Groovy Glasses Awards and Articles.
Top Shop Christchurch – 2010-2011
Once again our business has been acknowledged officially as providing an excellent service, product range and ambience. The irony of this award was that it was announced during the period when we had no business – it had been destroyed by the earthquake of September 2010.
Trudy, the Head Honcho at Groovy, remembers walking passed the rubble of the old Manchester St premises each day on her way to the new temporary premises and thinking,”Great!- A TopShop Award for when you don’t have a shop…”
Fortunately a business is more than just a building and after two further earthquakes and two further shifts, the heart of Groovy Glasses is still beating strongly, proving that skills, experience, flair and determination are definitely transferable!
“The sign of an exceptional level of customer service would surely be when the service you offer exceeds the norm in a less than ideal situation.
Groovy Glasses lost their beloved store in the Christchurch earthquake but managed to deliver service that ensured they stood out as the iconic retailer we all know. The passion has not crumbled for their craft, even though their shop may have.”
Groovy Glasses in Avenues – October 2011
“Avenues” magazine, a glossy Christchurch mag that specialises in local news, personalities and happenings, published an article in their Fashion issue (October 2011) about the survival of Groovy Glasses Ltd through two massive earthquakes and two forced re-locations.
The subsequent positive feedback from fellow Cantabrians was extremely heartening – a real shot in the arm for staff who were only just up and running again after almost six months of closure and lost business. Thank you, Avenues, for your great recognition and support!
Top Shop Christchurch – Outstanding Customer Service
Groovy Glasses is once again a winner, scooping the Outstanding Customer Service Award for 2007 in the Christchurch TopShop Awards. This will make it 3 times in a row that Groovy Glasses has been judged outstanding by professional mystery shoppers from the New Zealand Retailer’s Association in a city that boasts 400,000 shoppers. An indication of the pleasant experience you will enjoy if you ever decide to come in for a visit!
Top Shop Christchurch – Overall Winner
Groovy Glasses Ltd was selected as the Top Shop in Christchurch by the New Zealand Retailer’s Association in October 2005. This meant going through weeks of a robust review system consisting of mystery shopping, customer feedback, more mystery shopping, and then starting with a clean slate, the final judging – and Groovy Glasses came out on top! Imagine that, the best shop in the whole of Christchurch, as judged by the professionals!
“Groovy Glasses makes shopping for eyewear an out of sight experience. The retro style fit out, fabulous and funky product range, refreshing and infectious enthusiasm by staff committed to finding the view right for you, creates a fantastic and focussed experience.”
Groovy Glasses Ltd has been in existence since 1999. It is privately owned and operated by two kiwis, Trudy & Dirk McBeath.
Right from the beginning we chose to differentiate ourselves from other Optometry practices by stocking spectacle frames that were more creative, colourful and “out there” than most of the conservative styles available. This was in response to hearing from many people over the years that there wasn’t much choice if you wanted to wear specs that were a bit more adventurous or quirky. Most of the frames we stock are sourced from Europe and have that “je ne sais quoi” or point of difference that the Europeans ( particularly the French) are so good at.
We also chose right at the beginning to fit out the interior of our building with Art Deco and 1960’s antiques. This decision was made in part because we are retro-style enthusiasts ourselves and because we wanted to create an atmosphere that was less clinical and more homely and welcoming compared to your mainstream optometry practices.
We have had a bit of a varied history when it comes to location; for a long time we were located in a beautiful brick heritage building in Manchester street. Then the 2010 earthquake came along and cracked the building right down the front, so we shifted to Dundas street for 6 weeks while looking for replacement premises.
In October 2010 we re-opened in High Street, in another beautiful heritage building that had been undamaged by the September quake.
Then in February 2011 another huge earthquake broke the High street premises and we were closed for 6 months while we searched for more premises. ( It took a lot longer that time because so many buildings had been destroyed.)
We finally found a simple industrial building in Bath Street, still within the central city,and set up business again. However these premises were only ever going to be temporary because of a demolition clause that was in the lease agreement. At the time beggars couldn’t be choosers so with very few buildings being available and undamaged at that time,we took a punt and hoped the landlord wouldn’t demolish the building for a few years.
We were very lucky to last 5 years in this situation before finally finding a permanent home in a beautiful heritage building in New Regent Street. The whole street had been strengthened to 67% of New Building Standard post-earthquakes,so we felt priveledged to find something that was both picturesque and safe. Trudy had always imagined her perfect optometry practice to be located in an Olde Worlde boutique shop full of mahogany cabinets and shop counters reminiscent of an old haberdashery shop, and she has, after shifting the business 5 times in response to challenging circumstances, finally got her wish.
The bottom line is..we’re stayers. We love what we do and we love helping people to be the individuals they are. Wearing specs doesn’t have to be a kill-joy experience
The Groovy Glasses view of life.
Groovy Glasses came on the scene as a result of 3 desires:
- To change the purchase of glasses and process of having your eyes examined from being a negative experience into being a positive, creative, experience – in other words to make it fun.
- To restore a historic building to its former glory and put it to good commercial use. We decided to go against the trend of making professional offices look as modern as possible, and instead to go back in time to an olde worlde (Art Deco) atmosphere, choosing something from the past which epitomised great style
- To make a workplace as much like a home as possible, for both the workers and the clients. We were aware that many people get nervous at the idea of a visit to professional rooms. We decided therefore to create a welcoming atmosphere using such things as jazz music, complimentary sweets, original artworks and fresh flowers each week. The bottom line being that if a third of your life is spent at work, why not turn it into a place that makes you feel good about being there?
Yours in paisley bell-bottoms and platform shoes
We deal with most contact lens types, and have built a reputation for being patient and thorough. If you require anything particularly unusual we have no qualms about admitting our limitations and referring you to the appropriate specialist.
When you book an appointment at Groovy Glasses you will be examined by an experienced optometrist who is friendly and good at answering your questions. During the exam the optometrist will be checking for any signs of eye disease, and if any risk is detected you may be required to return for further tests. The optometrist will advise you of this at the time. Remember, your eye exam is a bit like a warrant of fitness – get it done regularly every 2 years and hopefully you’ll get all the boxes ticked but if not, at least you are onto the problem and it will be managed promptly by the experts.
You will find all the staff at Groovy Glasses Ltd actually enjoy helping you to find the very best style for you! Some people prefer to simply buy a frame from us and return to their own optometrist to have lenses fitted – that’s fine with us too.
You are guaranteed to find a selection of frames unique in New Zealand because of our policy of sourcing anything that is different to the mainstream. We have listened to the comments of spectacle wearers over many years who lamented the lack of choice when it came to new glasses. By and large most styles available were conservative; we’ve decided to change that by specializing in frame designs that are more creative – let’s face it baby, they’re groovy.
Meet the Groovers
Hi! I’m Anna-Marie. I love being an optometrist as it combines my creative side with healthcare. Eye health is paramount to me, but just as important as the person behind the eyes.
I love that the right pair of glasses can reflect our personalities. I’m drawn to colour and shiny things so it’s hard not to love the entire selection at Groovy.
I moved back to Christchurch to be closer to family, after practising in Taupo for the last few years. Aside from eye health, I’m a very crafty person and enjoy learning new skills to add to the repertoire. I love to travel, and have a BA in Modern Language Studies and Linguistics which has helped me get around the world!
Hi I am Trudy, and you can call me an Old Groover (I am the previous owner). I currently work 5 days a week during school term as a School Bus driver and return to my Groovy roots as optometrist once a week.
I love still being creative and still advising our Groovy team on window displays, frame buying, and photographing gorgeous eyewear for our Instagram and Facebook posts.
My favourite pair of glasses is a mother-of-pearl Francis Klein model with red diamantes. Nothing but the grooviest for me.
Proud to say I’ve been at the helm when Groovy Glasses won several Top Shop awards including the overall Top Shop in Christchurch. But the bravest thing I’ve ever done and another thing I’m quite proud of, might just be my recent career change. Just goes to show you CAN change your own life. You just have to be determined to do so.
Hi! I’m Richard. I am at Groovy Glasses part-time and just love being an optometrist!
Over the years, I have had very diverse optometry experiences, including working at an optometry clinic in Fiji as well as working with NZ Aid and Australia Aid on two visits to Tonga – destinations that spoke to my adventurous spirit.
In addition to immersing myself in eye health, I have been an outdoor instructor, a ski patroller, and have completed a BA in philosophy. Just a few extra quirks that make me fit in perfectly with the Groovy team.
I specialise in behavioural and paediatric optometry, which means, if I was a superhero, I would be the most supportive and assisting eye hero you’ve ever seen…probably on ski’s. Because adventure is life!
Practice Manager & Senior Dispensing Optician
Hi I’m Debbie Stuart.
Bring me your warped glasses and I might just perform a miracle! Just call me Groovy’s own superwoman.
But don’t let us confuse you. At Groovy there are two Debbie’s.
I love being part of the Groovy team. To me Groovy is all about stepping out of the box – life is much too short to wear boring glasses!
And if you see me and my collection of glasses, you’ll know I’m not just saying this. I have too many pairs to choose one favourite (owning three special glasses cases that hold 5-12 at a time). As with all of us at Groovy, I have a (clean) secret or two: in addition to being a qualified Dispensing Optician in New Zealand and the USA, once upon a time I wrote romance novels!
Senior Dispensing Optician
Hi! I’m Liz, and if I had an optometry superpower, it would be to turn people I meet into Groovers (that’s raving fans of Groovy Glasses)!
I personally own six pairs of glasses, my favourite pair being my Theo Eyewitness YA Fluro Orange and Blue.
Come to think of it, if I had to be a pair of glasses, I would most definitely be a Theo frame: round and quirky.
Trying to spot me in the store? My friends and family describe me as kind, generous and practical. And of course I’ll be the one wearing Theo’s…
Hi I’m Debbie O’Sullivan. If you’ve scrolled through our profiles, don’t get confused. Yes. There’s two of us. And if someone had to describe me as a pair of glasses, I would be the stylish, colourful & unique one.
I’m passionate about helping Groovers get the best eyewear and lenses – just call my superpower ‘styling’! And don’t share this secret, but I’ve used this power on myself too…
I love that we have unique frames at Groovy that you cannot get anywhere else. Personally I own five pairs of glasses – all as unique as the rest. My favourites are my Anne et Valentin’ (the Pallette 8A33), and I love my latest: a Face a Face model (Bocca Pixel 4 col 1896).
Hi! I’m Karen. I love our wonderful customers (those that keep coming back – and those who are just discovering us).
If I had a superhero costume, it would most likely involve my neon pink and grey Theo’s… or my Francis Klein cat eye glasses with diamanté. More interested in the superpower that goes with the outfit? Well it’s to magic people into a fantastic pair of Groovy glasses of course – taking them out of their comfort zone and making them feel just marvelous!
I love a good chat on any given day. Want to know a wee secret? I’ve been in the optical industry for over 45 years now and still love what I do.