A beautiful new optical practice opened two months ago in the market town of Tenterden in Kent. We visited to meet the owner and carried out a short interview

You have created a high end optical boutique; how did you go about creating the design and layout?

My wife and I had a good idea of what we wanted, the units, the colours, the lay-out etc…We presented this ‘vision’ to Steve Baker of SRDL Design who took some measurements and turned our vision into a visual…with some minor changes we then left everything to SDRL and a few weeks later we had a fantastic looking boutique…as perfect as we’d first imagined!

The finishes and materials used in the displays project a luxurious atmosphere; how did you select the optical brands which you carry?

This took about 3 years. We visited all the trade shows in Europe, visited many successful optometry practices around the country and attended various networking events. After this we had a list of about 50 brands that we wanted to consider… we then met with lots of reps, saw many collections and decided on 20….It wasn’t an easy task and since we opened we have added 3 more collections…by far I found this to be the most complex task on setting up a new optical boutique.

You have used a variety of frame displays; locking columns, individual supports, shelves and illuminated boxes. Was this to present different optical brands and styles?

A bit of both really…some of the units where made specifically to carry a certain brand and some brands where chosen to go in certain units…but Yes the idea was to have a mix of the best frame presentation.

How have customers reacted to the new practice?

We have had some amazing feedback. Most customers in this part of the world aren’t used to seeing a boutique optician and the reaction has been very positive. We have held two events already which were very well attended and have generated a lot of interest. In fact to our surprise we are running at 60% of our full capacity already – after only 2 months.