“I like to carry a number of brands of eyewear that represent the different lifestyles of my customers,” said Chris Wheaton, owner of his almost four year old business North Optical, located in one of the shipping containers at 93 Washington Avenue on the east end of Portland, this afternoon.
That’s why Chris carries eleven (11) different brands of eyewear at his store. The majority of those brands are European. Some of them are designed in France, Japan, Germany, Belguim, Brazil, Denmark as well in the United States. Chris’ best selling eyewear is designed by Garrett Leight, a California company. The reason that this brand is so popular is that they “can be worn by anyone. They are clean and classic in design,” Chris said.
The second best seller at North Optical is designed and manufactured by Anne Et Valentin, a French company. They are “unique, funky and European,” said Chris.
Design and quality matter to Chris. It’s in his DNA. His father was a package engineer as well as an artist for Chesebrough Ponds. From perfume bottles to Epsom Salts packaging, Randy designed it all. Later in his career, he traveled overseas, mostly to manufacturing plants. Chesebrough Ponds was bought out in 1987 by Unilever. His mother had a creative flair for interior design. “Our home looked like somethng out of Martha Stewart,” Chris said. “Lots of pillows everywhere.”
Chris’ first job was at Lens Crafters in Brookline, Massachusetts where he worked for six years after leaving college where he was a graphics design major. The training he received at Lens Crafters was excellent. “I became a little obsessive with discovering new eyewear brands,” he said this afternoon following an especially busy day.
March has been the best March in his almost four years of business. “I think people have been wearing pajamas for the last two years and they are ready to change up their look,” said Chris grinning. For more information, please email Chris at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Store is closed on Sunday and Monday.
For more background information on these repurposed shipping containers, please visit posts herein dated March 2, 2022 and July 11, 2018.