Tous les yeux sur Paris: All eyes on Paris

Here are a few pics of our trip to Silmo at the end of September. There was plenty to see at the exhibition halls, a lot to take in. For Bryden Opticians, it was interesting to be there and experience the French culture and attitude to sight and eye wear, as well as spotting new trends and innovative products.

I think the one product that we loved the most for it’s innovation and uniqueness was Herrlicht. Truly stunning handmade wooden frames, surprisingly light but not so surprisingly a bit too expensive for us. The man who crafts each pair of frames was there in a small unassuming stand. We were definitely charmed by the quality of the product and the love and care that goes into his work.

We were also inspired by some of the business people and entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses and are trying to grow even though the economic climate is so shaky.

Silmo 2011 was fun and informative, however it was an eye opener in other ways. We found some aspects of the exhibition a bit silly…such as one stand (unnamed here haha) being closed off with bodyguards at the door and you had to make an appointment to be allowed in to view the products…a little too pretentious for our taste. Needless to say, we didn’t bother making an appointment. All part of the spectacle that is Silmo I suppose!

Later that evening, we were in a cool bar called Schmuck (on rue de conde) and made friends with the barman, Julien. We asked him why there seemed to be about seven opticians on every street in Paris. He explained how the health system was different there, those opticians being mainly only retail outlets and people were encouraged to buy new glasses every year. One big reason is that the French see eyewear as a fashion accessory. Very different to the ‘specky four eyes’ stigma that remains here in Northern Ireland. The people that we saw on the streets, on the trains, in the cafes and restaurants wore very trendy but classic frames and it looked effortlessly stylish.

Overall, the time spent in the beautiful city of Paris was fabulous. We have been before but it was only during this short visit that Paris and the French people seduced us into wanting to return again soon.

Kids more likely to be taken for a haircut than have their eyes tested

Article found on Optometry Today website:
Children are more likely to be taken to buy new shoes or for a haircut than have their eyes tested at the optician, a survey suggests.
More than nine-in-10 parents (91%) said they take their child to have their hair cut at least once a year, with a similar proportion (89%) saying they go shopping for shoes this often.
But less than half of parents (45%) said they take their child for an eye test at least once a year, according to a poll by Vision Express.
The survey questioned more than 1,000 parents of primary age children (five to 11 years).
It found that three-in-10 (30%) parents said they never take their youngster to the optician, compared with 5% who said the same about getting their child’s hair cut, and 6% who said they never go shopping for new children’s shoes, or to get their feet measured. Parents were also more likely to take their child to the doctor or to have their teeth checked.
About one-in-four (26%) parents said they were worried about their child’s eye health, with nearly two-thirds (61%) confident that they could spot the warning signs of eye problems. Some 13% said they would be concerned about their child being teased at school if they had to wear glasses, the poll found. Many were also unaware of the problems that can be diagnosed during a routine eye test.
Almost one-in-three (29%) did not know that the symptoms of eye cancer could be detected through a routine eye test, while more than half (58%) did not know that the signs of diabetes could be spotted.
We say:
Getting your child’s eyes tested early and regularly is vital. These early years can affect the rest of their life if small problems aren’t detected and adjustments aren’t made. Eye tests in school or by a doctor or nurse are not the same as a thorough test by a qualified optometrist.
It is a common perception that covering one eye and reading the letter chart is all there is to it but it is much more comprehensive including looking into the back of the eye to assess health as well as sight.
Also, eye tests are free for children and anyone under 16 so there is no excuse!
Book your child in for an appointment with Alan, he’s great at putting them at ease and we have dedicated an area to kids to make it a fun environment for them. Should they need to wear glasses, we have colourful, and strong children’s frames to choose from.
Call the practice on 028 8166 2964 to find out more.

See Inside our store…

Did you know that we moved premises in June this year? We are now situated on Main Street, Newtownstewart. The beautiful interior was done by Alan and his father and it is really stunning. Who needs professional shop fitters when you’ve Alan’s dad around? Hmmm…could be another business idea haha.

Come and see it for yourself.

Silmo Optics Fair, Paris

So Alan and I have booked our trip to Paris for the end of this month and we can’t wait! Silmo is one of the largest optical trade fairs in the world with four huge halls filled with 1,000 exhibitors and 35,000 visitors.

Held over 4 days Silmo is the venue for the entire optics and eyewear industry including research, health, manufacturers, technology, fashion, design, and more.

The Silmo website says: “Galvanising creativity, stimulating the imagination, facilitating visits by professionals … SILMO boasts an action packed programme with a variety of events complementing an impressive roster of exhibitors from the following sectors: sunglasses and optical frames, lenses, contact lenses, technological equipment and store design and layout.”

So what will we be looking for? We’re especially interested in finding new suppliers for frames that we know will be loved and desired by our patients, frames that are of high quality, fashion forward but wearable and affordable.

Also, we want to be inspired by what others are doing, we want to improve our window displays, find out more about the use of technology, and news on health provision.

We’ll be there for two days and hope to cram as much in as possible, and of course wander the romantic streets of Paris in the evenings, divulge on food and wine and soak up the atmosphere.

Ahhh…it’s a hard life.

Hello, nice to see you!

After almost four years of trading in Newtownstewart, Bryden Opticians is finally online! We have just moved into stunning new premises on Main Street and with a new lease of life we’ll be updating this site as much as we can with health information, eyewear trends and offers.

We hope that this will be another way to communicate with our valued patients and those with an interest in eye health and fashionable eyewear.

Thanks for stopping by and we hope to see you soon!

Bryden Opticians