Robyn Janz works as an optician and consultant at Dan Deutsch Optical Outlook’s location at UCLA’s prestigious Jules Stein Eye Institute in Los Angeles. “We work with clientele from all over the country, if not the world, and they all want their eyewear to reflect who they are, not the condition they have,” she says. Although Janz is fairly new at her current job, she has many years of experience in the field and her optical roots run deep: Her mom was an optician in the Philippines, and that’s how she met Robyn’s father, a “poor google-eyed Navy seaman who needed his glasses fixed. Quite a pick-up line when you think about it,” she says.
This article originally appeared in the February 2016 edition of INVISION.
- I own 12 pairs of glasses and over 20 pairs of sunglasses. My current playlist includes my Oliver Goldsmith Uuksu, Mykita Philomine and my brand new pair of vintage specs made for me by Scott Balestreri of Bad Ass Labs.
- My all-time greatest sales are the ones that move me as a person more than as a saleswoman. These are the clients who come back and hug you when it’s the holidays, show you their new baby, bring in the kids to show how they’ve grown. A lot of L.A. is come and go, so it’s those moments when someone remembers how you’ve made an imprint in their lives.
- When there’s a breakdown in communication and the client is unhappy, I own it. Take all the accountability. A lot of the time, the client just needs to be heard — even the ones we sometimes designate as “crazy.” Being of service means making the other person feel big, and working in their world, using terms they understand.
- If I wasn’t working in the optical business, I’d be an art therapy teacher working in different missions around the world. I have a friend who does this now and hopefully will go with him soon for a week!
- To get psyched up for a day at work, I run. Running is a way for me to literally rise and shine. Yeah, you gotta wake up early, but those 30-45 minutes of pure meditation are worth the eight-plus hours playing therapist, doctor, nurse, sales, troubleshooter, watch fixer, babysitter, etc. Right now I’m up to running a 5K every other day.
- If I met someone on their first day in optical sales, I’d tell them it’s a lifestyle. Don’t just act it, be it: be part of it, learn from it and thrive on it. If it doesn’t interest you or drive you, find what does. Too often, we meet people who hate their jobs and are unhappy with their lifestyles. These are all choices. Make your life.
- I’m most optimistic about the future of our business because we have a crop of young opticians coming in who live for what they do. As a generation, millennials are savvy, informed and working from the idea of what we can do to help others. Yeah, there’s a few rotten eggs. Every generation has them. Our age of social media shows the brightest, the dullest and everything in between. In a way, social media has a “cafeteria mentality”: pick and choose your idols. Grassroots campaigns, crowdfunding, etc. There are ways to make the world better and social media gives you resources. Pick and choose. Run with it.