EYES ON TRADE PRACTICE MANAGER AND LEAD OPTICIAN MAGGIE CAMPBELL DISCUSSES CREATING A SUCCESSFUL RETAIL ENVIRONMENT WITH FEATURE EDITOR JILLIAN URCELAY
Founded in 2018, Eyes on Trade is snugly nestled in the middle of Winston-Salem’s downtown Arts District. With a focus on independent frame lines and a passion for affordable, fashionable frames, we quickly gained traction in the city’s optical scene. We believe that everyone deserves to feel good in their glasses, and our business model is set up to make building a frame wardrobe full of rad glasses accessible to everyone. Our office prides itself on our customer service, and we have taken great pains to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment here in the store. We also make a point of involving ourselves with community events whenever possible.
Our staff is comprised of a group of awesome, intelligent women (and one awesome, intelligent man in the lab), who all share a passion for eyewear and utilize their diverse backgrounds for the good of the practice. Our practice manager used to be a school teacher and places a special emphasis on educating not just our staff, but our patients, about the intricacies of eyewear and eyecare. We have several artists on staff who contribute their skills in a myriad of ways to enhance the aesthetic of the store. Everyone on staff has experience in customer service and take pride in the level of customer service we offer. Almost the entire team has been cross-trained to be able to handle any task in the office, from sales to quality control to working with the doctor. We’ve cultivated an amazing team and a fun, supportive work environment. The entire staff truly loves one another, and we love to spend time together outside of work as well.
We are located in the Arts District, and the physical design of our business space reflects that. Every aspect of the store’s aesthetic has been curated to honor the space we are in. Our main frame display is a custom design that was built locally. The shelving that displays our luxe collection was cut from wood salvaged from our space during remodeling, paying homage to the history of the space. We treat our window displays as a passion project—usually crafting all of the elements that go into them by hand—and they have won local awards. The walls of our exam rooms are adorned with beautiful floor-to-ceiling murals by renowned local artist Laura Lashley. We have a very unique office design, and we’re proud of it!
Eyes on Trade is an incredibly inclusive space, and we cater to folx from all walks of life. Being located in the middle of downtown’s Arts District means that we have a wide variety of consumers; we see artists, patrons of the arts, folx who live and work downtown, and everyone in between.
Community involvement is a huge part of our mission statement, and we love taking part in community events whenever possible. We keep our doors open late every third Friday of the month to host eyewear chain making workshops as part of the ART CRUSH event, participate wholeheartedly in our local Pride Festival (going so far as to host a drag performance inside of the shop!) and do coordinated staff costumes to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters during Downtown’s Halloween events. We also strive to give back to the community when possible and have organized charity events within the shop, as well as hosting art contests to boost recognition for local artists. Going forward, we plan to expand our community outreach even further! ■
Eyes on Trade
Downtown Winston-Salem, N.C.
Approximately 1,300 square feet. We have a 700 square foot sales floor, while the rest of the square footage is devoted to one doctor’s lane, one pretest room and a small finishing lab.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
YEAR THE BUSINESS FIRST OPENED
TOP SELLING BRANDS
Studio Optyx (specifically NW77th and Erkers 1879), Vernon Gantry, Eyefunc and Europa
Sabine Be, Caroline Abram, Fabulous Fanny’s
We typically have about 600 frames on the sales floor and another 600 in back stock. We rotate our inventory very frequently.
PRICE FOR FRAMES
We have very transparent pricing as far as our frames go with only four frame price points: $150, $250, $350 and $450.