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Spotlight on Orlaith Ryan and Vision 2 Opticians

Posted On: 2017-11-23 15:34:34 ; Read: 1166 time(s)
Spotlight on Orlaith Ryan and Vision 2 Opticians's Q&A with Orlaith Ryan, founder and owner of Vision 2 Opticians Limerick, as they celebrate 15 years in business with their store expansion

Tell us about your background?

I am from Limerick City and having grown up in a family business, Ryan's Jewellers on Roches St, I always wanted to open and run my own business. I studied optometry in the National Optometry Centre in Dublin. Upon qualifying, I worked in various clinical settings from multiples to independent practices, until I had the opportunity to open my own store Vision 2 Opticians in August 2002.

Why did you open Vision 2 Opticians?

I wanted to provide a customer focused practice with excellent clinical skills to ensure our clients receive the best eye care. We endeavour to provide a large range of products and services that are required to suit varying lifestyles and working conditions. The public’s awareness of eye care has increased tremendously and people are more conscious of the importance and necessity of looking after their eyes.

October 2017 marked 15 years in business. How did it feel to mark that personal achievement in your career?

I was delighted to celebrate 15 years in business this year. Vision 2 Opticians and our team have worked very hard over the last number of years to build our customer care and we hope to continue to achieve this into the future.

Was it fitting to celebrate that milestone on National Women’s Enterprise Day 2017?

Yes - National Women’s Enterprise Day is a celebration of female entrepreneurship so we could not have chosen a better day to celebrate 15 years in business and the grand opening of our new store on Sarsfield St.
You recently moved premises from Henry Street to Sarsfield Street, what necessitated that move?

After 15 years in business in Limerick, providing an ophthalmic service to people of all ages, an expanding client base in the Mid-West necessitated a move from our start-up location on Henry Street to larger premises on Sarsfield Street. 

The two-level premises, which involved a significant investment in fit-out, glazing labs and display space is providing a better customer experience for our clients. For example, we are the only opticians in Limerick City providing field screening for truck drivers, now a Group 2 driving licence requirement. Such specialisms are becoming a necessity and this requires ophthalmic practices such as ours to stock the latest technologies in terms of lenses, coatings and specialist equipment and to employ staff who are fully conversant with these new advances in eye care.

Clients also require fast turnaround on their orders which has required us to invest in additional lens-finishing lab space and equipment. We also have invested in specialised cameras for digital eye examinations which check for problematic eye and health conditions such as glaucoma, macular degenerative disease and diabetes. Eyes are such a central barometer of a person’s overall health; that’s why we are continually encouraging the general public to pay more attention to their eyes, to have them tested regularly and to always protect them from the glare of the sun, even in wintertime.
What impact do you think micro enterprises such as Vision 2 Opticians make to the local economy in Limerick?

All entrepreneurs are risk takers by nature and it is heartening to see that for us all the hard work is starting to pay off. Vision 2 Opticians has seen the boom and handled the bust but is now ahead of the curve as we turn the corner and see improvements across all sectors of the economy and society. My team and I have adapted to the changing styles, expectations and tastes of valued customers.
How many staff do you have?

We started with a staff of two in 2002 and we now have grown to eight employees, combining a wealth of optical knowledge in our Optometrists, Lab Technicians and Optical Assistants.
How has the company benefited from being based in Limerick?

Being based in Limerick has been of huge benefit to Vision 2 Opticians as our staff are local to the Mid-West and we have built up our customer base over the years. Our city centre location has made our store very accessible and the continued development of Limerick City and its environs will enhance our location into the future.
What changes have you seen in the business landscape in Limerick over the past number of years?

The past decade has been tough for Limerick and Ireland as a whole, but we have come through it. It has made us stronger, wiser and better able to deal with whatever is waiting in the wings. Limerick is reaching its potential as a thriving vibrant city and it is fantastic that we, a local company, are playing our part in leading the way, taking the initiative, confident that it is the right thing to do and that it will continue to be a success.

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