by Terry Rogers
Brian Pietruszewski and Anthony Roulston began working in the optical field for more than 16 years. Although they worked for other companies, the two always had a dream of opening their own optical store. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, circumstances changed to the point that the two friends began to consider putting their dream into reality.
“We had noticed this location for a while,” Pietruszewski said. “We had been looking for almost two years for the perfect spot for the shop and this place kept drawing us back. Finally, we just decided to reach out to the owners and see if it would work. We are thrilled that it did as this is a wonderful location. Starbucks on one end, the bank on the other and AT&T next door brings a lot of foot traffic. Plus we have strong visibility from the highway.”
Currently, the office offers glasses, sunglasses and contacts but does not have a doctor to do eye examinations, something they say they are in the process of working on.
“We don’t want to hire just any doctor,” Pietruszewski said. “We want the best for our customers, so we are taking our time in our search. We do hope to bring an eye doctor in as soon as we can. Right now, we just ask that anyone looking for glasses or contacts bring us their prescription and we can help them out. The motto of our store is “Your vision is my passion.” We want to build a relationship with our customers, not just try to sell them something. We don’t want to just be a mill that pushes out inferior quality products. My daughter wants to be an eye doctor and I would love to build this as much as possible to hand it over to her one day.”
Eyeconic is not a chain and this is the only location for the optical store at the present time. They opened in August 2020 and are already building a strong clientele. The store offers more than 1,000 glasses frames in a wide range of price points. All lenses are created by the same company that provides lenses for the Hubble telescope. Eyeconic accepts most major vision care insurance programs.
“We love people,” Pietruszewski said. “We love taking care of people. When someone can’t see, they have a lower quality of life. About 60 percent of the people we help say “I could never see like this before.” Sight is critical and we just love providing them with sight. I remember one boy, he had worn glasses since he was a baby and was around four then. We put glasses on him, and his eyes grew huge when he looked at his mother. It was the first time he could see his mother clearly. That makes me tear up just thinking about it now.”
The biggest challenge the store has faced is COVID-19.
“The pandemic has slowed us down from what we envisioned,” Roulston said. “We have all the precautions in place. We wear masks and require anyone coming into the store to wear one. We have hand sanitizers throughout the store, and we cleanse everything after each person leaves. We are super cautious to be sure there is no problem. But the slowdown from the pandemic has really been the biggest challenge we have faced”
Pietruszewski and Roulston stated that they are in this for the long haul and that after doing this type of work for more than 16 years, they have seen both positive and negative ways to handle eyesight for others.
“We are excited about being here and we love the opportunity to service everyone who needs glasses,” Pietruszewski said. “Until you experience it, you won’t know the massive difference between an optical store with a strong focus on the customer and one that is focused on just selling a product. Stop in and give us a chance to show you that difference.”
The store is open Monday and Tuesday from 10 AM to 6 PM, Wednesday form 10 AM until 7 PM, Thursday and Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM and on Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM. Appointments are not necessary but anyone with questions can call 302-503-7421.