Now this may be a slightly unusual blog for me to write but when I experience something above and beyond I need to tell the world.
The truth is I have been plagued with very bad short sighted eyesight all my life, -7.75 in my left eye and -7.7 in my right. Since the age of 7 I have had to wear glasses, admittedly they were ‘My Little Pony’ ones at the beginning but over the years the lenses got thicker and thicker as my eyesight deteriorated. With this came the bullying. I will admit I was a geek at school, I loved it. Combine that with being chubby and glasses and you have an absolute recipe for bullying disaster.
I associated the opticians with bad news, every single year my eyesight would get worse and worse and with it the thicker the lenses got. I got told I couldn’t wear contact lenses until I was 16 years old. That day could not come quick enough and it literally did change my life, my confidence and self-esteem. Whilst the bullies then left school, I stayed on, completed my A levels and went to University. Still a geek, but with no glasses or bullies.
Don’t get me wrong, I think glasses are so stylish and can look fantastic due to the huge array of styles available. However for those of you with poor eyesight like myself, you will know that it’s not the frame that’s the issue, it’s what has to go in it. I am very limited in what style of frame I can wear purely because of my prescription.
Over the past few years my eyesight has worried me, after all it is so so SO important. Although I went for my regular check-ups and looked after my eyes I never felt like I was significant or cared about. Just on a conveyor belt, in and out in a flash. Vision Express is where I have been going for over 20 years and although I have nothing bad to say about them I don’t have anything amazing to say either.
I then decided that I wanted to look at something different, something more personable, caring and knowledgeable. This is when I came upon Culver and Glass Optometrists through a recommendation. Based on the High Street in Loughborough, off I went to see if they could fulfill my need for something more.
In I walk to a team of ladies, all lovely, smiling and very friendly. Jo on reception welcomed me and asked me to take a seat, I can’t help but peruse the frames they have on offer. Then Allison takes me through to have an otomap scan, something I have never had before. It is basically a digital retinal scan all part of their comprehensive eye exam. I’m impressed already.
I then get taken through to see Natalie or Mrs Glass as her lovely employees call her. Obviously the boss, but not scary, in fact totally the opposite. She put me instantly at ease, I knew immediately that I was in safe hands. The first thing that hits you is her incredible knowledge and passion that oozes out of her every pore. This is something I absolutely love. When a person is passionate about what they do it makes my heart sing. Just like me and fashion, Natalie is somewhat of an optical geek (I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that!) In fact she is the only other person I have ever met that has worst eyesight than me! Which instantly made me feel better! She also didn’t expect me to see where I was going when I had no lenses in or glasses on, something which irritates me massively from previous optician’s appointments.
Natalie went through my retinal scan which was fascinating to see on screen. I didn’t quite realise how important this was in detecting the first signs of retinal conditions and diseases which can impair your vison such as Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma and Hypertension. Following this I then had an incredibly thorough eye test which actually resulted in me receiving a slightly improved prescription! For the first time in over 25years I received good news sat in the chair. I did nearly cry.
I then went through and met the lovely Amena, she is a dispensing optician so fully qualified to help me pick some frames as she knows exactly what style to look for, for my prescription. In fact I sat down and she brought a selection to me. I knew instantly the ones I liked, I tried them on and that was it.
I went for a soft grey and silver pair of Chloe frames, she measured them on me and did some rather swanky technical stuff to see how my lenses would look in them. Excited wasn’t the word. I felt special, cared about and above all in very professional, capable and friendly hands. I couldn’t have asked for anymore. I said goodbye to everyone and literally skipped down the street back to my car!
Fast forward to a couple of weeks later and I am back to pick up my glasses. The feeling is excitement mixed with nerves and anticipation. I never ever like the glasses when I see them. No matter how much I loved the frames, as soon as you put my milk bottle lenses in them the whole look is ruined. That is until that day. There they were presented beautifully with their case, a gift bag, cleaning spray and the best part… a Lindt chocolate! (My favourite!) I popped them on and my face lit up. I FINALLY felt good in glasses. It’s taken me until my mid-thirties to realise there is help out there, you just have to find it. Like me sorting ladies and gentlemen’s style and confidence through clothes. Culver and Glass do exactly the same through glasses. We both pride ourselves on customer service and making our clients feel special. I feel like this is going to be long and lasting relationship.
I walked out the store in my glasses and went shopping round Marks and Spencers. Something I have never ever done. In fact I kept them in for the rest of the day, for a meeting and out with friends. I am still wearing my contact lenses but mixing them in with my new glasses. Just that in itself says it all. I have now joined as one of their eye plan members whereby I pay a small monthly fee like I do for the Dentist which gets me discounts off the frames and lenses each year. It makes financial sense to do so.
I can’t thank Culver and Glass anymore for the service I received. I have already told lots of my local clients they need to go especially if they have a family. Don’t let the bullies and mainstream opticians affect the relationship they develop with their eyesight like I did. After all, the right glasses can be fabulous, stylish and spectacular! :o)