An Optician Speaks Out, Starts a Petition

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The following post appeared on Vision Monday's Facebook page.

To the Editor:

There was great disservice done to the industry by this piece of "investigative journalism" by "60 Minutes." First of all, there was no mention of the hundreds of many smaller companies that make the finest eyewear in the world. Ironic, as there has never been such a wealth of talent in the eyeglass design industry as there is today. Guerra was right about eyewear's special place in a consumer's wardrobe. However "60 Minutes" failed to acknowledge the important place of the designers, factories and small independent optical professionals who are providing consumers with eyewear that brings great pleasure to their lives. As l.a. Eyeworks so aptly noted, "Your face is like a work of art...it deserves a great frame."

There are too many talented people designing great eyewear to list. Suffice to say that most if not all, are names you may have never heard of, even if you are an eyecare professional. And the names that you have heard of? Well let's just say that many of these brands don't hold a candle to these lesser known design houses when it comes to quality and workmanship....

For "60 Minutes" to have completely missed discussing these lesser known but important design houses in the optical industry in favor of devoting time to discussing how licensing brand name designs can contribute to pricing models that don't put the full dollar value into the product, is simply shabby journalism. There are VERY good reasons why true luxury eyewear costs more...materials, design and execution to excruciatingly high standards all contribute to a higher cost, and also to greater comfort, aesthetic and enjoyment.

As someone who has owned an independent, luxury store for over 35 years, I am extremely proud of the products, services and value that we provide our clientele. I am also grateful to the men and women who have dedicated their lives and expertise to making truly special eyewear...The repeat patronage of our customers tells me that they, too, understand and appreciate the value having eyewear that they truly "treasure" and that they are happy to wear each day. Many own more than one pair, just like clothing. And, I carry premium closeout frames and sunglasses so that I can offer varying price points, without compromising on quality and comfort.

So one must wonder why "60 Minutes," with all of its resources would completely overlook the most vibrant, exciting and energetic part of an industry that touches the lives of so many people?

Certainly, the Warby Parkers and Walmarts are no doubt pleased that "60 Minutes" discussed the pricing models of Luxottica and brand licensing. But where was "60 Minutes" in discussing how true artisans create and dispense the most beautiful, well made and comfortable eyewear? CNBC made the same "error" and offered NO perspective from those who truly understand what goes into making a "great frame"...Instead, providing a podium for Warby Parker to bash all expensive eyewear as being overpriced...ridiculous!

We do the public a great disservice when we fail to provide all point of view on a subject as important as this one. The public is smart enough to understand quality. They understand what makes a great car, a fine pair of shoes and fine jewelry....

Sad that the media doesn't give them credit for being smart enough to understand what goes into making a great pair of glasses....

Respectfully,

David Salk
Owner, Focal Point Opticians &
eClips Custom Clip-On Sunglasses

David Salk has started an online petition to ask the producers of “60 Minutes” to spotlight the important role that small, independent eyecare professionals play in the delivery of high quality products and services.