DURHAM – Back in 2015, Jake Berton and his now wife, Rebecca, took a road trip across the country. Every time they’d go out on the water, they’d come back with Jake inevitably needing to buy a  new pair of shades after losing them in the water.

Finally one day, his wife turned to him and said, “You realize the most expensive part of our trip is your shades, right?”

“I laughed at first,” Jake recalled, “until that moment of realization hit me. We could fix this problem, and we set the wheels in motion”.

Enter Rheos, a new startup designing sink-proof sunglasses for boaters, fishers and everyone who loves the water, but not the risks attached.

“We specialize in creating the most complete and functional line of floating sunglasses on the market today,” said Berton.

Rheos founder Jake Berton.

The startup, under its business name eWIDE Networks, has recently opened a 90-day $350,000 Series Seed round, with $50,000 already in equity, according to a recent filing.

“We are seeking investors with a subject matter expertise in wholesale, retail, and e-commerce driven businesses, most especially in outdoor gear,” Berton told WRAL TechWire. “Since our launch in 2016, we have developed a profitable and repeatable business model from supply chain through to customer acquisition and distribution. Our goal with this round is to accelerate the growth of the company.”

The company was founded in Durham with operations based out of Charleston, South Carolina, where the couple also now lives.

He said all of their frames are polarized with 100 percent UV protection and include features such as hydrophobic, oleophobic, anti-scratch, and anti-fog protection.

The lineup retails for $50, and the firm already partners with including Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Ace Hardware, and other independent stores across the country.

“The mission of Rheos Gear is to inspire and support people getting out on the water more often where the best of us comes to life,” he said. “We are always looking for more great retail partnerships and for those looking for wholesale floating sunglasses.”