It started with a visit to a mall and a walk by Lens Crafters. Fernando [Last Name] was 18 when he saw the “Now Hiring” sign and applied on the spot. Shortly after, he began his now 20+ career as an optician and never looked back.
Jonathan [Last Name] was his friend, and when Fernando suggested he join him as a technician, Jonathan gave it a shot. They’ve been co-workers in various capacities ever since. Now co-owners of Optical on the Bricks, a boutique frame and glass shop in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, these friends are in the business of caring about and understanding clients’ issues with eyewear and, more importantly, being able to fix them.
Jonathan and Fernando have co-owned Optical on the Bricks for seven years. Jonathan, who at the time was traveling around Texas and working in doctor’s offices' training staff on sales tactics and opticians to read prescriptions and cut lenses, decided it was time to switch to entrepreneurship and set out for himself. And, who better to join his endeavor than his friend and former co-worker?
Most of their career has been in the back of a shop reading prescriptions and making lenses. “We aren’t just salesmen; we’re lens nerds. You want to know something about lenses or optics? We’re your guys. We know from the beginning what it takes to make your eyewear,” says Jonathan.
Both Fernando and Jonathan are certified opticians in the state of Texas, and they take pride in the unique customer service they offer at Optical on the Bricks. Since they are a small operation, they can offer lines of frames you might not find online or at big box stores. “We work with other small businesses and specialize in things other people don’t pay attention to.” You can find frames from lines such as Silhouette, Garrett Leight, John Varvatos, Adrienne Vittandini, and even a line of safety frames.
You’re going to get quality care at Optical on the Bricks. When asked what a visit might look like, Fernando says, “We’ll spend some time asking questions about what a patient does for a living, what hobbies they enjoy in their free time. This will let us know what type of frame and lens is right for the client. We want to make sure we accommodate that person’s needs. Sometimes, it’s multiple pairs: a pair for cooking, a pair for the computer. It all begins by engaging with the patient.”
Because of their background, they know about rare and unusual lenses for specific purposes. Through their questions, Optical on the Bricks can uncover those needs and make your eyewear work for you. “Coming from a lab background, we’re used to troubleshooting. Based on what our clients want or need, we fill that gap. By providing something we know how to deal with very well, we’re separating ourselves from everyone else,” says Jonathan.
Optical on the Bricks is dedicated to the craftsmanship of the frame. “With so many places going online, customized eyewear is becoming a lost art form. It’s that patient satisfaction we’re trying to keep. It can be frustrating if you don’t understand what’s going on with your prescription and can’t speak to anyone,” notes Jonathan.
They cut their lenses on-site, something you don’t see often. When customers come in to update an old pair of frames, they’ll make the new lenses in the shop, and you don’t have to leave your glasses with the opticians—you’ll never be without them.
They’re happy to swap a lens in a pair of frames you love without insisting you buy another pair; they offer free adjustments and cleaning, a commitment to excellence you don’t see everywhere. “We say yes because it’s the right thing for the patient. Our goal is even if you didn’t get them from us; we’re hoping you’ll return when you do need a new pair of frames,” says Jonathan.
Being a small brick-and-mortar operation allows Jonathan and Fernando to get to know their patients and get better at what they do. “I talked myself out of a sale once for a client who had visited several locations and was told she needed all new frames. I spent 10 minutes looking at her lenses, and Jonathan spent 10 minutes talking to her, and we ended up doing an adjustment instead. It’s that level of commitment to eyewear and being able to interact with everyone that we love,” says Fernando.