With all the amazing advances in lens technology, and the sheer variety of frames available, wearing glasses is no longer the fashion impediment it once was.
Diana Fleetham, Certified Optician and Manager of The Optical at 50th and France, says, “Progressive [no-line] lenses have changed drastically in the past year or so. The technology just keeps getting closer to natural vision. Antireflective lenses have also improved greatly. They are much more scratch-resistant and easier to clean than ever before. It’s very energizing to see all the changes that have occurred in the industry over the years.”
The Optical’s staff sees to it that the store carries the most up-to-date products available, including frames and lens options many chain stores don’t have. Unfortunately, given its prime Edina location, some potential customers make the assumption that the shop only carries inaccessible, expensive brands.
“We actually have a very wide range of prices,” Fleetham states, “One of our favorite stories: We gave a price quote to a gentleman who then went to the Web site of a chain store that advertised low prices. He came back, and ordered the glasses from us, because the chain store’s price was actually quite a bit higher!”
Many chain stores also don’t offer the same level of customer service as an independently owned shop. Fleetham and her staff make the process of choosing frames and lenses fun and easy for their customers.
Fleetham explains, “We’ll show and tell you why certain things work, and others do not. There is never an obligation to buy. We love what we do, and we love sharing that passion with others.”
Turnaround time is generally just five to ten working days.
Genevieve Towne, a Certified Optician at The Optical, maintains a healthy sense of humor about the chain-store approach to eyewear: “We promise to take more than an hour to make your custom eyewear order!”
The Optical is open Monday through Wednesday, as well as Friday, 9 AM-6 PM; and Thursday, 9 AM-7 PM. Walk-ins are welcome, but prescheduled appointments have priority.
Name of Company: The Optical at 50th and France
Year Founded: Early 1990s
President/CEO: 4 Opthalmologists of Edina Eye Clinic
Number of Employees: 4
Address: 3939 W. 50th St., Edina
Phone Number: (952) 920-5050
Web Site: www.theopticaledina.com