When you walk into The Spectacle on Wax Road, you’ll probably notice a unique atmosphere right away.
Owners Shawn and Tracy Parker opened what they call Central’s only “optical boutique” in March of 2016, and almost immediately they were faced with the severe challenges that most in Central had to deal with in the historic floods of August.
“We were a little nervous after the flood, we weren’t quite sure what was going to happen with the community business wise,” said owner Shawn Parker. “It was pretty scary to have only been open about three or four months and all of a sudden we have this devastating flood.”
And like so many, the Parkers had suddenly lost their home and everything in it, and they figured glasses would not be a priority for many.
“I assumed at that time glasses were going to be the last thing on peoples’ minds when they’re focusing on the house they lost and everything they own,” said Parker.
But some 10 months on from the flood, the Parker’s business continues to succeed, and they say it’s because the community has embraced the family atmosphere that the Parkers strive to bring to the shop every day.
“Our goal is to create a long term relationship with the people who come in,” said Parker. “We try to make it a friendly environment when people come in and get to know the people who come in and genuinely make a connection with them.”
Prior to becoming an optical store owner, Shawn worked for 20 years for DEMCO, but says as he got older his priorities in life changed, and when the idea came up with his wife Tracy to open a shop, he saw it as an opportunity to have more time to spend with his family.
“I worked on average 68 to 70 hours a week for 20 years. I missed a lot of my older kids’ activities growing up because my primary focus was doing what I needed to do at DEMCO,” said Parker. “I have a tendency to put myself in my work and kind of let it take over thing. I’m getting to the age now where my priorities have shifted and what’s more important to me now is not missing out on what I have left of my kids that are still at home and being involved with them.”
Still, Parker says making that career change was not an easy decision but he’s confident in his family’s ability to make The Spectacle a success.
“It was really tough giving that (his job at DEMCO) up to go into business for myself, but my wife had confidence in her ability to interact with the customers and do what we needed to do here.”
And Parker says his future plans won’t stop in Central, but he doesn’t want growth to come at the expense of his company’s identity.
“I do see us with multiple stores, we’ve got an ambition to get there but I want to make sure that we grow the business smartly,” said Parker. “It’s all those small little conversations that help you get to know your customers and I don’t want to lose that, I think it’s what makes us special.”
To find out more about The Spectacle, check out their website www.centralspectacle.net