G IS FOR GLASSES OWNERS JESSIE FILLMORE, OD, AND BONNI O’HARA DISCUSS CREATING A SUCCESSFUL RETAIL ENVIRONMENT WITH FEATURE EDITOR JILLIAN URCELAY
We are a local independent family-run business, and from day one we wanted to exclusively stock independent brands so our product aligned with who we are. By supporting our little independent business, our clients are in turn supporting other independent businesses within our industry. We make sure to carry this philosophy from our frames to our lenses.
We are a family here at G. When hiring staff, we look for personable and friendly humans with strong independent work ethics. Our two original employees Ken and Kelsey are still with us eight years in!
We opened G is for Glasses with the intention of creating a welcoming, fun and inclusive environment. We love having fun and wanted to make sure that is pulled throughout the whole G experience. We take what we do very seriously, but don’t always take ourselves too seriously. This has been reinforced by social media—posts of glasses always do so-so, but any content with us being ridiculous are always hot hits. The approach to our space and our service came from more of a retail customer service based perspective versus a clinical optometry vibe, which we think helps create a more relaxed environment. We want people to feel like they are part of something bigger than just a pair of glasses, we work hard to create being bespectacled more of a lifestyle.
Our consumer base is diverse in both age and glasses confidence. We have the most lovely clients and have been lucky enough to become friends with so many of them.
We change up our display twice a year to make it feel new and fresh, both for us and for our clients. We like bright colors and weird knick-knacks, but also really appreciate clean and simple design. It’s a fun challenge to meld these aesthetics together. When people tell us, “I want to do this design at home!” or “Anywhere else this would be tacky!” (actual comment last week)—there are no bigger compliments.
Some of the best advice we received came before we even opened our doors. When doing our build-out, we were told to add double the electrical plugs we thought we would need—this has come in very handy.
Winnipeg is a very strong community-support based city, and even though the population might look somewhat big on paper, we have a small city feel. We love singing the praises of Winnipeg. When our frame reps come to town, we love showing off the city and introducing them to the amazing local businesses and local makers that our city has to offer. We feel the love of the “support local” movement every single day. ■
G is for Glasses
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
1,500 square feet
YEAR THE BUSINESS
Jessie Fillmore, OD, and Bonni O’Hara
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
TOP SELLING BRANDS
Moscot, Garrett Leight, SALT., Barton Perreira, Ahlem, Jacques Marie Mage, Andy Wolf
We love them all! Jessie wears Jacques Marie Mage and Ahlem the most; Bonni wears Andy Wolf and Moscot.
AVERAGE RETAIL PRICE FOR FRAMES
AMOUNT OF INVENTORY
We have around 1,500 frames in our shop.