Me and my glasses
Trainee dispensing optician at Grey St. Optician and AOP Awards Optical Assistant of the Year 2015, Laura Taylor, shares her passion for glasses, having been a spectacle wearer since the age of three
How many pairs of spectacles and sunglasses do you own?
Lots. I think at the moment I have about five prescription spectacles in circulation that I wear day-to-day, as well as a few pairs of prescription sunglasses. Then I have quite a lot of non-prescription sunglasses that I dip in and out of.
Describe your first pair of spectacles?
I remember an early pair of spectacles that were pretty snazzy and I thought were particularly cool – they were metal rimmed with a very nice lilac on the top and a turquoise underneath. My parents always made sure that I went for something a bit different so that I felt special wearing glasses.
Do you have a favourite pair?
My favourite pair at the minute is yellow with a pink metal trim. However, my top choice changes regularly. My glasses are the first thing that I think of in the morning and then the outfit and everything else falls together after that.
Who would you pick as your style icon and why?
I think your style has a lot to do with the way that you carry yourself and express yourself, so I don’t think that I could pick one person.
But in terms of eyewear, there’s a lady called Gai Gherardi who is the founder of LA Eyeworks, which is my favourite eyewear brand. She is so inventive and playful with her style and is definitely inspirational when it comes to expressing yourself and wearing something that is a bit different and bold. I met her once and totally geeked out.
"My nursery teacher was great...she also ditched her own contact lenses and wore glasses so that I wasn't the only person in the class wearing glasses"
How long have you worn spectacles for and what prompted you to go for your first eye test?
I’ve worn spectacles since I was three years old, so pretty much all of my life – I can’t really remember not wearing spectacles.
I remember having regular eye tests as a child, but maybe not my first one. What I can remember is that I had a test at nursery and was told that I would need spectacles. My nursery teacher was great about it – she told everybody in the class that I would be coming in and I would look different. She also ditched her own contact lenses and wore glasses so that I wasn’t the only person in the class wearing glasses.
Do you wear contact lenses?
By the time I got to the age of 12 or 13 I was really ready not to be wearing glasses everyday, so I tried contact lenses and wore them a lot during my teenage years. However, when I started working at Grey St. Optician around nine years ago I really got back into wearing frames again and that is definitely who I am now.
How has wearing spectacles changed your outlook on eye care?
That’s tricky as I don’t really remember ever not wearing spectacles. But having quite a strong prescription, I’m a -8.00, I’m very grateful to the advances in lens technology, as well as the wide range of frame choice that is available, which makes wearing spectacles great now.
What is your top tip for helping customers pick a new pair of spectacles?
When people are often choosing frames, it comes down to the safe option and the slightly out of your comfort zone option. I try to always encourage people to move out of their safe space because no one ever regrets it. However, we do get people come in and say they that while they like their nice safe frames, they I wish they had gone for that pink pair.