Que­bec-based eye­wear brand BonLook ar­rives in B.C.

Vancouver Sun - - SHOP TALK - ALEE­SHA HAR­RIS Ahar­ris@post­media.com

How many shoes do you own? And, how about coats? Now, count your col­lec­tion of eye­glasses.

There aren’t nearly as many of the lat­ter as there are of the two for­mer, cor­rect? And, if that’s the case, you’re likely not alone.

This un­even of­fer­ing of eye­wear was what ini­tially prompted So­phie Boulanger and her brother Louis-Felix to start their own eye­glasses com­pany in 2011, af­ter they grew frus­trated by the fact that eye­glass wear­ers had to choose one go-to frame for every­day wear. The rea­son be­ing, of course, was the high cost of pur­chas­ing cool frames and pre­scrip­tion lenses.

So, the pair de­cided to change the way men and women shop for glasses. BonLook was the re­sult. The Que­bec-based com­pany aims to of­fer a “wardrobe of glasses” to shop­pers at af­ford­able prices. And now, they’ve set their sights on B.C.

We caught up with An­dreanne Fer­land, a pub­lic re­la­tions pro for BonLook, to chat about the brand, what makes it dif­fer­ent from other eye­glass of­fer­ings and its am­bi­tious Cana­dian ex­pan­sion plans.

Q What makes BonLook dif­fer­ent from other eye­wear brands?

A Our start­ing price is $145 with lenses, so it’s pretty com­pet­i­tively priced. We also do all our de­signs in Mon­treal, and that’s great be­cause we can re­act to what cus­tomers are ask­ing for, their needs and their wants.

Q Who is the tar­get cus­tomer?

A I would say any­one be­tween the ages of 18-25, or a bit older. Young pro­fes­sion­als and stu­dents. We re­ally wanted to make glasses that are fash­ion­able and af­ford­able.

Q The brand started with on­line re­tail only. When did it branch into bricks-and-mor­tar stores?

A Around 2015, we re­al­ized that peo­ple re­ally wanted to try on the prod­ucts. Glasses aren’t like a T-shirt. And it also de­pends on what type of pre­scrip­tion they need and if they would like to see an op­ti­cian in-store. So, we first opened a small kiosk and show­room in Mon­treal, and it was so pop­u­lar that ... we de­cided to open real stores. Since 2015, we have opened 25 stores. We have 12 stores in Que­bec and 13 in On­tario.

Q And now you’ve set your sights on B.C. Where will you open first?

A Our first store will be in Guild­ford (Sur­rey). Then, we will have an­other one in Cal­gary, Ed­mon­ton, Van­cou­ver and Win­nipeg. Our plan is to open five stores in Western Canada be­fore the end of the year, and then there will be way more in 2019.

Q What’s new for the brand?

A A lot of peo­ple were com­ing in to our stores and say­ing, ‘I love your best­sellers, but they don’t fit me.’ So, we launched a petite col­lec­tion for nar­rower faces. And then we did the same, this sum­mer, for wider faces. So, what­ever your face shape or size is, you can have your favourite pair of glasses. And I think we’re one of the only ones do­ing that.

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