Eclectic Eye had the honor of participating in the 15thAnnual Memphis Pride Fest Parade in beautiful Downtown Memphis, September 29, 2018. Robbie Johnson Weinberg, owner of Eclectic Eye, gave the entire staff the option of participating in Pride this year if we were willing to organize and make it happen. This was met with an enthusiastic response from the staff. About six months ago, Randall, an eyewear architect at Eclectic Eye, spearheaded the research and design ideas to get us started.
We quickly realized that no one on the team had ever built a parade float before and we had no idea where to begin. Randall got the ball rolling and put his feelers out for how to create the base of our float. His neighbors, Mark and Sherry Day, were happy to lend us their flatbed trailer. After the team chose the theme, “Eclectic Eye Eyecons,” we decided how we were going to decorate the float.
Six weeks prior to Pride, we began gathering supplies and meeting at Chris (lab specialist) and Lindy’s (retail manager) house to begin building the base of the structure. After two weekends of Sunday brunch and building, we had completed most of the float. We were only left with the main task of assembling the rainbow.
During the week of Pride, we were able to move our float downtown. Our friends, Doug and Sissy Carpenter, graciously let us use their warehouse, Doug Carpenter & Associates, for final decoration duties. The night before the event, we worked together on our fabulous, huge rainbow and glittered garden. The day of the parade, we celebrated all of our effort and planning with brunch, dressed in our “Eyecon” characters costumes. Then, we hitched the float to Dr. Weinberg’s truck, and strapped on our wigs. After all of our hard work, we were off to celebrate one of the Mid-South’s largest, most colorful events of the year!
“It has been one of the most joyful experiences of my career to watch my team take on the Pride Parade float planning and execution. They totally exceeded my expectations and made me so proud of the people they are and the team we have developed.” Madonna – Robbie Johnson Weinberg (Owner)
“Participating in Pride reaffirmed my love for the Memphis community and my co-workers. The positive energy and
comradery downtown was palpable and an experience I’ll never forget.” Dolly Parton – Lindy Faulkner (Retail Manager)
“It was so much fun to see the community so passionate about the event and our participation!” Annie Lennox – Rebecca Allen (Team Lead)
“Pride is such an important event to promote diversity in our community. It was such a wonderful experience to share with my co-workers and friends!” Prince – Shannon Seaton (Eyewear Architect)
“Being a part of Pride is always a moving and deeply personal experience for an LGBTQ individual, and working for a small business who supports its people and its community in such a visible way makes the experience that much more emotional.” David Bowie – Lee Blankenship (Eyewear Architect)
We loved being a part of Memphis Pride this year! Visit their website to learn more about all that they do and ways you can volunteer.