It’s not hard to see why Pearle Vision was voted best eyewear in Maple Grove in Maple Grove Magazine’s Best of 2014 readers’ choice poll since each customer gets a handwritten thank-you note.
“We don’t want people to feel like they’ve gotten lost in the mix,” says Brooke Hawley, general manager and daughter of owners Jim and Donna Hawley.
The franchised location is family-owned. Hawley says they do what they can to stay unique among a sea of eyewear shops. This drive to stand out is why they hand pick every set of frames that end up in their showroom. An average of 1,500 frames is in store at any moment, and you won’t see repeats.
Aside from a wide variety of frames, they also carry brands you’ll have trouble finding elsewhere. Etnia Barcelona, a line from Spain, is carried in fewer than five stores in the state, and Maple Grove is the only Pearle Vision in the country to carry Christian Dior. Other brands include Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Tom Ford and Tiffany’s, which Hawley calls “affordable luxury.”
“You have the opportunity to wear a Gucci frame, where you may never buy a Gucci bag or shoes,” she adds.
The well known names extend to the men’s selection as well, including RayBan, which also features women’s styles, and Persol, another brand unique to their store, and favored by the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain.
“That’s all he wears,” Hawley says. “If you watch his show, you’ll [recognize them].”
This Pearle Vision isn’t just about brand names, though, and they carry a large selection of value brands for those on a budget, or for those whose insurance has restrictions. But the value section isn’t full of value styles, says Hawley.
“We don’t deal with ugly glasses. We really take pride in having stuff that appeals to all different kinds of people.”
Feeling good about the way you look when you leave the store is a high priority.
“You may be working with me, but if you’re unsure about the frame… four or five of our staff will come over and give opinions,” Hawley says. They understand the importance of the right eyewear, she adds. “It’s the first thing people see.”
And the right eyewear isn’t just about what looks good on the stand.
“There are people with large heads, people with small heads, people like me whose eyes are close together,” Hawley says, “and it’s important to take that into account when picking a frame. There have been many times that we’ve taken 10 years off the way [someone] looks just by changing their glasses.”
The staff consists of 24 employees, including three full-time doctors doing exams for eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions, and lab technicians for their full-service laboratory. While most stores have to farm out the work to other labs, causing long waits, the Pearle Vision team can do the work themselves. Because they can process the lenses, “we can do a no-line bifocal in about four to five hours in most cases,” Hawley says. She adds that a main benefit is that they can control the quality.
“The industry has standards for eyewear, “but we also have our own standards, so if it’s wrong we remake it,” she says.
Those standards extend to their doctors, who are also available to help with eye-related injuries that need attention, but don’t need an emergency room.
The staff takes it one step further by working outside the store.
“We try to do things to help the community, too,” Hawley says.
They coordinate with local school nurses to help kids who need glasses but can’t afford them, and Jim Hawley goes to nursing homes to help fit seniors with glasses and bifocals.
“People see Pearle Vision [stores] all over,” Brooke Hawley says. “We try to make ours unique.”
13195 Weaver Lake Road