Tom Davies Interview with Aniko Geué
“Glasses are our passion”
Passion, rigour, design, function and hand manufacturing, that is what Aniko Geué puts emphasis on. He is the manager of Ludwig Oehm Sehmanufaktur in the heart of Frankfurt.
When entering Sehmanufaktur, it is obvious to see that everything has been planned in minute detail and sensitively implemented. Only a select few frames decorate the generously proportioned room. Each of these iconic frames is displayed on a plinth and highlighted with a spotlight. At the back of the loft styled shop a large LED display featuring the Tom Davies handmade video on a loop catches your eye.
We talked with Aniko about the key points of his business, how he got in touch with Tom Davies, what role the Tom Davies bespoke service plays for each individual customer and what inspires him.
TD: ANIKO, WHAT ARE THE MAIN FACTORS THAT LED TO YOUR SUCCESS?
ANIKO: Authenticity and honesty is of the greatest importance for me as a master optician. I work extremely precisely and keep myself up-to-date regarding the latest developments in the medical and technical fields for optometrists. My business partners and I decided to offer only the top equipment with regard to eyecare, not only providing my customers with 3D-sight test but also with intraocular pressure tests as well as retina analysis.
TD: WHY DO YOU WORK WITH ONLY A FEW SUPPLIERS AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TOM DAVIES?
ANIKO: Regarding the choice of frames I concentrate on just a handful of suppliers and therefore stock a wide selection of their collections. I avoid labels where customers are paying for the name rather than for quality. Also, mainstream brands are made for the mass-market, which have no place in a collection where clients have different sized faces and high expectations of optimal wearing comfort.
When a customer enters my store, I get started with analysing the customer’s needs. Afterwards, I offer them only a small seletcion of frames. Most of the time the client chooses the first recommended frame, although fairly often the customer even chooses several of these. In addition it is of importance to me to be able to order a custom made frame so there is the potential to optimise the fit for my customer, hence Tom Davies is an essential part of my collection. I stock a good selection of cotton acetate, titanium, and natural horn frames in various styles, and a range of sunglasses, as well as the silver 925 collection.
TD: HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS BENEFIT FROM OFFERING CUSTOM MADE EYEWEAR?
ANIKO: What we hear every single day is: “Do you also have the frame available in a different size?”, “in another brown tone?”, “it presses on my nose”, “I never wear gold” and so on.
For requests like these Tom Davies offers me various solutions: Selecting the best size, adjusting the DBL to fit well, perfection of the temple arm length and choosing the perfect colour. In the same way that high-end progressive lenses are made for their individual wearer, frames also need to fit the anatomic contours of every individual.
It also makes me really happy, when the customer picks up his new glasses and enthusiastically discovers the laser engraved name in the temple.
At the moment I have three varieties of one of the most popular women’s frames in the store (see fig. 1 above). At the bottom is the Tom Davies original frame, at the top are two custom made products for customers. On the frame in the middle I reduced the DBL because the customer has a really small nose. Therefore the frame sits in the correct position. The custom frame on top has significantly narrower and smaller lenses compared to the initial model. This customer has quite a high prescription, therefore I wanted to reduce the size of the frame itself. All the frames are the same colour as the original, in this instance it is just about the optimisation of fit and size. The service inspires my customers and gives me energy to work with passion.
TD: ANIKO, WE ARE REALLY HAPPY TO BE WORKING WITH YOU AND WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW.