{Industry Insider-Sue Randhawa of The Optical Boutique}

I met Sue Randhawa at Vision Expo East 3 years ago and was instantly drawn to her eclectic style. Her whole family oozes chic and individual personal aesthetic and we featured them on the blog in the very beginning. I’m thankful we have stayed in touch over the years and I had the opportunity to visit her store when I was in Vancouver this Fall. She had just moved back into her space after renovations so the timing was perfect. Take a moment to enjoy insight from this industry veteran with a very clear understanding of the role that eyewear has in expressing personal style.
Sue R-ownerSue R-owner
1. How did you first get involved in eyewear?
I say it was serendipity. It was 1991, and I needed to find work. We had moved back to Canada after living in the UK for 3 years. I was 22 years old and this was my first “real” job. This one opportunity became the first of many good things to happen.
2.What do you love most about eyewear?
There are so many things to love about eyewear. The main one being that this one item can have such a dramatic impact on an individual. What was once just a visual aid that people had to wear to see, is now a sought after fashion accessory that people want. This has never happened before in this industry.
 Optical Boutique 3
3. What is currently inspiring you creatively?
I am constantly being inspired by what’s around me. Travel is a great source of inspiration. Talking to the designers that make the eyewear is always a privilege. Sharing their passion and listening to their stories is always wonderful. I love to show my support at Vancouver Fashion Week – the young designers need to know that with hard work, they can be successful. I’m also inspired by my older clientele. The people that are in their 80s and 90s who continue to live vibrant lives. They’re choosing not to fade away.
4. Where do you look for new brands to offer your customer? What do you look for?
I’m constantly looking for collections that share my vision for great eyewear. Eyewear that is based on an individual’s esthetic. Eyewear that is crafted with a persons face in mind. I love to see designs that push the envelope when it comes to materials and craftsmanship. The quality of a frame is extremely important – who made it, how was it made, where was it made?
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5. What do you find most surprising about the industry?
  What I find most surprising about the industry is that there are so many opticians that don’t realize the importance of our job. It encompasses so much more than being an optician. We’re stylists, fashion experts, trendsetters…instead of carving out a niche for themselves, they’re trying to be everything to everybody.
6. What are you most excited about looking forward to 2016?
  In 2016, I’m looking forward to doing what I’m doing now. It’s an incredible time in our industry because never before has eyewear been such a huge component of fashion. There continues to be innovations in terms of materials and design. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens on the European runways and seeing how it translates into eyewear.
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7. How big is your personal eyewear collection and do you have a favorite piece?
  My personal collection consists of about 100 pairs. I would narrow it down to about 25 when it comes to my personal favourites that I go back to over and over again.
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We want to send a huge thank you to Sue for taking the time to talk with us about her vision of the future of this amazing industry. I know I speak for both of when I say we are excited to see what 2016 is going to bring.
Do not miss The Optical Boutique when in Vancouver.
2265 West 41st Street
Vancouver BC V6M 2A3

One response to “{Industry Insider-Sue Randhawa of The Optical Boutique}”

  1. Shirley Long says:

    Love her style. The new shop is beautiful. Can’t wait to visit.

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