Interview with Adele Camarena, eyewear stylist, optometrist & director of Spectacle World South Africa
Tell us a little bit about your optical practice Spectacle World -Cape Town
Spectacle World is a complete eye health care facility which has been caring for the vision needs of our community since 1993.
How are you different to other practices?
We obtained your certificate in The Art of Eyewear Styling – a first for South Africa! The frame styling course has enabled us to advise patients on suitable eyewear to enhance their facial features and to make them feel great, confident, and above all, see well!
What you enjoy the most about being an Optometrist/ Optical business owner?
The words of a particular song by singer Andy Williams, inspired me to follow my heart & I still remember them after 27 years in practice: ‘To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go.’
Today I’m proud of what we’ve achieved at Spectacle World Cape Town. With continuous training, our team always strives to offer outstanding service and optical care to all. I find it so rewarding to be able to transform a person’s poor vision to clear comfortable vision and to discover frames which allow them to feel confident and attractive -and in doing both, enable and add to that individual’s success in life.
What prompted you to enrol your team on the Eyewear Stylist Practice Programme?
The course was available online and we could enrol the entire team to be educated, and understand the new operational requirements and why. It included everyone from optometrists to dispensers, finance to front of house.
The Covid pandemic has changed the way we live and feel. Most of our clients are desperate for a new look, and want to feel special and energised, but are afraid of change. As stylists, we guide them safely to the most suitable choice. To have knowledge about frame styling, to be able to speak the right styling language, to make them believe in and trust our newly acquired skills is magical.
What skills have you and your team learnt to assist you with dispensing eyewear more effectively?
We had such fun doing it together. We now have an established styling consultation process and feel confident to suggest and select eyewear that complements our clients’ features, colouring and unique style.
How has this impacted your business and your team?
It has had an enormous impact on the business.
We’re starting to establish ourselves as experts when it comes to eyewear styling and attract more clients because of it. We hope to see even more growth as the third wave subsides.
Our marketing focuses a lot on creative, dramatic frames. We now have an entirely different way of curating frames and planning stock. We’ve been extremely busy redirecting the look and feel of the business. It’s hugely exciting and inspiring. It’s a never-ending learning experience which I Iove. Laughing and making clients happy while we’re all having fun.
We’re now very well spoken of and the optical reps cannot believe their eyes as to what is possible in six short months!
How has this impacted your clients?
We’ve had such positive feedback. Our clients are excited and love their new eyewear. They enjoy sharing their experiences and photos on social media and refer more clients from all over. We even have radio and TV personalities and celebrities talking about or to us on air. There’s even a television make-over programme on the cards.
We’ve also met such interesting personalities over the last four or five months.
How has this made you and the team feel?
The Eyewear Styling Course has changed the way we operate in the most positive way! The team can see all the new, exciting possibilities and enjoy being part of a practice with new standards of dispensing and customer care. Some staff battle to learn consistency, and must grow in their own capacity to keep up and assist with marketing. There’s no way we’re returning to the old way of doing things.
Have you and/or the team changed your style since becoming eyewear stylists?
Totally! It’s become an accessory for all of us. We now match our eyewear to our outfit and mood.
How do you promote your eyewear styling services?
We’ve become very active on social media and use every opportunity available to us to promote Spectacle World. We’ve appointed brand ambassadors, influencers as well as a PR company. I’ve been on television and radio, and the company has also featured online and in magazines and newspapers. We’ve sponsored events such as book launches, shows, etc. So far, the feedback has been very positive.
You are now stylist to the stars in South Africa – how do you attract such high profile celebs to your practice?
Through our various contacts, we’ve met and styled some very high profile stars, authors, career women, and athletes. We invite them to experience our eyewear styling modus operandi and feedback has been excellent. They’re all over the moon when they leave with their new pair/s of spectacles.
Read a feature article ‘Spectacle World Uses ‘The Art of Eyewear Styling’ to Help You Find the Perfect Frames’ in Women Stuff Magazine
What do you value most about being part of the Eyewear styling Academy Community? How does the extra support and help like Monthly Zoom Live sessions help you and your team?
We value the practical tips and current styling advice on frame stock – the what, how and where. Also the latest fashion trends, styling updates and how to talk about colours, shades and frames. The monthly Eyewear Styling training is vital. It’s like new Oxygen in the system!
What’s next for Spectacle World?
At the moment our main focus is to continue to market the practice and get even more widely known for our eyewear styling.
I was asked by KykNET TV producers last week to do a makeover of two average-looking persons and turn them into rock stars. I was delighted with the opportunity.
I have plans to do make-overs for women over 50, joining forces with a hairdresser and makeup artist, as well as fashion model. We want to either use Instagram or develop it into a TV show.
And, I would love to source handbags and jewellery to complement our unique eyewear.
Fashion and Style Focus
And finally, because we are champions of everything unique and personal about our clients – a little bit about you:
What style personality /personalities are you?
I used to wear classic to work for years, but introduced colour this year. I’m leaning more and more towards creative, dramatic and unique styles. I’m growing more and more into being bold and confident, step by step – and I love it. I’ve never been a fashion follower but find it fascinating and inspiring to know about fashion and read up on designers etc as inspiration of how they think. As I always say, I just want to be ME.
The nicest part of the eyewear course was to learn the styling rules and give myself new freedom and expertise to be myself.
What is your colour type?
Cool. I love the grey hair and have embraced it with my eyewear. I love my reds, greens, lavender and raspberry.
What are your passions in life?
I love to give people confidence, clear vision and see a smile in their eyes. Eyewear styling is relaxed, however intense on oneself as you’re always the ‘show girl’ and explainer, but it thrills me to see people feel ‘WOW’.
What is your personal favourite accessory to wear right now and why?
Eyewear! I’d love to wear a Francis Klein frame with all the beautiful, coloured stones.
What eyewear says ‘Adele Camarena’?
Bold, unique and beautiful – like Francis Klein. Love to discover frames that are art/ jewellery with a leopard on the one side. Lots still to discover …
Apart from Eyewear Styling, what do you love to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with family and friends, travel, reading, cooking and trying out new restaurants.