Eyeglasses, a love story
For Owl Optical owners Chris and Julie Hansen, lovely spectacles aren’t just pretty face-bobs or vision aids—they’re powerful mojo talismans. Julie and Chris actually met at a Minneapolis eyewear shop in 1998. Julie was working there while studying at the University of Minnesota. Chris sauntered in and (smart guy!) waited around for the lovely woman behind the counter to help him.
Julie’s big first line? “I like your boots!” (they were super cool boots).
Julie still recalls Chris’ spectacles of choice: Classic, black plastic-framed Lafonts that remain a popular pick these days. The duo went out to discuss their love of eyewear over cocktails and have been together ever since. Married in 1999, the couple has two boys who make occasional star appearances at the shop, and a rowdy duo of Siberian huskies. Their goal: Search the most exciting eyewear designs from around the world and bring the best glasses to Minneapolis and St. Paul.
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, and play area for kids.
“We want to welcome each customer, our Minneapolis store has become like a home to us.” Chris said, “Everyone who walks in is a guest and we hope Owl Optical will be a trusted part of their lives. We want this to be a family shop that serves generations and keeps track of what people need, the way old-fashioned spectacle shops in Minneapolis used to be.” The couple opened a new store 8/3/18 in St. Paul's Merriam Park neighborhood.
Full services and eye exams are available, and Chris and Julie promise speedy ordering and all the bells and whistles modern technology offers – glare-free, transitions, specialty lenses, and everything in between.
“We also have backgammon!” Julie added. Sounds like love.