Life in Spectacles Issue #5


Hello again, I hope you are all keeping well. I just wanted to give you another update on us here.


It’s been a strange year so far, carrying on with where 2020 left off. I’ve wanted to write to you, but in the first few months I didn’t feel like the time was right in the middle of yet another national lockdown. Then came the spring and because of being needed in the shop and another very exciting project (more on that in a minute), never managed to find the time.

We have again been open fully throughout this year, all be it still with a reduced capacity. We are still allowing one hour for a sight test appointment, which allows us 60% of our pre-covid capacity. Therefore, we are still trying to prioritise appointments for those wanting new glasses or with clinical needs/worries.

Also, to help with social distancing, we have been working on an appointment only basis for trying on new frames, collections and adjustments. We have found this has worked really well, and customers have commented to us about enjoying the extra time spent with them and the more personal touch. Based on this, we have decided to carry on with an appointment only basis in the future, even after the pandemic.


Back in May we took the big decision that we relocate the shop. We have taken on a slightly larger shop further up the arcade on the opposite side. There has been a huge amount of work already gone into the new shop, a lot on the fabric of the building itself as well as the parts that you can see.

Before we took on the new unit


Every aspect of the new shop has been designed around offering a personalised service to each and every one of you. We also want to create the most comfortable environment to welcome people into, to make you feel relaxed in a surrounding unlike any other opticians.

We have also commissioned a local artist, Jenny Beard, to paint a mural down one wall of the shop. Jenny is originally from Wombwell and studied fine art at Barnsley college before moving to Leeds. She has previously had work commissioned by Miss Selfridge, and has just had some of her work on display in The Cooper Gallery.

Jenny Beard


We’re not moving too far away though, so you should still be able to find us pretty easily. In fact, we’re staying in The Victorian Arcade. You’ll be able to see our new home on the opposite side of the street to where we are now around half a dozen doors up the hill, next door but one to Staniforths the bakers.

We’re hopeful to be in the new place from 1st September. We are hoping to have an official grand opening later in, but initially everybody is welcome to pop by, say hello and have a look around the new practice.


World travel is still hugely disrupted due to the pandemic, meaning we have still been unable to travel to any trade shows to look at the independent manufacturers of the world. Despite this we’ve still been trying to push ahead with bringing the worlds highest quality most exclusive frames to Barnsley, and we do have two new collections to introduce you to.

The first is YOU MAWO. They offer custom 3D printed eyewear all the way from Germany using the latest additive manufacturing technology.

YOU MAWO started as an idea 6 years ago to create personalised individual eyewear. Today, they produce lightweight, durable, comfortable and aesthetically modern designed frames using some of the most cutting edge manufacturing techniques in the world. Their frames are customisable on sizing, colour and shape to ensure the perfect pair for the customer.



The second new collection to the practice will be launched upon the opening of the new shop. It’s a collection of which the likes have never been seen in Barnsley before. All the way from Paris we bring to you Francis Klein.

Using Swarovski strass, fabric, feathers and lace each Francis Klein frame is uniquely designed in the heart of Paris. They are not for the faint hearted, and are a real show piece for when you dress up for those special occasions.

Francis Klein Scarf


Francis Klein is a family-run business created by optician Francis Klein and his wife Michèle in 1970. Once they realised glasses could become true fashion accessories, they decided to stand out from the market by launching their own original collection.

Today, their two daughters Dixie and Betty continue to develop the business’s reputation in a Parisian showroom. If the brand is rejuvenated, its core values remain the same; craftmanship, elegance and creativity.

Hand picking the fabric for each frame



Since the end of 2020 we have been joined by Sarah. Some of you will have already met Sarah, with her doing eye tests for us every Tuesday. Sarah enjoys cooking traditional homecooked meals and also enjoys spending time away discovering places in the UK and further afield. Sarah is also married to our other optometrist, Phil Ives. With Sarah on board, it takes us over the 100 years mark of combined optical experience between the team.

Phil and Sarah walking in Norfolk


Excitingly, we also have another new addition joining us on the dispensing side full time as we move into our new shop. We can’t say too much at the present time, but she has grown up in optics and can’t wait to meet you all. We’ll introduce her fully in our next newsletter, or you can call in to meet her in the new shop from September.


For the new shop we’re hoping to have a few events to get the place starting to feel like home. The first of these will be a Theo open weekend on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th September. Over these two days we will be joined by Theo ambassador Monica and all the frames from the Theo collection (and there are a lot). These two days give you a unique chance to view and try on the whole collection.

Theo will be well known to many of you by now, but for those of you that don’t know them, their philosophy is “they sell smiles, not glasses.” All of their frames are made to be different. They use shapes not used by any other eyewear manufacturers, colours that you think would never work for glasses and designs that have you looking at them wondering how they work. All of this comes together to create some of the most unique frames ever made. Frames that when you wear them fill you with self-confidence from the number of compliments you receive from strangers and friends alike about your frames.

Two of the tamer Theo frames

If you would like to book an appointment to see the full Theo collection, please give us a call and we’ll arrange a suitable time for you.


I would like to thank all of you who have continued to support us over the last couple of years. We know it hasn’t been easy for anybody, but it is all of you and your words of encouragement that drive our passion for what we do. I also would like to give my condolences to everybody that has suffered a loss over the pandemic, of which I know there are some. It has been a very tough period for many, but hopefully things are now back on the up.

We would also like to say a huge thank you for your online reviews and your recommendations. These especially make a big difference to our business meaning we can keep doing what we love.

As always, please feel free to share this copy of Life in Spectacles with your friends and family.

Take care and see you all soon,

Philip Potter


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