If I Owned: Tom Mara

This article originally appeared in the January 2015 edition of INVISION.

If I owned my own eyewear store, it would be called T-Vision ... not like television but like Tom-Vision, featuring a rock ’n’ roll themed approach. It would be the coolest place to get your four-eyes on.

I’d be behind the counter at my own eyewear store, and I would perch my own 5-inch-thick glasses on my nose, for that is the best way I can see my fellow eyesight-challenged customers. (In order for me to be able to fit in my own store, its ceilings would need to be 20 feet high, since I stand 15 feet tall. Yes, the weather is fine up here.)

Good music is necessary while shopping for eyewear because everyone knows eyes and ears go hand-in-hand — and a bird in the hand is just as good as the nose on your face holding up a set of bifocals, or something like that. I think Ben Franklin wrote that expression. He was a great T-Vision customer. We’d play only the finest music, provided by KEXP of course, to give our customers the best experience possible while they shop.

And what would customers shop for, you ask? How about a special line of glasses made for the music guru? The frames would have small headphones for a two-in-one sight-and-sound experience. Buddy Holly frames would cost extra, Buddy Holly music included. I’m still working on the rights for a John Lennon option.

But in all seriousness, if I really owned my own eyewear store, it would follow one simple rule: Bring the best artists in eyewear to greater public attention. Designers and creators of the best frames, lenses and accessories would inhabit my shop, tell their stories and showcase how they craft their creations. Naturally our customers would be enthralled, and why not? T-Vision would be all about providing people with the best product and experience possible. And with a set of T-Vision glasses, there’s no telling what you’d see.