Eyewear company to expand into new Simpsonville business park

The fast-growing eyewear company will be taking a spot in Simpsonville Commons, an approximately $100 million business park from Louisville developer Hollenbach-Oakley.

Shady Rays will be expanding into a new Simpsonville facility, almost tripling its current footprint.

The fast-growing eyewear company will be taking a spot in Simpsonville Commons, an approximately $100 million business park from Louisville developer Hollenbach-Oakley. Shady Rays will occupy 75,000 square feet of a 105,000-square-foot building.

Simpsonville Commons is located on over 81 acres of land in Simpsonville, Kentucky, at the intersection of Interstate 64 and Buck Creek Road directly across from The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass.

The company will be moving from its two buildings—a 12,000-square-foot headquarters and a 14,400-square-foot manufacturing facility— in the Kingbrook Commerce Park, also in Shelby County. Dan Ratterman, chief operating officer of Shady Rays, said the new space will allow the company to be more efficient and fill significantly more orders.

“Over the course of the business, we’ve always had our fulfillment speeds as one of our core competencies that allow us to meet our customer expectations extremely well,” Dan Ratterman said. “As our business has grown, we’re now at the point where we need to upgrade the size of our fulfillment center, and this building will be the perfect way to do that.”

Dan Ratterman said along with the larger fulfillment center, the facility will have upgraded technology to allow the company to continue developing the brand. It will also include more offices and workspaces, a showroom to display products, and an outdoor patio.

Construction on the facility is set to begin in May with a completion date planned for the fourth quarter of 2023. Shady Rays and Hollenbach-Oakley declined to disclose the total investment into the facility.

DKN Architects designed the first two buildings in Simpsonville Commons. No contractors have been selected yet. John Hollenbach, Jr and Clayton Pitcock with Horizon Commercial Realty, Hollenbach-Oakley’s brokerage affiliate, brokered the deal.

There were a few reasons Simpsonville Commons was the right fit for Shady Rays. CEO Chris Ratterman said being able to design a building from scratch gave the company an opportunity to request exactly what they need now and anticipate what they’ll need in the future.

As an e-commerce company, Shady Rays is centrally located for fast shipping in the Simpsonville area and in proximity to major highways like I-64, 75 and 71. Dan Ratterman also said it gives the company access to a large pool of skilled employees.

“We know that there’s a lot of great employees in the area,” Dan Ratterman said. “We have a lot of great employees already, and we know that as we continue to grow, there’s more high-caliber employees in the area.”

The new building is being designed and constructed to help the company expand its national reach, which includes considering and utilizing a hybrid work style. Chris Ratterman said with team members located throughout the country, the company operates in a hybrid remote environment. The facility will provide resources to stay digitally connected with all staff while also creating spaces for in-person collaboration.

“This is an asset for collaboration, and for in-person time, for first showing products to key partners, for coming up with creative ideas, and for coming together to meet during core times of the year,” Chris Ratterman said.

The number of Shady Ray’s employees fluctuates depending on the time of year, as spring and summer tend to be the brand’s peak seasons. Chris Ratterman said during its busiest times, it’s likely for over 75 team members to be working in the new building.

The company declined to disclose annual revenue figures, but Dan Ratterman said the business is seeing double-digit percentage growth.

Shady Rays will be joining Kentuckiana Curb Co. LLC, a division of KCC Companies, who broke ground on two buildings in Simpsonville Commons in October. When completed, the company will occupy a 380,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and a 40,000-square-foot research and development facility.