A very dear friend in Rochester, New York keeps an “eye” on what might be intriguing in eyewear. He alerted Eyestylist to this forward thinking, fashion savvy boutique in the American city that is closely associated with the industrial, cultural, and philanthropic endeavours of George Eastman, the Kodak founder. Tamra Asmuth (above image) is creating her own legacy in the Northern New York State city, nestled on Lake Ontario, with a distinctively elegant boutique – One Hip Chic Optical. Nowadays, customers are looking for something “different” – an experience that is personal, with speciality items, and excellent service. Asmuth delivers: with beautiful eyewear from artisan creators, and handmade shoes.
Everything about One Hip Chic Optical is individual, with custom furniture, complimenting her unique taste in eyewear. Several years go, Asmuth moved to the present location on Monroe Avenue, and spent six months overseeing the renovations. She describes the techniques she utilised in creating the boutique. “A large wall covered with custom-made wallpaper welcomes each visitor to One Hip Chic Optical. Underfoot, a plywood floor cut in a mosaic pattern is a continuously changing art piece as layers of paint colours and textures are added. One of the first things I did in this house – built in the 1930’s – was to commission a local fine furniture maker to craft sets of drawers made of quality cherry wood. The drawers, each lined with handmade paper, contain the frame inventory. I take orders at a custom-made stainless steel desk, and dispense glasses at a glass desk. People can relax on a soft, pink velour couch. Since day one, every choice made at One Hip Chic Optical has been with the creative person in mind. Each detail is meant to appeal to the senses.”
Independent labels are the highlight at One Hip Chic Optical. “I’ve long been a fan of theo and Anne & Valentin,” said Asmuth,” and have recently fallen in love with styles from Blake Kuwahara. I also carry Colibris, the German label for small faces. And I happily discovered Metronome from Japan. I am continuously looking for a new and unique “voice” in eyewear.”
With Asmuth’s fashion sense it was only a matter of time before her optical business evolved into another realm. “My customers often consult me about various style choices. I was recently asked to help design a dress for a formal event for one of my customers. Last week, another customer asked for hair colour advice. Based on this fashion aspect, opening a complimentary business to One Hip Chic Optical felt right.
Asmuth continued: “Immediately following the renovation project of the new location, Sole by One Hip Chic was born. The second floor of the business location houses handmade shoes from around the world. The shoe business is very different from the optical business. The seasonality of shoes and the variety of sizes offer a challenge the optical business doesn’t have, but it’s a challenge I welcome.” Asmuth’s vivacity, enthusiasm and style statements bring exciting new dimensions to the expanding possibilities for eyewear boutiques. www.onehipchic.com JG