Dreamcatcher Eyewear‘s Eathan Kim is part of the new generation of young professionals building a name, brand and reputation in Canada’s optical sector.
The 24-year-old, who is a graduate of George Brown College’s international business administration program, is the general manager of the emerging Dreamcatcher Eyewear brand out of Thornhill, Ont.
The company is breaking its way into the Canadian marketplace by offering beautiful, trendy and comfortable pieces named after bodies of water from across the country, with the goal of being recognized nationwide and beyond.
Kim joined Dreamcatcher in 2016. He said he’s fortunate to be able to build the brand alongside his long-time friend Isaac Yoon and his current mentor Jonathan Lee.
“(Jonathan) had this vision of a unique eyewear and spent a long time learning the craft on his own and getting the experience necessary,” Kim said. “I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to come onboard because they told me about their vision and what they wanted to do and I really fell in, in that sense.”
Plunging into the optical sector, one of the biggest surprises for Kim was seeing first-hand the expertise of the opticians he met, the jargon they use and the speed they speak abou the industry they know so well.
”Opticians here in Canada are experts in their field, and that’s definitely great to see,” Kim says.
From old-fashioned opticians, to the younger, hip, and trendy professionals in the business, Kim said he learned quickly how small the optical community is and how everyone is connected.
“Although these optical stores are more or less competing against each other, they’re also in some aspects supporting and helping out one another,” he says. “That was a very positive surprise for me.”
Building relationships has been an important part of Kim’s career focus with Dreamcatcher, from meeting opticians, distributors, and wholesalers, to speaking with customers in order to get direct feedback on their products and their approach to the optical business.
“Just interacting with them, it really helps to immerse yourself in the industry,” he says.
And immersion has taken its hold on Kim, who said committing to building a solid eyewear business, like any profession, is not an eight-hour job you just pick up and put down, “it becomes a part of you.”
The people in the industry stand out to him as well, representing both a positive part of the business, as well as challenge that comes with it. He says it’s hard not to be able to please everyone, especially those that may judge a product by name, or face value.
His focus on building the Dreamcatcher brand weaves through the threads of an industry where they can appreciate the optical professionals who are patient and help new businesses grow and prosper.
“People can really tell how new you are to it,” he says. “I’ve met some opticians who have been in the industry for 20, 30 years or more and they really know their stuff. Some of them are kind enough to give me their advice, to teach me.”
Kim says one of his goals is to help Dreamcatcher make an impact on in-store sales and boutiques where their eyewear is sold, while creating a demand for the product using their skills, expertise and approach as they grow as a recognized brand.
“As we get more business and revenue, we’re committed to improving the quality of our product,” Kim says. “That’s what I want to see for us. To have the opportunity to do that and also create a success story.”
For info visit dreamcatchereyewear.com
NEXTGEN is a new feature for Optical Prism Magazine, focused on young people in the optical industry. If you or someone you know would like to be featured, e-mail us an introduction: email@example.com