Little kids, big kids, they’re all the same – fast, furious, fun… and a whole lot of trouble when it comes to eyewear. With such a colourful assortment of frames to choose from, how can you help them find their favourites?
My 15-year old son came home one day and told me the reason he’s coming top of the class in maths is that whenever he gets into class he puts on a pair of Harry Potter specs and they make him feel smart.
There are no prescription lenses in them – and of course he’s not being serious – but the sentiment is clear. Kids still find glasses cool.
If you’re not stocking a great range of kids glasses – in terms of style and price – then you’re missing out on big business – not just from your younger customer, but from their entire family.
overselling will have them running out the door
After all, who takes their child to one optometrist then takes themselves to another?
Building rapport with the child and a sense of trust with their parent(s) is key to establishing a life-long business relationship that will be both financially and professionally rewarding.
Right from when they’re tiny, it’s vital that you communicate directly with the child at their level. Make sure for little kids you have a box of toys available for them to play with when they first come into the practice (especially if there is going to be some wait time involved). When it comes time to start the consultation, get down on the floor and take a few moments to play. Be aware of and prepared to discuss their favourite characters appearing on screen and the latest games being played out on apps.
As Margaret Lam recommended in her November mipatient column, getting your little patients, their siblings and even parents involved in an eye examination through games, flash cards or using apps, can make the process engaging and fun, and therefore, easier to acquire the clinical results you need. This will also help in the practice when it comes to choosing the frame. With the child in a positive mood, it will be easy to steer them in the direction of the most appropriate frame in terms of style and price.
When it comes to working with older kids, it’s a different story altogether. You’ll really need to feel your way here as some can be open to conversation while others can be just plain hard work. From my experience, most kids don’t bother with television anymore so there’s not a lot of point in being familiar with mainstream shows. Instead, be aware of the major sports interests in your area and keep an eye on celebrity eyewear.
Helping younger patients select their new frames can be delicate, so it’s best to casually ask lifestyle and styling preferences during the exam so that you’re well prepared in advance.
Guiding your younger patients through the selection process by recommending shapes, styles and colours that will best suit them, encouraging them to try the frames on and offering compliments when warranted will help speed up the decision making process for most patients. With that said, if you’re faced with anyone like my 18 year old daughter, you’re probably best to give them a few ideas and then step back to let them find their own way.
Overselling will have them running out the door.
Materials, construction and solid warranty periods are valuable selling points when talking to parents about eyewear though most kids won’t get the economic importance of choosing specs that will withstand pressure in the playground or sports field.
Soft flexible frame materials, minimal parts that can be lost or damaged (or cause damage) and a strap for a comfortable and secure fit are wise offerings for most, especially for younger, more active children.
While you have the patient in front of you, it’s a great time to talk to them about the importance of looking after their eyes, particularly when outdoors. Highlighting the damage UV rays will cause their eyes over the long-term will quickly lead you into a discussion about sunglasses, and may just result in a second sale!
Anne&Valentin frames are now designed for the ‘Enfants Terribles’: the brats, rug rats and little monsters, daydreamers, class leaders, preschool punks, minor rockers, little-leaguers, future traders… you know them… Super Kids!
Miou and Mario, intrepid models, are the perfect fit for everywhere, from the playground to Sunday brunch. Il est temps pour les enfants super! (It’s the time for Super Kids).
Contact: Eyemakers (AUS) 02 9960 7766
NanoVista has added bi-colour options to its range. Each frame is manufactured with exclusive Siliflex – a unique material combined with a special hinge that makes this collection child proof!
For convenience and practicality, NanoVista frames are adaptable – kids can wear them with the standard temple design or with the supplied headband.
NanoVista frames are available in sizes suitable for toddlers to teens.
Contact: Aviva (AUS) 08 9353 2814
Titanflex kids’ frames tick all the right boxes for growing, active kids.
Titanflex gives the strength and flexibility to withstand the active, often rough and tumble life that kids enjoy, while the designs and colours are right on the mark. There are models as small as 36 eye with curl temples for tiny tots, through to 50 eye for young men.
Contact: European Eyewear (AUS) 03 8756 0900
Humphreys YoungStars are trendy frames for kids at a great price. New to the collection are four acetate and two metal models, all with spring temples. As you would expect from Humphrey’s, the designs and colours are highly fashionable. Sizing is in the 45-48 range, which tends to suit most kids.
Contact: European Eyewear (AUS) 03 8756 0900
adidas optical youth eyewear combines the know-how of renowned maker Silhouette with the sports heritage of adidas.
A high-Tech SPXTM construction makes these frames as comfortable as they are durable: perfect for kids’ sporty lifestyle. All adidas optical eyewear carries the industry’s best two-year peace of mind warranty.
Contact: Mimo (AUS) 02 9970 1800
Polaroid has made it their mission to protect future generations by always providing maximum UV protection for children.
With ranges available for kids from one through to 12 years and collections dedicated to flexible designs, Polaroid makes it easy for kids to enjoy carefree fun to the max!
Contact: Safilo (AUS) 02 9540 0500
ProOptics specialises in kids’ frames for all ages. Life Italia Kids is a gorgeous Italian collection that only recently arrived in Australia. This ultra-flexible, ergonomic collection is beautifully manufactured and styled for discerning kids, especially teenagers, with sizing up to a 50 eye.
ProOptics also distributes Miraflex frames with a back strap for comfort and a design that fits the bridge of every child; and Random Kids, a colourful collection that’s handmade in Korea and features actuates, Swiss grilamid and stainless steel.
All ProOptics frames have a two year unconditional warranty.
Contact: ProOptics (AUS) 02 8007 6041
GenOp’s Kool Kids program features designs from popular brands Hello Kitty, Flexon, Nike and Lacoste complete with impact resistant and durable Polycarbonate 1.59 lenses. Plus it comes with a two year unconditional frame warranty, which extends the manufacturing warranty to accidental breakages. To make the most of these Polycarbonate lenses GenOp recommends adding Silon AR coating.
Contact: GenOp Account Manager
In accordance with Children’s nature, Mars fashion Kids collection is designed to select vibrant colours and be on trend in terms of shapes. Model ZD2026 which has just been released this season features the fusion of metal on the front part and ultem on temples, achieving a simple and light look. It offers the youngest the clearest vision and maintains the correct optical centres, thanks to the adjustable temple tips.
Contact: Bonastar (AUS) 02 9310 1688
Caroline Abram Lunettes
Caroline Abram’s kids’ collection, Tête à Lunettes is beautifully styled and technically designed to suit the specific shapes of little people. As Ms. Abram told mivision, “Kids’ eyewear requires more attention. They have a low nose and full cheeks. The frame mustn’t touch the cheeks or cut across the eyes. Also, the world around them is high, so they must always look up, even to look at their parents. That means their frame must go very high, it mustn’t cut the eyelids and mustn’t fall down the nose.”
Contact: Frames Etcetera (AUS) 08 9248 1882
Crosslinks XS Active Performance
Oakley’s Crosslinks XS Active Performance Rx is a durable cross-functional frame engineered to tackle all the daily activities of youth.
Bringing all the benefits of Oakley’s adult frames, this frame features a molded nosepad with precise draft angles for maximum pad contact and an integrated hinge with smooth CAM.
The frame is constructed from lightweight, durable O Matter material with adjustable wire core temples and unobtainium earsocks for a no slip grip. A three-point fit holds the lenses for precise optical alignment.
It’s available with a six base wrap for active friendly peripheral coverage in two sizes; 49 and 51.
These frames can be fitted with Oakley authentic prescription lenses and come with a carry case
Contact: Oakley (AUS) 03 8598 3100