Article Date: 3/1/2014
Link to the article : http://www.eyecarebusiness.com/articleviewer.aspx?articleID=109906
Eyes on the Road
this time of year, the pre-spring slump, can make one want to hit the road. Happily, the optical industry offers plenty of interesting options.
Whether it’s a secret shopping journey around town, attendance at SECO, Vision Expo, MIDO, or regional shows, or even a trip abroad to connect with a new factory and see where eyewear is made, there are many stops on the optical map.
We spoke with one intrepid traveler, Valerie Vittu, owner of Margot and Camille in Philadelphia, about her experiences opti-touring the Creations Poncet factory in France.
HOW DOES VISITING A FACTORY INFLUENCE THE WAY YOU BUY PRODUCT FOR YOUR SHOP?
VALERIE VITTU: Visiting the factory gives a huge appreciation of the product. There are so many steps in making acetate frames, seeing it made by people really changes everything. It justifies the price totally.
It also makes you want to create your own products. Being there, I got a creative urge. Seeing all theses possibilities of shapes and colors was amazing.
HOW CAN A FRAME BUYER GET AN INVITE TO VISIT A FACTORY?
VITTU: I got lucky because I met the owner and, because we were both French, it helped. He invited me and I jumped at the opportunity.
I would love to share the experience with as many opticians and buyers in the industry as possible. I don’t think it would be big groups because it would be difficult to manage, but if people wanted to go, I would gladly have my staff put together a few tours.
An average day at Fabrice Poncet’s Creations Poncet factory in Oyonnax, France, includes: 1. Cutting frame fronts; 2. Highly detailed frames with crystals and beads; 3. Hand-polishing finished products; 4. Offering a wide variety of material patterns and frame shapes
WHAT DID YOU SEE THAT SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?
VITTU: The factory I visited is specialized in acetate, cutting it out and placing Swarovski crystals. I was amazed by the dexterity and the consistency of their job. A lady was making little drills on the frame, and another one was putting in crystals, and a third one was putting in the little metal beads. Crazy amazing.