30 In Their Thirties: Shalandria McGlown, Owner and CEO, Hot Commodity EyeWear, Detroit

Shalandria McGlown is turning her passion for fashion into a business that produces eyewear as the owner and CEO of Hot Commodity EyeWear in Detroit.
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Shalandria McGlown. // Photo by Trever Long

Shalandria McGlown is turning her passion for fashion into a business that produces eyewear as the owner and CEO of Hot Commodity EyeWear in Detroit.

Growing up, McGlown wanted to be a fashion designer — but she got sidelined into a career at various Meijer locations.

She spent 11 years as a pricing supervisor for Meijer, working on pricing, inventory, and supporting store product flow. From there, she became an assistant store director, organizing customer service, product, and production.

Today, in addition to the eyewear enterprise, she’s working part time as a store human resources manager, providing HR support and assistance to store leadership through coaching and guidance on HR-related matters including staffing, workforce planning, training and development, retention, onboarding, employee relations, compensation, EEO, safety, and policy.

Four years ago, McGlown decided to exercise her fashion muscles. “The last purchase I made from a standard optical store was very expensive and I said, ‘I’ve just got to try this,’” she recalls.

“I’m really passionate about fashion and originally I wanted to be a fashion designer. So, I decided to take my passion for fashion into optical. I started out doing sunglasses as a hobby because I like sunglasses. Eventually I said, ‘Why not go into optical frames and readers?’”

In 2021, she took Hot Commodity EyeWear into eyeglass frames, which are being sold online, wholesale, and by small, independent opticians in Highland Park, Hamtramck, and Detroit.

Hot Commodity’s sunglasses and optical frames are bright, colorful, and come in shapes and sizes one might not find in a typical optical store.

“We usually go with a square or cat eye,” she says. “We tend to do bold and bright colors, something you can’t find at an optician. We try to make sure they’re in unique, bold statement colors as well as (fun) shapes.”

McGlown’s frame designs are manufactured in Italy and China. “Italy is really good with buffalo horn material when it comes to pricing,” she explains. “China is good with normal plastics and metals. They also do well with custom logos.”

Future plans include expanding into stores in Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, and other southern states. Additional goals include opening her own optical shop and partnering with a school like Wayne State University, and maybe even hospitals, where future opticians can have a space to get training in their field.

“Hopefully by age 44, I’ll be doing this full time,” she says.