32. Smith Optics

Eyewear and helmet manufacturer

BEST PERKS: Alternative work environment, Flex time, Fitness
HIRING? YES! smithoptics.com

Smith Optics designs, manufactures, markets, and sells eyewear and helmets for the sports industries—snow goggles, sunglasses, snow helmets, apparel, ballistic eyewear, and prescription eyewear intended for use by people who are active-lifestyle seekers.


Smith Optics has the best workplace any company employee could hope for. From the open-door policy with senior-level management to a policy that allows employees to bring their dogs with them, to work, to a motto that implores employees not to live a deferred life, Smith is all about work-life balance. Friday barbecues, ski days during winter, and employee gatherings throughout the year encourage Smith’s hard-working, dedicated people to gather and bond outside the work environment. Smith is truly a place that has the best interests of its employees at the front of its mind, and the people who work at Smith know that their employer has their back.

We have an average 6 percent gross-salary bonus for making the fiscal goal for the year, and all employees with favorable reviews are awarded the bonus. We also offer a $1,000 recreation subsidy for all employees in good standing.

We have an equipment room fully supplied with the equipment employees need to work out on bikes, skis, and boards and room to store them. We have on-site shower facilities, and there is a top-notch gym across the street; Smith subsidizes employee memberships. We also have Freeride Thursdays, a group mountain-bike ride during the warmer months, which gets everyone out on their bike. We live surrounded by an amazing array of outdoor activities—mountain biking, skiing, fishing, trail running, hiking, kayaking—and we encourage employees to get out and enjoy them. Each employee has a two-and-a-half-hour lunch once a week to get out and take part in the activities for which we make our products.

We offer employees a two-and-a-half-hour lunch once per week and flexible hours for most of the company, depending on department, to get out and recreate. After ten years, employees are eligible for a six-month sabbatical.

We support Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, a local nonprofit that helps disabled veterans and others learn to ski, snowboard, cycle, etc. We participate in fundraising, help supply equipment, and help coach.
We support every possible local nonprofit we can. From Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, who are creating the ski and snowboarding athletes of tomorrow, to Blaine County Recreation District, which puts together youth soccer, baseball, and basketball programs, to Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, which helps disabled veterans and others learn to ski, snowboard, and cycle. We participate through fundraising, equipment supply, and volunteer time.


We have evolved a top-to-bottom approach, from recycling to installing new light bulbs to product manufacturing to minimizing our carbon footprint and the overall impact of the business. Our Evolve product collection features environmentally considerate and renewable materials integrated into our sunglasses, goggles, and helmets without product-quality compromise. We know our environmental initiatives are a process and look to build upon our successes and learn from our failures.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web