Founding fathers

OT  speaks to young entrepreneurs who have founded optical practices

Soren Moller

What inspires two young men with no vocational background in optics to decide to open optical practices?

For Tom Broughton, founder of Cubitts, the seed was planted when he developed myopia aged 10. Speaking to the entrepreneur at his second practice in bustling Borough market, he waxes lyrical about his passion for quality eyewear.

“We wanted to start with ‘frame first,’” he explained to OT, adding that: “It was always import for us to design and produce our own frames.”

Explaining his approach, Mr Broughton said: “I have taken a very traditional industry – optics – and simplified everything. I have made it very consumer orientated,  and done it without compromising on the quality of the frames, the lenses or the clinical care people are getting.”

For CrossEyes founder and chief executive, Søren Møller, the dream was “building something from the bottom up, to build my own concept.” Today, with practices in his native Denmark, and five stores in the UK, including a Marylebone practice that opens next week, he is leading a group of practices that is certainly gaining attention.

Drawing on his Scandinavian heritage for clean, unfussy designs, Mr Møller explained to OT that the demand for his customers is “for something different.”

OT interviews the two entrepreneurs for their take on optics, the incentive to produce own-brand frames, and how they secured funding.