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The Art of Frame Repair One Special Pair at a Time

This family-owned Pacific Northwest shop has restored frames and saved family heirlooms for clients across the U.S.




The Art of Frame Repair One Special Pair at a Time
Inside Northwest Frame Repair located in Stanwood, WA. Courtesy: ROWT Magazine

(Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in ROWT Magazine titled: “Not Your Average Frame Repair Shop.”)

In the small hamlet of Stanwood, WA, there is a little frame repair shop. But don’t let its modest façade or location fool you. Inside, this family-owned business is packed with knowledge, personality and a true love of the art of craftsmanship.

Northwest Frame Repair opened in November 2012 in this town of just more than 6,000 people, about 50 miles north of bustling Seattle. Co-owners (and wife/husband duo) Tiffany Tolle-Liberty and Ryan Liberty have been providing retail and wholesale repair services for more than a decade. They’ve worked on frames from all over the United States. They’ve earned a well-deserved reputation for quality work.

I had the opportunity to visit Tiffany Tolle-Liberty and her staff. The crew was laidback and welcoming.

They had stacks of some of the coolest frames I have ever seen ranging from luxury brands to antiques. Think “Pimp my Ride” but for eyewear. So, I asked Tiffany a few questions about her business and here’s what she has to say:

When looking back on the start of your career; what is the main reason why you chose a career in optical?

“I wish I could say it was because I was interested in it. But at the time, I simply needed a job. I had been working at NAS Whidbey Island Veterinary Clinic for many years as the office manager, but was making a move to the Edmonds area. There was a receptionist/front desk position open at an ophthalmology practice and I went in for an interview.


“I ended up getting the position and then some. Not only did I do the front desk receptionist work, but I was also trained to do the special testing (visual field, OCT imaging, etc.) and I&R training for new contact lens wearers. That was the beginning of my interest in optics.

“I kept going from there and applied to be an Apprentice Optician while working under some amazing specialty contact lens fitters in Seattle. At that point, I realized that my true love was eyewear, not contacts. So I looked for a new job where I could continue my apprenticeship with an optical that fit eyewear closer to home.”

Is there a specific person in your career that mentored you or helped you find your way?

“I was lucky enough to have found a shop through the optical grapevine that was looking to hire and was a 4th generation optical run by a father/son team at the time. This shop is where I learned my basic repair skills and fell in love with my craft. The father’s name was Fred Scheuerman, and his son is Mike Scheuerman.

“I wish I had more time with Fred but we were only in each other’s lives for about 6 months before he passed away from cancer. I learned a lot from him during that short period of time. He was amazing at what he did, and it showed. He had a special spark and his clients loved him. He could be the typical grumpy old man at times, too. But don’t get me wrong, I love grumpy old men!

“I am extremely grateful to both of them for everything they taught me during my apprenticeship. It was a wonderful place to work and we were like family.”

“It was a wonderful place to work and we were like family.”

At what point did you decide to go into frame repair/restoration and open your own business?

“After a bit into my apprenticeship, when I had become comfortable with the basic repairs, my husband and I decided to create an online, mail-in repair business that I would do outside of my normal day-to-day stuff of working full time, raising two children, and doing house renovations. No big deal!

“We did not advertise locally, so as to not conflict with my employment at the time, but rather nationwide. The business started out very small and for about the first 9 years or so it was out of our home. It has been about 10 years of slow growth, you know, that overnight success everyone talks about (sarcasm).”

Share with us three rules you live by when working with frames:
  1. Handle with care – “We work on many types of frames (all types really) and some are very old which requires gentle handling. Best to be in the habit all the time.”
  2. Patience – “If this was easy everyone would do it. Practice patience because not everything is going to go as planned.”
  3. Each pair is important – “The worth of a frame is not in how much it costs but in the worth that the owner gives it. We do our best on every frame regardless of the monetary value applied by our industry. The importance to the client is the focus. That is not to say we don’t recognize quality because of course we do. But we do our best with each frame we handle. With that said, not every repair is the same due to the differences in quality and what confines we have to work within.”
If you could own any frame in the world, what would it be and why?

“Wow, this is a tough question! But I would be elated to own any pair of Elton John’s glasses. However, I would be perfectly happy to just be able to work on any one of his frames, let alone own one, so if anyone has the connection, hook a girl up!”

The Art of Frame Repair One Special Pair at a Time

Inside Northwest Frame Repair located in Stanwood, WA.
Courtesy: ROWT Magazine

If you had one piece of advice for a new optician, what would it be?

“Find your niche and work hard at it. There is so much more to opticianry than just frame sales. Not to discredit frame sales in any way. It takes a good eye and understanding of facial anatomy to be a stellar frame fitter. Regardless, be the best you can be at whatever it is you do within the field.


“P.S. Never stop learning, even then, you will never know everything so stay humble!”

“P.S. Never stop learning, even then, you will never know everything so stay humble!”

What has brought you the most joy with the job you do today?

“I LOVE hearing from my clients who are blown away by the work we have done. It makes me extremely happy to be able to restore a family heirloom or repair a sentimental frame. Oftentimes we are handling priceless pieces that cannot be replaced. It warms my heart to know I brought joy to someone.

“I would also like to think that every pair we repair or restore keeps it from being another piece of “garbage” in a landfill somewhere. I love a new frame just like the next optician. But I think our society is built on this throw away culture that is not healthy, and I like doing my part to repair what we can like the old timers did (much respect).”

Best way to connect with you for people who wish to use your services?

“We offer wholesale services to anyone in optical. You can email us at for our wholesale information and get started using our services.”

Connect with Northwest Frame Repair online:


The Art of Frame Repair One Special Pair at a TimeMikki Collins is the founder and owner of ROWT Magazine.

She also works as a Business Development Lead with Safilo, and has more than a decade of experience within the optical industry.

Connect with her on LinkedIn or Instagram.



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