Business Spotlight: A1A Optics in Cocoa Beach recently was named Business Champion of the Month by the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce WAYNE T. PRICE/FLORIDA TODAY
Business Spotlight: A1A Optics
Address: 237 W. Cocoa Beach Causeway
Owner: Becky Wateon
Describe your business: We focus on custom lens design and prescription accuracy. Each patient receives personal attention when selecting frames to ensure proper fit to maximum comfort.
What’s your professional background? I have worked in the optical business since the late 1970s. I learned my profession through Pearle Vision Center’s training programs while working and training under an optician in Texas. I went on to manage a location in Denton, Texas, then moved on to join the national training department for Pearle Vision Centers. I trained employees over a five-state territory. But my love for helping people had me returning to work as an optician. I have worked for optometrists and ophthalmologists since moving to Florida. I have been a licensed optician in Florida since 1988.
My associate, Michel Laframboise, is also a longtime optician. Michel attended school in Canada for opticianry. Michel moved to Florida and obtained his optician’s license in 1985.
Michel and I strive to provide the perfect marriage of proper fitting frames with the latest in lens technology. With years of experience between us, we measure accurately and make glasses correctly.
Your business philosophy: Our business philosophy is to always make sure the glasses are made right. We strive for 100 percent satisfaction for each and every patient that trusts us with their prescriptions.
Biggest challenge: It is a tough business to compete against the numerous giants in the optical business. Those giants include the “big box” offices as well as the doctors’ offices that also include dispensaries. Many patients looking for eye wear are controlled by insurance plans that limit where the patient may purchase their eye wear as well as the fact that they are limited to only one pair of glasses.
This teaches patients that one pair of glasses is all they need. Often resulting in people trying to make do with one pair of glasses, when adding a specialty pair of eyeglasses such as computer eye wear, would serve them better, adding more comfort and efficiency for their tasks at hand. It is our professional responsibility to interpret a patient’s prescription for need and advise them.
The Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce has offered me the opportunity to meet many professionals and local business owners allowing them to know me. This has fostered a trust with me and I have had many referrals from my fellow partners at the chamber. Networking with such a large and varied group of professionals has helped me meet the challenge of making a name for A1A Optics, in the optical market.
Proudest moment as a businessperson: My proudest moments are always when our patients return to thank us and tell us how wonderful their new eye wear serves them. This is what it is all about. This is not just a job for Michel and me. It is our passion that everyone receives the proper products, resulting in their best vision possible. I am also very proud to be recognized by the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce as Business Champion of the Month. It feels good to be recognized for the hard work and dedication it takes to operate a small business. Being a partner in the chamber has been a vital part of our success.
Business advice: Always be honest and passionate for your customers. This creates the very best form of advertising, “word of mouth” advertising. Secondly, partner with the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce to network with professionals that are passionate to help you grow your business.
What’s next? What are your future plans for your business? My focus is to partner with businesses to provide their employees with discounted quality eye wear for all their needs while providing a savings to the owners, eliminating premiums and eliminating restrictions of care to the employees.
Courtesy : floridatoday.com