Eyewear Makeovers: Show the Pair They'll Want to Wear

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By Catherine Wolinski: Assistant Editor

Ruth Domber is more than a manager at 10/10 Optics in New York City. By combining her knowledge of eyewear with her understanding of beauty and people, she is an optician, beautician and life coach, using tactics that surpass assisting patients with selecting the right eyewear. Having learned from different experts in color, aesthetics and makeup, Domber is armed with wisdom and sensibility that goes beyond frames and lenses.

 

 Ben Vago made a transition to a frame that complements his coloring.


“I’ve been doing it for a long time,” she said, referring to her ownership of the store for 30 years. “I learned very early on that combining these different arts would benefit my patient if I was more informed.”



 


10/10 Optics’ Ruth Domber is happy to find the right fit for her patients.        
According to Domber, the foundation is simple—whether they know it or not, people want to buy something they will look good in.

“There’s the person who wants a makeover, and the person who shows you they may need one,” she said. “The person who wants the makeover is very eager to incorporate new looks and to try new things. The person who doesn’t realize they want one, you have to be a little more gentle with.”

A makeover starts with questions, Domber said.



   


Pre-makeover, a patient wears frames that don’t flatter her face.

During a makeover, the patient tries a number of pairs until the right fit is found.

“What’s really important is what’s missing. We look at their hair color, haircut, skin color, eye color, the shape of their face. Then we start by asking questions. Do we want to hide or accentuate? Are we looking for look A or look B? For me, it’s always about both,” she said, and its proven in her track record—many patients end up leaving with more than one pair.

What makes the experience especially unique is the equipment atop each counter—in addition to the circular mirrors present in any optical shop, Domber’s makeovers incorporate a digital camera and computer monitor which are used to create a photo display of the patient wearing old and new frames. Typically, four photos are taken in the process, creating a display on-site that is simultaneously sent to the patient’s e-mail address. By doing this, patients are eased into their choice, and have the option of going home, sharing the images with friends and family and returning if they’ve found the right fit.

“Bringing the right frame over right away is always a very bad idea with a makeover,” Domber said. “We ease them into it by doing it in degrees.”

 

Domber explains her choices to each patient accompanied with digital equipment.   


 

 Kate Powell left her clunky frames behind for a pair more suited to her face shape.

For Domber, a makeover is not a quick fix, but a multi-faceted process. Rather than just sending customers away with a new pair of glasses, she offers insight and motivation for each person to transform other areas of their lives.

“When someone does an eyewear makeover, they are actually bringing themselves into a whole new level of perception,” Domber said. “The right pair of glasses makes you want to get a haircut, makes you want to go to the gym, makes you want to get a different type of shirt …I see it all the time. It’s like a reset button.”

Her technique, though calculated, is not to push patients to change, but to show them a better version of themselves that can be unlocked with the right eyewear. By helping patients see their potential, Domber feels she and her shop are rewarded as well.

“Sending someone out with a perfect pair of glasses that they look beautiful in is where we benefit, not just them. It’s a very symbiotic relationship.”

The responses to her makeovers are nothing but positive, and include testimonials (enough, in fact, that a “Love Letters” page was created for the store’s website), gifts and most importantly, referrals.

“It’s fantastic. People write us love letters, come in and bring us flowers and chocolate, and they bring their friends and family. That’s why we’ve had a business that’s been alive for over 30 years, and that’s how our business stays healthy.”

As a final notion, Domber described the purpose of a makeover in its simplest terms. “You never fool anybody when you look at them, so take what you’ve got and make it look great. Make it look like you care. Glasses can do that.” ■


cwolinski@jobson.com