By Denis Langlois
North Shore Optical Services Ltd. has been a fixture on the hillside in North Vancouver for nearly six decades.
The boutique optical shop first opened its doors in 1961 by original owners, Francis and Daryl Baker. The current owners, Elaine and Libor Kriz, purchased the business in 1991, and it remains in its original location to this day.
Elaine and Libor are both professionally licensed dispensing and refracting opticians who cater to customers seeking quality service with a personal touch.
Their customers are like family, the couple says.
Some of the business’s customers have been coming to the shop since its opening. Many continue to bring in their families and friends.
Recently, Optical Prism magazine spoke with Elaine and Libor Kriz about their business and plans for the future.
Q. What kind of clientele does your store service?
A. Though our store sees a broad range of customers, from children to the elderly, we are well known for fitting progressive lenses. We find the perfect frame for each customer, drawing out each person’s personality and style.
Q. What are the primary brand names your store features?
A. We carry many boutique designers, such as Lafont, JF Rey, Dilem, Etnia Barcelona, Modo, Bloomdale, OGA, Ray-Ban, Rudy Project, Courtland, Ziggy, Jean Reno (by Canadian designer Cendrine Obadia) and more!
Q. What kind of marketing tools do you use?
A. We rely on local newspapers and high-star ratings online to spread the word about our business. Our number one tool is word of mouth!
Q. What are some of the benefits of operating an independent outlet?
A. We are two people driven by passion and it is that same passion that drives us to operate an independent optical store. Being open to the wonderful relationships that we developed over the years has humbled us. We are thankful and grateful for such a rich life.
Q. Are there any changes or plans for the future for your store?
A. We plan to retire or partially retire in the near future. We are interested in staying engaged with the business going forward. We will be seeking a buyer with a desire to continue our legacy.