Unionville Optical is a bustling, fashion-forward optical boutique that has truly embraced the social media universe.

The Markham, Ont. shop, which opened this past spring, has an active, frequently updated Facebook page and Instagram account that feature multiple photos of the store’s clients, staff, displays, events and eyewear products.

At Unionville Optical, we are able to offer so much more than a pair of lenses and/or frames; we offer an everyday experience and are able to share these moments and experiences through pictures on Instagram and Facebook,” explains manager Joanne Sze. “A picture is worth a thousand words and we want our customers to see all one thousand words. By posting a picture of the engagement that takes place daily in our practice, it shows our community that we are an open and inclusive store. It lets our customers and/or community know that we are more than just a retail company, we are active members of the community with the goal to pro- vide quality customer service and products to our neighbours.”

Recently, Unionville Optical staff, which includes Sze and owner and licensed optician Michael Tran, discussed with Optical Prism their business, the importance of social media and the future.

Q. Why is social media so important to your business?

A. Having a social media presence helps us become a lot more interactive with our customers and community, it’s where an idea forms, it’s where inspiration is brought to life. On Facebook and primarily Instagram, we can involve customers in our day-to-day operations that are not physically in the store with us.

Q. Tell us about your clientele.

A. Unionville Optical was created with a vision and a passion to provide authentic designer products and services to all our clients. We are passionately dedicated in sourcing fashion-forward collections from a large selection of eyewear brands. We have selections for children to young adults to mature clients.

Q. Why did you choose to open an optical boutique in Markham?

A. The community in Markham is aware that Main Street Unionville is recognized as a historical suburban community and the street itself serves as an important road for local tourism, which gives us more of a reason to give back and to provide eye care to the neighbourhood. We strongly believe in this philosophy and what better way to provide this service than in the heart of Markham.

Q. What are some of the benefits of operating an independent outlet?

A. More creative freedom and focus on patient/client care, the independence to be your own boss, the ability to focus on customer service in a more personable way, the tools to care for staff members in a much more nourishing way, having the customers’ interests first above all else and the ability to design the interior of the store with any vision in mind and provide service and quality products that we believe in.