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Handing Over the Reins after 40 Years, Brighton Family Partners with Eye Openers!

September 17, 2018

No strangers to the retail industry, Trisha Woltjen, 37, has been working in the optical business since she was 20 years old. The family moved to Brighton in 2012 when her husband Kyle Woltjen, 37, was offered a management job at Jos. A. Bank menswear in Rochester. They selected Brighton to settle in for the community and the school district for their children Aria Quattrini, 17, and Colin Quattrini, 16.

The transition began about three years ago when Trisha Woltjen mentioned to Levy that their family would be interested in buying the business. As Levy’s two daughters took different paths in life, one is a sheriff’s deputy and the other a registered nurse, he gladly took her under his wing, taking her to optical trade shows.

Eye Openers is known for its fashionable optical frames at below retail prices. “Boutique” is how Kyle Woltjen describes the offerings with frames from Europe and Japan and brands such as Face A Face, Alain Mikli and Res Rei.

Trends are always changing and it’s important to keep ahead of what consumers want. What’s stylish now was stylish 40 years ago when he started in the business and that’s large, thin metal frames, Levy muses. Pastel colors are also trending.

Keeping ahead of retail trends, Levy saw the potential in moving his business to the plaza at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Clover Street next to Mann’s Jewelers in 1999 as he believed they are complementary businesses. Eye Openers had three locations then in Greece, downtown Rochester and Brighton. In 2002, Levy closed the downtown and Greece locations and created one destination store at its current site.

Levy, who has been the face of Eye Openers for decades, officially retired from day-to-day operations this spring. Customers regularly ask about him, the Woltjens said. They have retained the six staffers at Eye Openers; some have been at the shop for 15 to 20 years and have relationships with customers.

While Levy is no longer taking appointments from clients, he is there for Eye Openers special events, such as fashion shows and the annual Eye Openers Garage Sale that just wrapped up last week.

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