The Story Behind the Story: Lisa Martinsson was a lanky 12 year old with crooked bangs and very thick glasses. Having never met an optician with an artistic eye, her glasses were always too big and her lenses too thick. It was not a pretty sight and many painful memories exist as a result of years of poorly fitting eyewear.
It wasn’t until earning a degree in graphic design that she finally saw where the opticians of the past had failed her. Her art training led her back to an industry she had grown to resent – optics. Lisa successfully merged artistry and optics, creating balance and harmony between the frame, the lenses, and each person’s facial structures. She had found her medium!
Having found her passion, Lisa was working in a busy optical practice, when one day she came face to face with a ghost from the past, an awkward, lanky young girl with thick glasses that were too large for her slender face. She and her parents had painstakingly selected yet another ill fitting frame for her new prescription. Lisa took her by the hand and set out to find the perfect frame that she had never worn.
A week later she came to pick up her new glasses with excitement and anticipation. When that shy little girl put on those glasses and looked in the mirror, a silence befell them both. Looking back from the mirror was a very different girl, one she had never seen. Completely enamored with her reflection, she gazed at herself and humbly whispered, “I’m pretty.”
“That is why I do what I do!” — Lisa Martinsson, Owner
How “Glance” Happened: Lisa had been doing her magic, making her customers love their eyewear, at a large medical practice for three years when she was offered a chance to do something different. Some patients of the medical practice chose to shop elsewhere for glasses, passing on the ‘vanilla’ they found on their doctors’ shelves to shop, instead, in Portland, Seattle and San Francisco for fashion and quality. To meet the more discerning taste of these patients two things were needed: One was a selection of fashionable eyewear of the highest quality and the other was a knowledgeable optician with exceptional skills to guide the selection process. This all came together when Lisa was asked to open a small boutique that offered the fashion, color, and quality these patients sought. No exams, no white lab coats, but, instead, image consulting born from the heart. Out with the term “patient” and out with the term “glasses.” Lisa could now express her talent with her ‘clients’ and help them select ‘eyewear’ with the same discerning taste they use when shopping for shoes, suits, handbags and other fashion essentials. The small boutique Glance Optics and Eyewear (Glance) opened in October 2002 in downtown Salem, Oregon. In January 2007 Lisa bought the business from the doctor group. Now able to freely express her talents under her ownership, Lisa grew Glance and expanded its reputation throughout the region. It’s hard to contain enthusiasm, and it’s hard to say “No” to our customers. So many clients traveled to Salem to shop at Glance from Portland and other points north (people don’t usually travel south to shop you know, but Glance defies the standard, and many people do) that Lisa finally conceded and in June 2012 she opened a second store in Lake Oswego, a quaint suburb on the southern edge of Portland.
So there you have it - Glance was born out of the need for another option in eyewear.
How Glance Does What it Does: Lisa and Bob Martinsson shop the world to bring the best eyewear selection to their clients. They shop in Milan, Paris, New York, and other great places to meet with the designers and owners of the best independent optical lines. They tour factories to witness frames being cut from sheets of surgical steel and titanium, formed into the shapes we see worn by people worldwide, painted by hand, and finished with great care. There is nothing like breaking bread and drinking wine with respected independent designers, or sharing design concepts with a family-owned frame maker in the Italian Dolomites. Through these experiences Lisa and Bob (OK, let’s get it out in the open: Why is Lisa listed first? Let’s remember - Bob is an ex-banker - Lisa is the Master - Bob works for Lisa) get to know the origin and the passion behind the frames they present to you.
But that is not all of the story. Glance goes to great lengths to deliver the best lens options available in the industry. We’re proud of our lens selection. When you consider that this whole ‘picking out a new pair of glasses’ process begins with a need for corrective lenses, we take this part of the job seriously. Technology keeps changing and quality keeps evolving. The lenses we bring to you reflect the latest technology in the industry. And, just as in choosing the right frame design for your face, we help you identify the right lens design for your lifestyle needs.
Lisa and Bob can’t be there to meet every client. Glance has very talented opticians, trained personally by Lisa and dedicated to delivering an exemplary experience, the Glance Experience. The knowledge these opticians have includes both frame selection to meet your aesthetic expectations and lens expertise to meet your vision needs. Combine Glance’s knowledgeable opticians with the best frame selection in Oregon and you get an experience that’s second to none.
Experiences like this are what keep Lisa striving to make Glance a destination shop for people across the spectrum of eyewear and optical needs. She is constantly in search of cutting-edge optical technology, travels extensively in pursuit of unique frames and styles, and her team provides individual, customer-oriented service.