Glimpse Vision was born in Hinsdale five years ago out of its founders’ desire to provide personal service and hand-selected frame options. Coming from an industry that had gone through consolidation, they wanted to start and grow a company based on building relationships with clients.
“Our business has always been focused on client-first and being available when they need us—personalized service,” says Boyce Moffitt, co-founder of Glimpse Vision and a Dispensing Optician for more than two decades. “To be able to survive through COVID-19 meant that we had to really cultivate relationships with our customers.”
One of the advantages of running an independently owned eyewear company is that the company can also develop relationships with frame designers who couldn’t or wouldn’t provide frames to large conglomerates.
“We treat our relationships with our frame designers just like we treat our relationships with our clients. Because we’ve done that for years, a lot of times new designers will come directly to us,” Moffitt says. “We’ll often seek to bring things to the market before anybody else. We have that kind of access.”
“We’re very aware of what’s going on in the industry and what the trends are,” says Dory Kenna, Glimpse co-founder and partner. “Larger corporations can’t offer individual styles that are different between all of the many designers they represent. We really work hard to make sure that we are offering a lot of different options.”
Kenna says Glimpse will often work directly with designers to bring a more unique and diverse selection to customers. Bigger chains or online businesses often do not have this flexibility.
The quality of the product is different when it’s handmade, Moffitt says. Many frames that Glimpse offers are designed by opticians versus designers of labels, opticians who know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to construction of a frame.
In addition to consolidation—which continues to today—the eyewear industry has changed considerably with the growth of the online option for people to purchase eyewear. Moffitt sees that as more of an opportunity than a threat.
“The online business has really opened the doors for independent businesses like us because a lot of designers can’t deliver an online product or don’t want to,” he says. “The online growth and the consolidation of the eyewear business has been a big challenge, but it is part of the reason we exist.”
This freedom to operate independently has been the foundation of Glimpse’s success the past five years and the company is well positioned for the next five and beyond.
“We didn’t want to be part of a big guy. We wanted the independence of being able to provide a service and meet a client where they feel like things are important,” Moffitt says. “Some people don’t mind shopping online from a convenience perspective, but some people also want a lot of attention to detail.”
Glimpse Vision is located at 12 East 1st Street in Hinsdale, 630-325-2020, glimpsevision.com.