In the words of the late Dr. Daniel Messinger, whose daughter and granddaughter now helm Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs, “We’ve been doing this for 100 years—we must be doing something right.” Overseen by the fourth and fifth generation of family that founded the company in 1888, the sense of history carries over into its opticians’ daily practice—they’ve been seeing many of their clients for decades, and bestow fast emergency services upon them whenever a client damages a lens or tries to stretch their frames to fit a family portrait inside. The personalized attention heaped upon each customer shines through in the services provided, which include technicians that grind and surface all lenses on-site in the flagship location’s lab, often fitting them into frames for next-day pick-up.
French native Valerie Vittu created Margot & Camille Optique to pair clients with the European frame styles popular in her home country. Drawing from her experience working for designer Alain Mikli on Madison Avenue, Valerie selects unique, nonbranded eyewear that sets trends rather than follows them. Past designs have included efforts from Alain Mikli, Lafont, and Tom Davies's made-to-order Couture Horn collection of natural horn-rimmed frames. A hands-on presence in her shop, Valerie helps clients pick frames that fit their faces and styles, and she happily offers extended hours by appointment to accommodate clients who spend every daylight hour holding mirrors to the sky to see how the sun likes glare in its eyes.
Inside this immaculate Victorian Italianate building in Rittenhouse Square, optometrist Alissa Coyne conducts eye examinations alongside a dedicated staff of opticians and eyewear experts. Two show rooms display a selection of more than 2,500 frames by fashionable brands such as Salt. Optics or Oliver Peoples. Lens types range from standard plastic to Transitions-brand options that change tint when going from indoors to outdoors, and prescription and nonprescription sunglasses shield pupils from the sun's harmful rays and annoying habit of never wearing clothes.
One of the East Coast's best-known Members-only wholesale retailers, BJ's serves more than six million Members in more than 200 Clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, BJ's helps provide more selections to savvy shoppers looking to knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, Members can stock up on economy-sized groceries?including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, organics and naturals, and everyday essentials?grab name-brand electronics, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of BJ's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2013 alone, the company donated more than $4 million to charitable organizations.
Since its opening in 2000, Omega Optical has sold designer frames in both classic and cutting-edge styles. At the Cheltenham Mall and Comcast Center locations, certified Doctors of Optometry perform routine preventive care and measure patients for prescriptions. Customers can then explore the store's collection, which includes glasses and sunglasses from Tom Ford, Alain Mikli, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Kazuo Kawasaki, and more. To help them decide on a pair, staffers show them frames that complement both their lifestyle and face shape, whether it resembles an oval, a square, or a Spanish galleon. Omega maintains a close connection to the community around them; the Omega Optical Scholarship Foundation raises funds for local college-bound students.
Thanks to her colorful, vintage-influenced style, Mari Alstin has always stood out from the crowd. In 2012, she opened a boutique—Take 2 Chic—to help others stand out with their own personal styles. Cocktail dresses, maxi dresses, going-out tops, and neat displays of statement jewelry fill the shop, which is flanked by hanging artwork and rosy hardwood floors. Alstin also stocks sunglasses in a variety of face-flattering shapes and bags suitable for different occasions.