Encouraging Local Prosperity – I Can See Clearly Now: Interview with Maycock Optical

Encouraging Local Prosperity – I Can See Clearly Now: Interview with Maycock Optical
Photo Attribution: 
Anna & Rebecca from BK Studios

Living on a tight budget is difficult.  Any bump in the road can send you into panic mode, and in some cases, leave you flying blindly.  Jennifer Davies, a local businesswoman, and shop local advocate, ran into a spot of trouble when her prescription eyeglasses got broken.  Since our province does not provide aid for those who require prescription eyeglasses, and with no optical coverage, she panicked about how she was going to replace them. 

Ms. Davies thought long and hard about what she could do, and ultimately came to the decision to reach out to the community and ask for help.  A fan of bartering, she considered what she could offer in return, and came across a crowd-sourced funding website called Indigogo.  Researching what others had done, she decided to offer her services as a hairstylist, and advertising opportunities on www.beegreen.ca as perks for those who chose to donate to her cause.  Playing on her strengths and beliefs of “it takes a village,” Ms. Davies was able to successfully reach her financial goal and purchase new spectacles.

In total, she raised $700.  While some may argue that she could have purchased cheaper eyeware online, Ms. Davies wanted to give back to the community that supported her by supporting a local business. Maycock Optical, located on Blanshard Street, downtown, won out, and she could not be happier about the choice.

“I feel really good about shopping local,” Ms. Davies said, “I received excellent customer service, amazing choices in high quality frames, and I got to interact with the employees face-to-face. You just can't beat that.”

Supporting a local businesses helps to keep a community healthy and thriving.  It creates and maintains jobs, keeps your neighbourhood unique, reduces environmental impacts, and so much more. Invest in your neighbours, and they, in turn, invest in you. Encourage local prosperity and consider where you spend your money – every dollar counts, and every time you spend, it is a vote.

Can you talk about your background? I developed the need for a very strong prescription at a young age and learned early on how important opticians and optometrists are in restoring vision.  I started wearing glasses in the 2nd grade and contact lenses shortly after for sports. Growing up in a family that owned a small business meant that we were involved from an early age and I became a licensed optician in 1995. I worked at our family store as an optician while attending UVIC while earning my undergraduate degree in Biology and Psychology. I graduated from optometry school in 2006 and returned to Victoria to begin practicing in our family’s clinic.

Is Maycock Optical a family run business?  Maycock Optical was established in 1949 by my grandfather , Ronald Maycock.  My parents, Brian and Karen Maycock, took over in the early 1970’s and have earned a reputation for service, quality and a unique selection of eyeglass frames.  In 2006, the change in name to Maycock Eyecare was made to reflect that we now offered comprehensive eye care and eye examinations. In May of this year, Maycock Eyecare will be celebrating our 65th Anniversary with prizes, trips and promotions throughout the month. 

Is Maycock Optical just on Vancouver Island or are there more locations?
 There are three locations on Vancouver Island, including Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell River. Eye examinations are available at our Victoria and Nanaimo locations only.

What are your day-to-day  responsibilities as an Eye Doctor and what is your favorite part of the day? My day to day responsibilities as an optometrist are to ensure that patients are seeing the best that they can and that their eyes are healthy. I know that patients trust me to monitor their eye health so that they can continue to enjoy their most precious sense for their whole lives. I enjoy many aspects of my job but I really enjoy working with patients. I am so lucky to see them every two years for their routine eye exams and to catch up on how they have been doing and what adventures they have been on.

Why is it important to get regular eye exams? Routine eye exams allow an optometrist to ensure that patients are seeing the best that they can and that the eyes are healthy. Many eye diseases can begin with little or no symptoms and the only way to discover these is through a complete eye exam. Early diagnosis is so critical to a good outcome and to ensure that we can maintain good vision. Eye examinations also allow an optometrist to evaluate systemic influences in the eye and are often the first health care providers to determine that a patient has diabetes, high blood pressure or brain tumors.  

Where do you buy your glasses from? Our spectacles are purchased from many sources. We strive to buy high quality frames from companies that have a passion for eyewear like we do. Many of our frames come from European countries including France, Italy, Austria and Germany. French frame designers were some of the first to really experiment with color, shape and materials to produce eyewear that was so much more exciting that anything else we had ever seen. Many of our frames are hand made with incredible levels of craftsmanship and attention to detail. We really strive to offer a world-class eyewear collection to Victorians who are looking for something that is going to last and is unique.

Are the glasses made from recycled materials? There are currently a few small companies that are making glasses out of recycled metal or plastic. It is an area that may grow but the amount of material used in glasses is very little. We do however recycle glasses to those in need through the Lions Club “Recycle for Sight” program. We accept donations of old glasses from patients that no longer need them and they are cleaned, cataloged and sent to those in need of eyewear that cannot afford it. We have been looking into eyewear that is made out of more environmentally friendly materials like cotton and wood but want to ensure that the products would last like our other frame materials.

Does your business have a strong community involvement? Maycock Eyecare supports several local causes including the local chapter of the SPCA and we have sponsored puppy training at the BC Guide Dog Services. We also collect old glasses for the Lions Club that are distributed to many programs that provide eyewear to those in need who can not afford them.         

What does supporting local business and shopping local mean to you? We belong to the “shop local” and “think local” programs in Victoria and truly believe in the cause. Whenever possible we use local businesses for the day-to-day operations of our business. Personally, my wife and I make it a priority to support local and family businesses whenever we can.

In closing, is there anything you would like to say to our readers? We really appreciate the support that Victorians have shown us over the last 65 years and look forward to serving future generations with comprehensive eye care and Victoria’s best selection of eyewear.

A very special thank-you goes out to Maycock Optical and all those who contributed to the campaign for Glasses for Jennifer!

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