Kara Saunders on her New KS 2.0 Signature Sunglasses, Pregnancy and the Future

July 26, 2023 by
Photo Credit: ACTIV Lifestyle Co.
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Ten-time CrossFIt Games athlete Kara Saunders is launching the second edition of her signature sunglasses—the KS 2.0—today.

Saunders, who is almost eight months pregnant with her second child, tested her new KS sunglasses at last summer’s Games and has spent the last year perfecting them before going to market.

Remind me: Saunders started ACTIV Eyewear in July 2020, but has since rebranded her company to become ACTIV Lifestyle Co. (ALC), as they now also offer performance apparel, including shorts and pants, tees and hoodies, sports bras and even kids clothes.

Part of the reason Saunders started her company was because she couldn’t find any sunglasses on the market that were effective for training, especially gymnastics training. In this sense, her sunglasses aimed to “fill a gap of something that didn’t exist at the time,” she said. 

  • “So that we could do CrossFit workouts outside…and be inverted and do muscle-ups and have something that would stay on your face. Because I would compete and I felt like there was never anything that would stay on me,” Saunders explained.

The details: The KS 2.0’s are very different from the first KS version, Saunders said, most notably because they have a rubber finish, as opposed to the titanium frame the original version has.

  • “The rubber finish makes them really anti-slip and super resilient,” Saunders said. 

The KS 2.0s weigh just 23 grams and are anti-glare, anti-salt, anti-sweat and anti-scratch. Further, they offer 100 percent UV protection, and they come with a custom genuine leather case and microfibre cloth, as well as a special note from Saunders.

But the “coolest thing” for Saunders is that they float, so athletes who paddle board, or who like spending time at the water like Saunders does, don’t have to worry about losing a pair of sunglasses to the bottom of the lake or ocean.

  • “It was something I thought was really cool and applicable to who I am and what I do,” she added about the floating feature.

The future: Saunders admits she isn’t sure what the future holds for her as an athlete, but she isn’t ready to say she is retired. 

  • “Two weeks ago, I started to get really itchy to lift a heavy barbell. I could feel that little part of me starting to peek through,” she said.

Maybe this means she will try to qualify for her 11th CrossFit Games as an individual, or maybe she’ll consider competing on a team, but her children will come first, and “it kind of depends on how good I am” she said of when she returns to normal training postpartum.

Regardless of whether or not we see Saunders on the competition floor again, she does know her apparel and eyewear company is here to stay. This means being “community-focused” and really listening to direct feedback from the CrossFit community, which she feels will be critical in making her company even bigger.

“We’re trying to play with the big dogs long term. It’s not just a little side hustle, like a cute little thing. I’m working really really hard to do this well,” she said.

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