How I got here
A clear and beautiful world
Optical assistant at Robert E Lloyd Opticians and model, Gabriela Mitu, shares her tips for encouraging customers to try different eyewear styles
I first became aware of optics when I had my first sight test when I was about 12 years old.
My nan didn’t believe me when I said I couldn’t see the TV very clearly, she thought I wanted glasses because my best friend had them. One day in school my physics teacher got me to try his glasses on because I told him I couldn’t see writing on the board. I couldn’t believe how clear and beautiful the world looked, I was already a -2.00D at that time. I got my first pair of specs soon after that.
It wasn’t until I worked as a temp for the company I work for now, Robert E Lloyd Opticians, that I became interested in becoming a dispensing optician.
I worked two weeks for them through an employment agency and I thought to myself, ‘This is actually a job I would enjoy doing.’
The part of the job that I enjoy the most is the diversity and the fact that no two days are the same.
I always seem to find myself in a situation that challenges me.
I had been doing modelling for quite a while before deciding to pursue a career in optics, but I hadn’t modelled frames until recently.
My employer got me to model some frames for the company and other businesses have approached me to model frames for them too. It’s a great experience and I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.
It’s given me an opportunity to see myself as a completely different character
Modelling frames has definitely given me more confidence to encourage patients to try on frames that aren’t just plain and simple.
I encourage patients to go for a quirkier look, as long as they feel comfortable doing so. Sometimes people are not brave enough and they just need a little encouragement. A pair of spectacles can change someone’s look completely, so it is important that the style is within the fashion boundaries of the patient.
I’ve enjoyed trying on lots of different outfits and makeup styles.
Modelling has given me an opportunity to see myself as a completely different character, which is fascinating. Travelling to different locations is also an aspect that I really love because I get to see so many places.
The next step in my career is to finish my dispensing optician course and get my qualification then look into a managerial role in optics.
The idea of having my own practice is exciting too so I also have that in mind.