After gaining extensive knowledge and training in the eyewear industry at clinics and boutiques and earning an industry accreditation, Sunshine Coast Eyewear owner Cindy Gaudin decided to open her own business in July of 2016.
With an emphasis on ensuring customers experience a no-pressure, relaxing environment when visiting the store at 4573A Marine Avenue, Gaudin provides advice on the best fitting frame for each customer’s prescription and physiology. She also educates them with information about coating options and lens designs that fit their lifestyles.
“Ultimately, it’s their choice what to purchase and wear, but I’m there to guide them,” explains Gaudin, “I have a certificate and have to complete specific hours of continuing education to keep it up to date.”
Customers can have eyewear prescriptions filled similar to how they take medical prescriptions to a pharmacy.
“We are an eyewear dispensary,” says Gaudin.
Sunshine Coast Eyewear uses one of the world's best labs, according to Gaudin.
“Customers may have heard of Essilor, Varilux or Crizal Lenses,” says Gaudin. “Essilor invented progressive lenses and manufacture the most-used progressive lens in the world; they just introduced new technology that makes the most compromised area of focus, that 40 to 70 centimetres mid-range area, the best you’ve ever had.”
Gaudin says there is no longer a need to “find the sweet spot” in that mid-range area.
“I’ve been told distortion is eliminated and now you can read in bed with your progressives,” she adds.
To ensure customer satisfaction, all prescription-lens buyers receive a follow-up call one to four weeks after making a purchase.
“We phone and make sure the fit and lens design is working, that they are happy and seeing well,” says Gaudin. “Customers can also come in anytime and we can troubleshoot problems on the off chance they occur; we’ll make sure their glasses are in good working order.”
The locally owned and operated store offers a wide variety of products and accessories.
“People can stop in to see our top-name brands, exclusive products, handmade frames, sunglasses and floating sunglasses, and try on our plant-based sunglasses,” says Gaudin. “The lenses and frames are plant-based versus oil/petroleum-based and made in a zero-waste lab by Maui Jim.”
Accessories are also available, including cleaners and cloths, over-the-counter readers, chains and cords, fit overs and clip-ons, screwdrivers, bifocal sunglasses, elastic straps and floatation devices.
“We have children’s frames, too, even for babies, and sunglasses as well,” says Gaudin. “We can also order in if customers have a specific request.”
Adjustments, most repairs, cleaning, nose pieces and screw tightening for all frames purchased are free for the lifetime of the frame.
In addition to products and services, ongoing promotions help reduce costs for customers. Currently, children 15 and younger receive a second pair of lenses free within 15 months of the purchase, whether their prescription changes or they lose or break them, no questions asked. Seniors 60 and over receive a discount and a buy-one-get-one-50-per-cent-off special is in place until December 31.
Also, customers who buy specific lenses with Transitions and Crizal coatings receive prescription sunglass lenses for free, or can have them polarized for $50; this promotion also ends December 31, says Gaudin.
To give back to the community that supports her business, Gaudin volunteers at Willingdon Creek Village, Evergreen Care Unit and Kiwanis three to four times a year.
“I go in and adjust, repair and clean the residents’ glasses; it’s a lot of fun,” she says. “There are some really funny and sweet characters I get to help out, and the staff is really good to me, too.”
Sunshine Coast Eyewear is open 10 am-5 pm Monday to Saturday. Personalized, after-hours appointments are available by request.