Though there are 130 For Eyes Optical stores around the United States, the company still has the heart of a small start-up. Owned and operated since 1972, when a small group of friends started it in Philadelphia, aiming for quality eyewear manufacturing as well as customer service. These same friends, aided by a few family members, still lead the franchise today. They ensure that each location adheres to their original principles and mandates for mustard-colored shag carpets.
In each store, expert independent doctors test clients' visual acuity and general eye health with comprehensive exams. Then, a store associate helps each person outfit their eyes with designer frames by brands such as Ray-Ban, Prada, D&G, and Versace. For Eyes Optical has its own advanced 40,000-square foot optical lab in in Hialeah, Florida, where technicians shape, surface, and coat the lenses to fit each person's exact prescription. After creating the lenses?whether plastic, polycarbonate, or trivex Toughlites?they inspect and fit each into its corresponding frame by hand, a process that ensures quality control and guards against the robots, whose first objective is to hinder our eyesight.
Certified by the American Board of Opticianry, the staffers at 20/20 Optical match faces with a pair of their more than 5,000 frames aided by customer-service chops that earned them a spot on Pacific Sun's Best of Marin Hall of Fame 2012. Their cache of glasses includes haute and stylish frames from designers such as Tom Ford, Lindberg, and Anne Et Valentin, which stand ready to welcome newly crafted single- or multifocal lenses. All lenses are cut with laser technology in 20/20’s own onsite laboratory by certified opticians.
Registered dispensing optician Patrick Fasano of Focus Opticians personalizes peepers with carefully calibrated lenses and distinctive frames. Scratch-resistant lenses (a $139 value) stylishly block rays while increasing the safety factor of nuzzling equatorial cactuses. Next door to the main show room, Focus Opticians' optical outlet store stocks some designer-name frames as well as closeout and discontinued styles (a $99 value). Each customer also receives a free glasses case and cleaning cloth with his or her purchase. Consultations range from 20 to 30 minutes and conclude with increased clarity, allowing patrons to resume the vision-intensive process of retracing ant footsteps.
Though SEE Eyewear?s specs are only found in their stores, their designs sprout from imaginations around the world. Winner of reader's choice awards in cities ranging from San Francisco to Nashville, SEE Eyewear stocks its frames directly from fashionable frame crafters and passes on the savings of doing business at the source to customers. The company calls on fashion designers from France, Italy, and other style-conscious countries to create one-of-a-kind designs to be featured on store shelves and client faces. Before that happens, though, each potential frame goes through a rigorous design and review process to ensure its distinctiveness and quality before it can be added to the national eyewear shop?s exclusive coveted selection.
From cat-eye to horn-rimmed and perfectly round to wayfarer-inspired, the cost of each frame includes single-vision lenses, giving customers the simplicity of a flat price that doesn?t require customers to pay an extra prescription fee or mine their own bifocal quarry. SEE Eyewear also trains its staff members to be aesthetically savvy so they can find the perfect fashion-forward, vision-correcting specs for any face shape, mood, or fashion sense.
Optical Works, Phoenix Optical, and Fine Arts Optical have manufactured frames by hand for more than 70 years, resulting in a cache of tens of thousands of contemporary styles as well as more than 3 million unused vintage frames. Artisans handcraft each pair of glasses in French or Italian factories using materials such as bamboo, buffalo and ram horn, traditional metal, and plastics to customize specs and keep up with current ocular trends. A prescription lab forges custom lenses that fit into frames, enhancing vision with polarized sunglasses, hidden bifocals, special coatings, and hard-to-fit prescriptions for nearsighted third eyes. Each store showcases around 3,000 different pairs of frames that both emulate the looks of celebrities and suit individuals’ styles.
Del Sol welcomes guests to its storefront along the famed Pier 39 to peruse a variety of knick-knacks, souvenirs, and clothing for women, men, and kids. More than a peddler of good-time goods, Del Sol also manufactures its own items. The shop began in a Utah mall with a collection of colorful T-shirts including a signature tee that changes color in the sun, and now graces more than 100 locations, with the first full store opening in sun-filled St. Thomas in 1997. As sidewalks bustle with life and sea lions chatter outside, shoppers can peruse the Pier 39 location?s smile-inducing selection of jewelry, swimwear, hats, toys, and key chains to commemorate a family day out or accidental UFO crash.