In preparation for a recent review my boss jokingly asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I replied that I want to snowboard and sell glasses, in that order. He laughed and said, Great! A Snowboarding Optician! Kidding aside, it made me realize how lucky I am to be able to combine my work and my hobby in the same day. Knowing the mountain and snow conditions are almost expected from our customers, so I like to think of it as market research.
Running a business in a very seasonal area is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs I have ever experienced. We are open 365 days a year, with holidays typically being our busiest time. During the winter season we are open long hours to capture early risers and late night shoppers alike.
Having this unique business model is very different from most optical retail stores. We must constantly analyze our selling trends and react fast before the season is over. If snow is in the forecast we need to be stocked on low-light goggles. When we have a week of sunshine we focus on displaying our wide selection of sunglasses. We notice our international clientele buys completely different than our domestic customer and we strive to have the perfect frame for everyone.
Being an Optician for the last 17 years I thought I knew the optical world inside and out but the ski industry is a completely different animal. I love the excitement of working at full speed right now but also look forward to closing day when we sit back and reflect on what just happened.
With just five short weeks of ski season left we are already making decisions on what to buy for the summer, event planning, remodeling, and seasonal staff changes. In an industry where what happens next is always on your mind sometimes you have to pause and appreciate the little things that remind you you’re doing what you love… like delivering a pair of glasses via snowboard.