Brevard voted ‘Best Mountain Town’ for Native Eyewear’s 2013 ‘Locals Only Project’

Press release


BREVARD, NC – There are many exceptional mountain towns in the United States, but for this year, at least, Brevard has been elevated to the top of the list. The community was voted as this year’s feature town for Native Eyewear’s 2013 Locals Only Project, a pioneering marketing effort that balances community building with commerce.

The social media driven program, pitted Brevard with four other finalists: Cody, Wyoming, Taos, New Mexico, Truckee, California, and Flagstaff, Arizona. The five finalists were culled from an initial pool of fifty towns compiled by the Denver, Colorado-based sunglasses maker.

“The Locals Only Project seeks to find the best mountain towns, the best local talent and the best local adventures- all through fan nomination and votes via social media,” explains Kate Heckman, Consumer Marketing Manager for Native Eyewear. “We work with the winning community to curate their stories,” said Heckman. “These stories become the content for our national catalog and for our branding materials, as they truly embody the Native Eyewear brand of adventure, outdoors and the mountain lifestyle.”

Previous winners in the annual competition are Boulder, Colorado, Hood River, Oregon and Whitefish, Montana. Brevard is the first mountain town east of the Rockies to be honored.

In addition to elevating awareness of noteworthy mountain towns, Native invests in the winning communities through a “Give Back” grant. The grant program will take place this fall and allows local organizations to compete to win funding from Native Eyewear.

“We can’t think of a better way to thank those who’ve welcomed us into their community than by contributing to local causes they’re passionate about,” says Heckman.

In August, the Native Eyewear team will travel to Brevard and link up with local writers, filmmakers and photographers who’ve been selected through a fan nomination and voting process. The local crew is paid by Native Eyewear to tell their stories their own way. To view the members of this year’s crew, visit the Locals Only Project tab on Native’s Facebook page.

If this year’s Locals Only experience is anything like what took place in Whitefish, Montana, Brevard will have a lot to look forward to.

“I can’t say enough good things about the Native Eyewear experience,” says Whitefish writer Matt Holloway. “I got to create meaningful and lasting essays about my home, a place I love fiercely. Plus, they gave us artists 100% free reign over content and style. They let us create a book that reflected this community. This was our catalog, 100%, not theirs. And, being fiercely independent Montanans, we embraced this ethic.”

In 2014, Native Eyewear will feature Brevard in marketing materials including point of purchase, trade show displays, retail and social media.

“Here is a company that is willing to come to our community and help us share our story with the wider world,” says Jimmy Harris, mayor of Brevard and owner of the local hardware store. “They’re also investing in Brevard, hiring our artists and making a substantial contribution to our local economy. We consider it a wonderful opportunity to shine the light on our town, our traditions, and our people.”

For Native Eyewear, spotlighting mountain towns is a great way to reach people who love the outdoors and share a genuine attachment to the land.

“Mountain towns are unique in many ways,” says Heckman. “Often, the people who live there do so because of the active lifestyle these communities afford. These individuals and families make sacrifices to live in places they love.”

Brevard is one mountain town that is especially easy to love. Surrounded by almost 100,000 acres of public lands and boasting the largest concentration of waterfalls in North America, the community serves as a base camp for virtually every kind of outdoor adventure, from rock climbing to mountain biking to whitewater rafting.

For all its natural beauty, Brevard also boasts a thriving arts and music scene, and is home to the renowned Brevard Music Center, a music teaching institute and festival that presents over 80 symphony, chamber music and opera performances every summer.

These cross currents, the blending of the refined and the rustic, combine to create a mountain community that truly stands out, even among its lofty peers. To discover more about the Locals Only Project and the sunglasses of Native Eyewear, head to or

Native Eyewear makes polarized sunglasses for adventurers of all types with the vision to navigate any terrain in any type of sunlight. Featuring interchangeable polarized lenses, exceptional grip & comfort and ultra-light frame technology; Native sunglasses are the perfect companion for seeing the path ahead. Whether you’re approaching the mountain, the water, the trail or the asphalt, you’ll be ready. So go ahead—go Native.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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