Glasses, a love story

For owners Chris and Julie Hansen, glasses aren’t just pretty face-bobs or vision aids—they’re powerful mojo talismans. Julie and Chris actually met at an eyewear shop in 1998 where Julie was working while studying at the University of Minnesota. Chris sauntered in and (smart guy!) waited around for the lovely woman behind the counter to become available to help him. Julie’s big first line? “I like your boots!” (they were super cool boots). Julie still recalls Chris’ specs of choice: Black plastic-framed Lafonts that are still a popular pick these days. Chris was too shy to ask Julie out in the public gaze of the optical shop, so he waited until he got home to make the big call. They went out for a drink, talked about their mutual love of eyewear, and have been together ever since. Married in 1999, the couple has two boys who make occasional star appearances at the shop, and a couple of Siberian huskys.

Julie’s fashion industry background at Dayton’s/Marshall Fields’ buying office plus Chris’ graphic design background (and inherent love of all things stylin’) have collided to create a unique buying experience for spec aficionados. “Eyewear is art to us,” Julie said, “If it’s going on your face, it’s literally a part of your expression. We wanted to give people something amazing to say!” The store itself is also unique, with a lounge area filled with games and magazines for the waiting public.

“We want to welcome each customer into our store, which has become like a home to us,” Chris said, “Each patient is a guest and we hope the store will be a trusted part of their lives and changing needs, the way the eye shoppe’s of old once were.”

Full eye exams are available on site, and Chris and Julie promise quick ordering and all the bells and whistles modern technology can bring to the optical shopping experience. “We also have backgammon!” Julie added. Sounds like love.