A time for reflection: looking back on 2021

Christmas is just around the corner, and we’re all ready and eagerly waiting for Santa to climb down our chimneys. Hopefully, if we’ve been good, he’ll leave us some lovely gifts. With our Christmas shopping pretty much done, we’ve had the opportunity to look back and reflect on the past 12 months.

Every year is different, and 2021 has proved no different. On reflection, it has been a ‘start stop’ year.  Although we were very fortunate to stay open to assist our customers with their eye care, we found many were wary about visiting the shop. We triaged over the phone and helped patients find the right pathway for the care they needed.

As we progressed through the year, many people started to feel more confident. We saw more and more people, which was lovely, not only for us but also for them. Some of our customers hadn’t left their homes for over a year.

The optical industry has continued to adapt throughout this year. We have visited trade fairs virtually, and we have viewed new products and eyewear collections via Zoom meetings. Silmo – one of the largest trade shows in Europe – made a low key return in September. Not surprisingly, it was a smaller affair than previous years, and everyone was very vigilant.

Pop up shows also started to emerge, including one in Gothenburg, where they used a variety of locations around the city centre with a small selection of trade stands within each venue. Exhibitors were sited within an art gallery, a courtyard and some in a creative art venue. This type of pop up show was a great idea. Not only did it space out the exhibitors so people could still social distance themselves. But it also introduced the city to the visitors, who would usually attend a purpose-built exhibition hall. Instead, visitors got to explore Gothenburg, popping into cafes and bars for refreshments. It was a fantastic opportunity to see more of the city.

This year also saw us invest in some new dispensing equipment. The Seiko Vision Xperience – or column as we call it – was installed in September. This machine allows us to take extra important and intricate measurements, which many of the new individualised Seiko lenses require. With the column, we can also demonstrate to our customers’ different lens coatings, material thicknesses and lens designs.

Also, this year we have expanded our team here at Respectacle Company. In August, we welcomed Chris into the fold. Chris joins us in a dispensing role and comes with a wealth of experience, patience, and excellent customer service skills. Sarah also joined us in October. She is our front of house person and greets all our customers with a warm and helpful welcome.

So looking back over the year, we have actually moved forward and achieved quite a lot this year. Not least being able to strengthen our team to improve our customer care and experience when visiting Respectacle.

We’re going to be taking a few days off to enjoy the Christmas festivities with our friends and family. The shop will be closed from Friday the 24th of December, until Tuesday the 4th of January.

However you do Christmas, we wish you all a happy Christmas and a very healthy new year. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2022!

If you need a last minute gift, we have one or two accessories that would make great gifts for eyewear lovers. Find out more here.