Black Optical was founded on the principles of caring for every guest as a friend,And we're happy to say that we've made a lot of friends during all our years of putting frames and lenses on people. So when we get the opportunity to turn the spotlight onto one of our clients, we always take the chance to show why we feel so lucky to work with some of the best people in the world. THEBROSFRESH are dear friends of Black Optical. In addition to their music careers, brothers Thurman and Torrence Thomas have appeared in the pages of "Southern Living", ad campaigns for VADA EYEWEAR, and much more. We recently sat down with the duo for another installment of "Friends of Black Optical"
Black Optical - Tell us about the transition from Thurman and Torrence to THEBROSFRESH
THEBROSFRESH - The transition from "Thurman & Torrence" to THEBROSFRESH has been a patient one over the last seven years. Honing and developing our various creative interests has been a labor of love that finally seems like it's starting to pay off. We feel like endeavoring to establish the moniker first is working in our favor in regards to brand partnerships and opportunities that help us to move progressively on our journey.
Black Optical - From your music careers to modeling, it feels like you're a bit unstoppable lately. How did you manage to keep creating content, music, etc. during the pandemic?
TBF - To be honest, this energy we've been experiencing lately is still new to us.
We think that feeling has a magnetism to it that draws in more good things and, at the same time, more new problems to manage and deal with. It's a fun ride though, no doubt. Years of quiet preparation got us ready to take advantage of all of the opportunities that were hidden in the pandemic. Focus, discipline, and courage to make certain moves at the right time has helped us to create this momentum.
Black Optical - Where do you turn for creative inspiration?
TBF - For creative inspiration, we tend to make a conscious effort to step outside of our normal flow, including looking past things we already know and think are cool. Being open to different sounds, sights, and ways to approach things has been serving us well as of late. It takes work to remain curious.
Black Optical - We love your VADA frames. Can you tell us more about your relationship with the VADA team
TBF - We love Katie Caplener! She's one of our close and consistent friends in Austin and over time, we've just committed to building our relationship with her and her amazing brand. The three of us share this underdog mentality and chip on our shoulders from being from small rural areas, while trying to make big-time global moves. Another friend of ours, Amber Greene, has just recently been brought into the VADA family, so it is always so much love and good vibes when we get to pop into their east Austin studio space. Looking forward to the day we get our first big check from music and get to blow a sizable amount of it with Katie on some crazy custom jewelry and every frame she's got
Black Optical - Can you tell us more about the non-profit organization that you started?
TBF - Tankproof was started out of a desire to give back to our local community in Louisiana. We were watching a Live 8 concert on VH1 back in 2011 and the biggest artists of that time were performing. We thought, "if they can make a difference with their various gifts in music, we can do the same, but on a local level." We decided to create some tank tops and use the proceeds to go towards paying to get ten black kids the life-saving gift of swimming lessons. The first year, we blew our goal out of the water and we raised enough money to get 60 kids swimming lessons through a swim school in Baton Rouge that we were partnering with. Fast-forward to today and we have established our own team of instructors and are currently operating in multiple cities in Louisiana, Austin, Plano, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Black Optical - It sounds like you're really excited about Tankproof and proud of what you're doing through that organization
TBF - We are probably most proud of how it has grown over the years and the consistency that it's taken to get to this point. Seeing kids come through the program and leave better equipped to be water-safe is such a unique experience. We feel Tankproof is our life's work, so we're in it for the long haul.
Thurman and Torrence wearing shirts representing their non-profit organization, Tankproof, which gives youth in under-served communities education and essentials to navigate life’s currents. They help provide quality swim instruction and feed hundreds, with the goal of providing access, equity, and opportunity through their swimming lessons to make communities safer and even save lives.
Black Optical - What else is coming up for THEBROSFRESH? Any new projects or music that we can be on the lookout for?
TBF - What's next for THEBROSFRESH is getting back into playing live shows and laying the groundwork for a fall '21 release date for another EP. Tankproof has a few more stops on the tour this summer and we're excited to announce some really cool partnerships in the near the future.
Black Optical - Thanks for joining us!