Connect with us


If I Owned: Chris Wheaton




If Chris Wheaton owned an eyecare business

My philosophy has always been “quality over quantity.” Wearing a $5 pair of knockoff Wayfarers and a pair of handmade acetate polarized sunglasses are completely different experiences: not just in the way you see, but the way you feel. It’s like the difference between a cheap ill-fitting suit and a tailored one.

The “buy local” trend means more people have started to recognize the advantages of buying quality products from passionate people who care about what they are producing. Consumers are drawn to the story and the faces behind the product. Quality not only applies to goods, but also experiences. When you have both of those things in the same place, that’s where I want to be.

Working at Eye Q has given me a lot of insight into how a small business should run. It’s a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. We have a curated, stylish selection displayed in a way that is not overwhelming. My employer and mentor, Dr. David Luria, has created a store in which the product speaks for itself. If there is one thing I value working at Eye Q, it’s customer retention. Through being genuine and not just saying anything to make a sale, we’ve made a true customer base.

Through my work, I’ve developed a clear vision for my own future store. I spend a lot of free time communicating with people and shops via Instagram and Facebook, and visiting as many stores as I can when I travel. I don’t want to limit myself by only using other optical shops as places to draw inspiration. I’ve always thought of my store as if Charles Eames and Steve Jobs co-owned a speakeasy. I’d want you to feel like you are entering your favorite bar or cafe; a place that inspires you and makes you feel at ease.

I really enjoy finding small independent brands. At my store, I plan to showcase lesser-known brands and pay close attention to my customer’s personal style and image. I’ll also feature an immersive social media presence, with Instagram and Facebook but also a cohesive website and webstore experience. Taking a tip from Gary Black and Black Optical, printed lookbooks are another way I plan on getting in touch with customers. Too often, people shopping for glasses look on it as a sterile and tedious experience. I want my customers — now and in the future — to feel unique, love the way they look, and enjoy the experience of buying eyewear.


Chris Wheaton is a licensed optician at Eye Q Optical in Boston. He has worked in the vision care field for seven years and is an unabashed enthusiast about anything design, craft and eyewear. Contact him at and follow him on Instagram at @cwheaton.

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



The Best Overall Progressive Lens, Now Powered by AI

Engineered with Behavioral Artificial Intelligence and utilizing new XR-motion™ technology, Varilux XR series goes beyond prescription and eye physiology to consider the patient’s visual behavior and design a progressive lens that respects how
their eyes naturally move.

Varilux XR series comes in two versions, Varilux® XR design and Varilux® XR track. The Varilux XR track lens provides an additional level of personalization by incorporating the exclusive Near Vision Behavior Measurement, providing up to 25% more near vision width3 according to the patient’s need, so patients get the highest level of customization.

Discover Varilux XR series and enjoy instantly sharp vision in motion4 and seamless transitions from near to far.

For more information, visit here.

Promoted Headlines





Get the most important news and business ideas for eyecare professionals every weekday from INVISION.



Most Popular