Ok, this is actually Bruce's assistant, Willow, after a long day at work in the lens lab.
Bruce is a bit camera shy, private, and humble, but he, begrudgingly, has allowed me to write a profile on him.
At SPEX, it's just Bruce and me. Bruce does everything associated with helping you see better. When you order, I get notified, collect the details, and send them all along to Bruce. From there, Bruce procures the appropriate lenses, grinds them to a perfect fit for your selected frames, sets them, and sends them along to me. I then package (including SPEX stickers!!) and ship the package to you!
So, when we say individually crafted, that's really what we mean. Even if you order nonprescription sun or blue light blocking lenses, Bruce still completes the above process.
Unlike some shops that sell prefabricated glasses, Bruce hand crafts every pair.
Let's learn a little more about Bruce!
Back in 1972 (when he was just 3 years old! 😉), he apprenticed at an optical lab where he first started grinding lenses. After enjoying one apprenticeship, he endeavored upon another in 1973, this time in the area of retail optical.
In 1976, he earned his license in Washington state as an optician. An optician is one who is "qualified to make and supply eyeglasses and contact lenses for correction of vision."*
Until 1988, Bruce owned an operated a retail optical store putting both apprenticeships to good use. He then decided to sell the store and hit the road as a "detail man"– my grandma's label for people in outside sales. Until 2000, Bruce sold frames, lenses, and lens processing equipment.
Here's Bruce hard at work:
Ooops, no, that's Willow again. She supervises the grinding process and quality checks each pair. If they're not up to her standards, she tells Bruce to return to the machine and try again.
Bruce then shifted again, becoming a co-owner and operator of Optical Lab for the next 14 years. He then sold the lab and semi-retired.
Since 2014, Bruce has enjoyed fabricating eyeglasses for a couple of companies, obviously most recently, with SPEX!!
I asked Bruce to tell me which advances in lenses/lensing have most excited him. He answered, "New lens materials and lens curve designs that give greater clarity to eyewear, but the most impactful changes have been digital lens processing for progressive lenses and anti-reflection coating that make lenses more durable."
Bruce is awesome. I couldn't have asked for a more patient, kind, knowledgable, funny, and smart person to help me start SPEX. So, Bruce, thank you so much for all you've done for SPEX this far! And, I hope this is just the beginning of a long working relationship and friendship.
* Oxford Dictionary