned R’s Market, a long-running neighborhood-style grocery story on Monroe Avenue that dates back to the 1960s. He ran the store until selling it shortly before joining Constantino’s. There were about 75 people employed at the store when it opened, but about two weeks ago when it was publicly announced that the grocer would close, the store looked like a big storm had rolled through town. Shelves were empty. Cash registers were without cashiers. Employees looked rather bored. Last week, the store was even more empty. Signs had pointed to a 50 percent off sale. For a store that prided itself on being clean (it was) and having many popular name brands (think Del Monte and Campbell’s), it remained a shell of the hope and promise planners brought when they announced the store opening. News of the closing brought statements by University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Fairmount Properties, the company managing the site. They all expressed concern and at the same time a sense of hope for the workers and the possibility of another grocer coming to the area. But perhaps they shouldn’t try so hard next time. Seems obvious that the area became a so-called “food desert” because it can’t support such an operation. Iwouldn’t expect Wegmans, which clearly has its sights set on new stores out east for growth, or Tops Friendly Markets, which operates much larger stores, to consider a move to College Town. Their business models just don’t fit with that space. Maybe it will for someone else. Let’s hope someone else claims the space and succeeds with it. Hopefully, they’ll be able to keep people employed there for more than 10 months. Todd Clausen is the work life reporter f or the Democrat and Chronicle. Email h im at, or call (585) 258-9883. TINA MACINTYRE-YEE/@TYEE23/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Neil Pierce, who works above the store, said it was very convenient to shop there and he will miss it. Constantino’s Continued from Page 3E NEW YORK - Some small U.S. compa- n ies are getting an influx in calls — and in some cases, unexpected business— due to fears about the Zika virus. The virus often produces either no symptoms or mild ones like fever in adults, but an outbreak in Brazil has been linked to a rare birth defect that causes a newborn’s head to be smaller and brain development issues. Outbreaks also have been reported in parts of Africa, S outheast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and t he Americas. P est control companies in Texas are g etting a surge in business because of concerns that mosquitoes bearing the Zika virus will arrive from neighboring Mexico. The companies are already spraying homes, schools and other properties; usually they don’t start until April. Darryl Nevins’ Mosquito Joe franchise in Houston began getting an increase in calls last week after news reports of seven cases of Zika virus in the metropolitan area. None of the cases resulted from mosquito bites in Texas, the reports said, but people aren’t taking c hances and want their property sprayed. “It’s not just residential customers, what we primarily had in the past,” Nevins says. “Schools, day care, commercial customers with a park nearby are calling and asking, ‘What do we do to protect outdoor seating?’” Nevins says he’s getting 15 inquiries a d ay, which is very unusual for this time of year. Even in the middle of the summer, he says, the company typically only gets 10 calls a day. Based on the demand Nevins is seeing, he expects to double his staff of four workers to handle the spray- i ng. In North Austin, Texas, Karyn Brown’s Mosquito Squad franchise has been getting calls since mid-January — a marked change from typical years, when the phone doesn’t ring until April. Some of her customers want their property sprayed, while others want information about how mosquitoes spread the v irus. Brown is considering hiring more workers to handle a heavier workload. “I feel a little guilty — I don’t want to profit off something so negative,” Brown says. J im Grace’s travel insurance company is selling more policies known as “cancel for any reason” coverage because of the Zika virus. Unlike regular insurance, it allows a traveler to be reimbursed if they just don’t want to make the trip. Grace, CEO of InsureMyTrip in Warwick, Rhode Island, estimates his sales of these policies are up between 15 p ercent and 20 percent from last year be- cause people are on the fence about vacations or business trips to affected areas. “ As long as it’s at least 48 hours before y ou have to depart, you can say I’m not g oing,” Grace says. In many ways, the Zika outbreak is like past outbreaks of disease in that it has created business for some U.S. companies, while hurting others. During the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa in 2014, companies that sold protective clothing like hazmat suits had increased sales because of demand from customers like medical facilities. On the flip s ide, companies that arranged safari t ours to Africa lost some of their busi- n ess because would-be travelers were a fraid they might catch the disease. There was some concern in the travel industry that people would cancel some trips to places like Brazil because of the Zika virus. But the trade group American Society of Travel Agents says its members aren’t losing money to the virus so far — they’re reporting few outright cancellations, where people, concerned about the virus, cancel trips and don’t pick another destination. Still, customers are calling agents with questions about the virus. “In this case with the Zika virus, if it t racks along the same lines as some other recent travel concerns, there will only be a small shift in booking patterns,” spokeswoman Jennifer Michels says. “Some travelers, if they do cancel, will simply ask advice on somewhere else to go and how to best switch their itineraries.” Also, small businesses are concerned a bout how the virus might affect travel. Zika virus creates surge in business at pest control,travel-related firms JOYCE M. ROSENBERG ASSOCIATED PRESS PAT SULLIVAN/AP Darryl Nevins, owner of a Mosquito Joe franchise, sprays a backyard to control mosquitoes in Houston. Pest control companies in Texas are getting an early surge in business because of concerns that mosquitoes bearing the Zika virus will arrive from neighboring Mexico.

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