Gov. Beshear Joins Shady Rays for Celebration of Newly Expanded Corporate Headquarters in Simpsonville

Company’s new 75,000-square-foot facility will help meet growing customer demand


SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined local officials and leaders from Shady Rays, a national leader in lifestyle and adventure eyewear, to celebrate the company’s new corporate headquarters and fulfillment and distribution warehouse in Simpsonville.

“The commonwealth’s economic momentum is showing no signs of slowing down, and that is largely due to Kentucky companies continuing to expand in our communities,” said Gov. Beshear. “Shady Rays is a quality company that provides great job opportunities for Shelby County, and I am thrilled to celebrate this exciting next step. I want to thank Shady Rays and its leadership team for continuing to invest and believe in what this great state has to offer.”

Shady Rays’ new facility will consist of a 69,000-square-foot fulfillment and distribution center and a 6,000-square-foot office space to serve as the company’s corporate headquarters in Simpsonville Commons. This new location nearly triples the company’s previous footprint in Shelby County, formerly operating out of two facilities in the Kingbrook Commerce Park. The larger fulfillment center will include upgraded technology for improved efficiency, with the new office space hosting additional workspaces, a showroom for product display and an outdoor patio. The added space will allow Shady Rays to be more efficient, fill significantly more orders and meet growing customer demand across the United States and around the world.

“As we stand before our new corporate headquarters and fulfillment center, I am overwhelmed with pride,” said Shady Rays founder and CEO Chris Ratterman. “This space is not just a physical manifestation of our growth, but a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team. It symbolizes our commitment to innovation, customer service and community. Today marks a milestone in our journey, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished together.”

Shady Rays was founded in 2012 to provide polarized sunglasses built for high visibility and durable construction. The company’s leaders are dedicated to giving back to the communities in which their employees work and live, making a difference through their Shady Rays Impact initiative. The total number of Shady Rays’ employees fluctuates throughout the year, with the spring and summer being the company’s peak seasons. The company currently has 95 full-time employees, with 63 of those positions held by Kentuckians.

Shelby County Judge/Executive Dan Ison explained that the project is the perfect fit between the company and the community: “It is fitting that Shady Rays, one of the fastest-growing lifestyle eyewear brands, would call Shelby County, one of the fastest-growing counties in the commonwealth, home. Shady Rays’ commitment to quality, customer satisfaction and commitment to our community is the foundation for this commendable achievement, and we look forward to their continued success in the years ahead.”

Simpsonville Mayor Ronnie Sowder is thrilled to see Shady Rays grow and continue making a difference in the community: “We are excited to see Shady Rays make such a huge expansion and commitment to our city! We look forward to what they have in store and the economic impact it will make in our community.”

Simpsonville City Commissioner Kelland L. Garland noted the company’s commitment to the community: “The city of Simpsonville is excited to see Shady Rays making an investment in our community by expanding their HQ and creating local jobs for our citizens. Shady Rays is a model business for American ingenuity and self-driven entrepreneurship. We are honored to have an outstanding business choose to call Simpsonville home, and we are proud of their efforts to give back to the local community and organizations that do good around the world.”

Shelbyville Mayor Troy Ethington is excited to see the company’s continued success in the region: “Shady Rays continues to be an economic asset for Shelby County by providing quality, well-paying jobs and benefits for the workers in our community. The company’s success doesn’t stop with an excellent product and exemplary customer service. Its business model ensures a commitment to give back both locally and globally with each purchase of their sunglasses. Shady Rays is exactly the kind of business we encourage to come to our town. I wish Shady Rays and the city of Simpsonville continued success and prosperity.”

Charlie Clabaugh, training coordinator for the Shelby County Industrial and Development Foundation (SCIDF), congratulated the company on behalf of the group: “The Shelby County Industrial and Development Foundation is always proud to see plans for growth and success become reality. We congratulate the Shady Rays team for their hard work and dedication that made this expansion possible.”

Shady Rays’ investment and job creation build on the best four-year period for economic growth in state history.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 1,000 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $30 billion in announced investments, creating more than 51,800 jobs. This is the highest investment figure secured during the tenure of any governor in the commonwealth’s history.

The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 and 2023 topped $26 in consecutive years for the first time.

Gov. Beshear has announced some of the largest economic development projects in state history, which have solidified Kentucky as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States: Ford Motor Co. and SK On’s transformative $5.8 billion, 5,000-job BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County; AESC’s $2 billion, 2,000-job gigafactory project in Warren County; Toyota’s $1.3 billion investment in Scott County; and INFAC North America’s $53 million investment in Taylor County, among others.

The Governor’s administration also secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history. Last year, Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.

Kentucky also secured rating increases from major credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.

Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top 5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects.

Gov. Beshear announced a “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.

For more information on Shady Rays, visit

A detailed community profile for Shelby County can be viewed here.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.