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ClearVision Optical focuses on Brazil, Mexico

Hauppauge-based ClearVision Optical expects its business in Mexico and Brazil to double within the next two to three years, executive vice president Peter Friedfeld said.

While the bulk of the eyewear designer and distributor's business is still domestic, the company has learned how to quickly ride the tides of global change, he said.

"We've been selling international for over 25 years, and I think international -- more than domestic -- morphs and changes faster," Friedfeld said in a recent interview. "Economic conditions in those countries create both opportunities and challenges."

For now, the company sees the most potential in Latin America.

"We've been in Mexico for over 20 years; in my last visit I saw something different there than what I've seen there before," he said, referring to the growth of the middle class that will help fuel sales.

Even within the Latin American market, the company has learned to adapt to changes.

For example, in the last three years, business has dwindled in Venezuela with the political turmoil.

But at the same time, the company has managed to build a more flourishing business in the Caribbean.

ClearVision, which was founded in 1949 by Friedfeld's parents, now employs about 128 people in its Hauppauge office. Friedfeld runs the company with his brother, David.

The company currently does business in more than 40 countries, making up about 10 percent of ClearVision's sales.

Friedfeld said the goal of recent expansion has focused more on penetration into the current countries' markets, rather than growing the breadth of the business.

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