They’re right in your face. Literally. You wear them most of your waking hours. They can make or break your look. I’m pretty sure my fellow glasses-wearing peeps will agree: buying a new pair is a BIG decision. One for which quality guidance is priceless.
If someone were to ask me where to get that kind of guidance in Ghent, I wouldn’t hesitate a second and advise them to head over to the Mageleinstraat and pay a visit to „Optiek Matthijs”. As you might have noticed before, I’m a sucker for excellent customer service. Some businesses just deserve a shout-out. (So for all you cynics out there, no sponsorship deal here, this story comes from the bottom of my blogger’s heart ;) ). Ever since my first pair of glasses (made necessary during my first year of university by the sudden blurriness of what was happening at the front of the classroom), I’ve never bought a pair anywhere else. To the point where I found these lovely vintage spectacles on a flea market once and just couldn’t get myself to buy them. Somehow, it felt like a betrayal :) And that is saying something, coming from someone always eager to discover new shopping horizons.
As with most successful (in my book) businesses, the secret of my all-time favorite optician lies in its people. A true family business, this specs paradise is ran by the two Matthijs brothers (at least I assume they are brothers, they really look alike…) supported by the marvelous Mieke (she’s my favorite! Brutally honest and contagiously bubbly, love her!) and a team of happy hipsters. I just really like their particular brand of customer care. Helpful, but never pushy. Enthusiastic, but never overeager. Don’t get me wrong: at the end of the day they probably want you to buy a pair of glasses (as opticians tend to do…). But it will never be just any pair. Because let’s face it: nothing worse than an optician who thinks everything looks great on you. That’s just not helpful AT ALL. What you really want is someone to stop you from buying those frames that will make your nose/eyes/face… look huge/fishy/scarily thin… Add an exceptional service (hesitating between two frames? We’ll keep them both aside for a week till you come back with your mom, no worries) and an excellent warranty (even when you decide to go and sit right on top of your sunglasses on the beach – true story) to this mix and I think you get the picture.
Anyway, to get to the point: the new glasses. I had this pretty specific picture in my mind of what I wanted, which tends to make the search a little more challenging. Round, but not too round, statement size but not too big, and a color that pops, but doesn’t dominate every look. It took a while and a few visits, but finally there were two final contestants in the running: a pair by Tom Ford (which they specifically ordered for me, I might add) and one of Matthijs’ recently launched house brand. It was a no-brainer, really. My favorite optician launched its own line of stylish, exclusive quality frames? How cool is that!? Very happy with these babies (had some nice compliments about them as well, which is always nice :) ) and the underlying story just makes me love them even more!
I’ll be seeing you ;) xx C.
PS: Spotted the vintage Ghent references in the fresh shop interior? Very fitting for this true Ghent classic :)