I was not on my usual commuter train for the ‘9–5’ grind earlier this week.
Instead I was taking long beach walks, and enjoying coffee and cake pit-stops during an extended weekend away.
Taking in the slower pace of life in the south west of England, as my train began to chug back to reality, the closer I got to the city the more I noticed familiar shop signs for the day-to-day High Street chains. It was only then that I realised that not only had I barely seen a fast food chain or familiar clothing store in the last five days, I had solely frequented the local independent during my stay in Hayle.
Over recent weeks, I have spoken to a handful of independent optometrists who are either going it alone with their name above the door for the first time, or expanding following High Street success. As they share their stories, the one thing that these practitioners have in common is the passion they have for the profession, paired with a desire to ‘do it their way.’
Cathy Barnett who told me how excited she felt when she opened her own practice doors last month after 20-plus years as a franchisee, while Opticare Opticians’ Shaimil Shah is playing an important part in the family business’ expansion plans as it acquires its fourth practice.
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Image credit: Getty