HERE TO HELP — Lorraine Czyny, owner of Village Optical, said she runs her business based on old-fashioned service and providing quality products, at reasonable prices. Photos by Lizz Schumer.
SPRINGVILLE — Village Optical of Springville operates under the motto, “no insurance, no worry,” offering a wide selection of glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses at what its owner, Lorraine Czyny, called the lowest prices around.
The full-service optician’s office opened in Springville seven years ago, after the building in which it was located in Colden was demolished. Czyny’s daughter, Gabrielle Anello, is the business’s only employee.
CURIOUS CABINET — Village Optical displays its wares in both wooden and more modern-looking settings, in keeping with the variety of frame styles and types the business carries.
“Our whole thrust is to provide quality eyecare at the lowest possible price,” Czyny said. Her business offers three levels of price points: one for single-vision plastic lenses and frames, one for plastic, lined bifocals and frames and one for no-line bifocals and frames. Village Optical also provides a discount for customers who wish to purchase multiple pairs of eyewear.
Czyny said that buying a large volume of products, rather than just a few pairs, helps keep her prices down. She does not mark up the prices on her inventory, which she said accounts for some of the larger tags on similar frames, in other establishments.
“We buy in quantity and save on shipping, that way,” she said. “We’ll buy large lots from the manufacturer instead of one piece and, that way, we can give our customers a lower price, too.”
With 37 years in the industry, Czyny said she has developed an eye for the quality and type of eyeglasses she wants to sell to her customers.
“You learn what to buy,” she said. “I want to be proud of what I sell and will only sell it if it’s proven. If I ... get in something that isn’t good, I’ll pack up the whole lot and ship it right back. I stand behind what I sell, and I want my customers to be happy with it and happy with their experience here.”
During her tenure, Czyny said she has noticed that many other opticians are focused on selling expensive frames and lenses, rather than providing customer service.
WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE? — Although the owner was not able to say exactly how many eyewear styles the business stocks, she said there are “thousands” of options available, at any given time.
“You see these other places that pay rent in big, fancy malls or shopping plazas and spend all their money on rent and things like that. They have lots of employees and spend all of their energy on selling people the highest-priced frames they can, but then they never see those customers again.
“We aren’t a gimmick. We’re not going to advertise one price and then add onto it, when the customer gets in. That’s not how we operate,” she noted. “Our focus is on people.”
Czyny’s customer base comes from Springville, Hamburg, Arcade, Buffalo and as far away as Amherst and also includes Amish customers, who Czyny said like to come to her for her reasonable costs and personal service.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS — Village Optical is located at the corner of West Main and Waverly streets in the village of Springville.
The business owner explained that she purchased and renovated the Main Street building herself, furnishing it with donated fixtures that date from the 1950s, to save money on decorating.
“I shovel all my own snow [and] do my own cleaning. My daughter and I do everything ourselves. We have one phone line. I’m the receptionist, the optician [and] the person you’re going to deal with. What we don’t spend on all of the extras goes right back to helping out our customers.”
“With the economy the way it is, people cannot afford to pay the prices that a lot of places are charging,” she said, noting that Village Optical does offer discounts for those who have insurance. She also accepts Medicaid and Medicare.
“A lot of places won’t take [those types of assistance] anymore, because of the hassle,” she explained. “But we want to help people get the glasses they need. We care about our customers.”
The business is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and noon – 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Czyny pointed out that she puts her cell phone number on her business card, because “I am always here for my customers. If anyone needs me, they can call and we’ll do what we can to help them out. That’s what we’re all about.”
Village Optical is located at 192 West Main St. in Springville. Interested customers can call the business at 592-2354 or 983-5921.