Our last blog post was about one of our Doctors – Dr. Kirsten North. But if you’ve walked into our office (and if you haven’t, stop by! We always have goodies and cool shades waiting), there are always smiling faces that welcome you in. This is our team of professionals; from opticians to frame stylists, these guys work hard, and have so much fun doing it! To tell us a bit more about what they do on the daily, and introduce you to more of our team, here’s a quick Q&A with one of our opticians, Kari Whitehorne:
Q: What is a day like in the life of Kari Whitehorne?
A: A day in the life… We are an early household… our kids are up and at em by 6! I get breakfasts and lunches made and everyone out the door, then head to work.
My work day is divided between customer service, admin duties (ordering lenses, verifying glasses), and inventory management (meeting with frame reps to place orders, keeping track of what we have in stock and what needs to go back to the manufacturer). Our office works really well as a team and we rely on one another to get everything done.
After work, I pick up my daughter and head home to make dinner and go off to the days kid activities. Twice a week I work late, so I miss seeing the kids before bed. It’s a bit difficult, but I am able to take Mondays off because of it. I am very lucky to have a supportive husband who is willing and available to fly solo on the nights I’m at work.
Q: What is your favourite part about your job?
A: My favourite part of my job is helping people to find eyewear that makes them look and feel great! Often, their purchase is a bit of a splurge (a second or third pair of Rx specs, or a pair of sunnies) and it is really fun to be part of that process. It gives me a lot of joy and we work hard to make it as fun as possible!
Q: What do you find most challenging about your job, and what is the most rewarding?
A: Finding the right mix of product to carry is very challenging. We try to have something available at a variety of price points and styles. Some lines change their style pretty dramatically from season to season, so what worked well last year might not sell today. I always try to make purchasing decisions that are going to appeal to lots of our patients, not just what happens to appeal to me! Making sure that we have enough inventory (but not too much) is also a balancing act!
The most rewarding is when people leave our office looking and feeling great! We want them to be excited that they get to wear awesome glasses and not try to hide it!
I also really value excellent customer service when I am out living life. I think that working to provide that, is both very challenging and very rewarding.
Q: Have you always loved glasses and fashion? How did you get into this field?
A: I have always loved glasses for sure. I worked as an assistant in an on campus optical shop while I was in university. It was the first time I had ever considered being an optician. I decided to shorten my degree, and go to College for Opticianry.
I have always been a bit particular about style and fashion. I can always pick out the higher quality items and really value the difference good design makes. I LOVE shopping and the thrill of finding something that is just right. I think that’s part of why I love my job so much. I get to shop for frames and sunnies for the office and help our patients shop for their own glasses. I feel really lucky to have such a fun and warm work environment. I am happy to be there everyday!
Q: What are some of your favourite brands of sunnies/specs and why?
A: My favourite brands – I have always appreciated smaller optical brands. The ones that most people would not have heard of unless they are involved in the biz.
I really love our line of frames from Caroline Abram. They are designed in Paris and hand made in France. I love their bright colours and clean lines. Their newest models are oversized thin plastics that remind me of my mom’s sunglasses in the 80’s.️
I love the Dior frames and sunglasses too. They are also larger styles but somewhat more conservative than the Caroline Abram. They are beautifully designed and fit so comfortably.
We also have a new line in the office called State Optical Co. They are handmade in Chicago. It is really cool to see small companies producing premium products that are designed, produced, packed and shipped from the same place. It is not always easy to find.
After reading this, you probably want to come in and meet Kari to see how cool she is in person. And you can! Come for a visit and she’ll help pick out a wicked pair of frames for you!