– by Lara Gladych –
This is the third in a series showcasing some of the unique fashion boutiques in downtown Sidney.
Optician Ray Dahl has been caring for Sidney’s optical needs for over 22 years. I recently had the opportunity to meet with him to talk about his longstanding business.
Something you may not know about Ray Dahl Optical and Optometrists is that they now have an optometrist on staff, Dr. Samantha Bourdeau. This means the store is now a one-stop shop for your vision needs, or as Ray puts it, “a full-service optical and optometric store.” You can start with an exam, select your eyeglasses and follow through with your prescription all in one place.
“You have to love dealing with people,” says Ray. I ask him what his greatest challenges are in this business, and he says it’s accommodating people’s busy schedules and meeting quick turnaround deadlines.
“This business is unique. It combines fashion, medical and technical aspects.” Trends in the eye glass business are slower to move, Ray notes. You don’t see trends change from season to season, but rather one to two years at a time. They are still seeing many larger, retro styles, but you can’t beat the classic Ray Ban Wayfarer when it comes to great looking sunglasses, in particular.
If Ray could get any message out to readers, it would be to book regular eye exams. These exams are not just for those experiencing vision problems: many serious issues can be detected with a regular look into one’s eyes by an optometrist. Yearly eye health checks are also of great importance for those who wear contact lenses.
Ray stresses the importance of good quality sunglasses, as they offer not only shading from the brightness of the sun, but protection from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. Most UV damage occurs to eyes when we are young children, and yet we often don’t think of protecting our children’s eyes with sunglasses. Ray would like to see children wearing protective glasses at an earlier age, and he reminds us that in B.C., eye exams for children 18 and under are covered by MSP.
At Ray Dahl Optical and Optometrists, they pride themselves on having a very qualified staff backed by years of experience and personalized attention. “We strive to educate our customers so that they can make an informed buying decision. We assist in picking the right frame for face shape, lifestyle and budget, and we offer a wide range of price points.”
If it’s been a while since you’ve had your eyes checked, or you simply wouldn’t mind a fresh new look, stop by and see Ray and his staff.
Photo, left to right: Dr. Samantha Bourdeau, Optometrist; Wanda Nowosad, Optician; Ray Dahl, Optician; Joanne Porteous, Ophthalmic Dispenser; and Lesley Ozero, Optometric Assistant.