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This Texas Optical Gives the Ladies the Space and Encouragement They Need to Relax and Treat Themselves to Stunning Eyewear

Ladies Night at Patrick Optical means wine, hors d’oeuvres, fun and frames!




This Texas Optical Gives the Ladies the Space and Encouragement They Need to Relax and Treat Themselves to Stunning Eyewear
(Left) Patrick Optical provides wine or other beverages and some light bites.

THERE IS A certain type of customer — we’re sure you’ve noticed them — who will enter your store and cast a longing eye over, perhaps even briefly pick up, a particularly striking frame, but then sigh, check the time, and ask to be shown something more “sensible” and perhaps slightly more affordable. In a different context — say, in the company of a small group of friends sipping wine as a favorite song plays in the background and staff offer their undivided attention — she might relax, try on a pair of glasses she truly shines in, and give herself permission to buy them.

Owner and optician Mickey Bradley and his team at Patrick Optical in Fort Worth, TX, had long observed this pattern, and last spring decided to do something about it. They launched “Ladies Night Out,” where a customer is allowed to invite five of their friends in after hours to enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres while having their own personal “trunk show.” The events have created some extra space for customers who need it, given Patrick Optical some added visibility in the community, and created the potential for sales that might otherwise never have materialized.



According to Bradley, “The idea to hold Ladies Night came from ladies coming in and looking at several frames, taking selfies and sending them to their family or friends for opinions. We thought, why not invite them in after hours to give opinions onsite in a more casual atmosphere.” The goal was to give both the client and staff the opportunity to create the kind of one-on-one relationship that certain sales require — and also to have some fun. “We provide wine or other beverages and some light bites. They can pick the music for the evening and play with selecting new eyewear.”


Once a time is agreed on, Patrick Optical provides the drinks and food, and the main invitee helps them get the group together. “This event makes it so much easier [for the customer] to get opinions right now, instead of glancing at photos while at work or doing some other activity. Opinions can be made instantly with ‘right now’ comments.” There is no set schedule for the events, which are held “Maybe every two or three months, but mostly when the mood strikes,” Bradley says. They are typically promoted on social media and by email, or via phone messages.


“Customers love the more relaxed atmosphere and the instant input from their familiar faces,” says Bradley.

And for him and his team, the process has been “very gratifying, helping customers and potential customers to be in a more relaxing atmosphere without feeling pressured in an ‘I need to make a quick decision’ kind of way. We feel the benefit is longer term by allowing the customers to feel more comfortable and not pushed to make a quick decision. And their friends and family often return for eyewear for themselves.”

Do It Yourself: Hold an Occasional Ladies’ Night Event

  • BE AWARE. “Observe your customers to find someone who might be receptive to this idea,” says Bradley. The other invitees “could be their co-workers, social group or family.”
  • INTIMATE AFFAIR. Keep the number of guests manageable. Five or six seems to be a good number of participants, Bradley advises.
  • THE RIGHT NOTE. The beverages and light hors d’oeuvre don’t need to be too costly, “but don’t be too cheap” either.
  • FOR POSTERITY. Have your camera ready to capture the clients as they model eyewear and ask permission to post to social media.
  • NEXT LEVEL. You might also partner with local businesses to offer, say, free massages, make-up samples, or restaurant-quality food.

After years covering some of the farther flung corners of the world of business journalism, Heath has more recently focused on covering the efforts of independent eyecare professionals to negotiate a fast-changing industry landscape. Contact him at


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