The Right to See Clearly

Health + Wellness , Build Her Business
Central Alberta

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Estimated Delivery: 2021-03-18
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Estimated Delivery: 2021-03-18
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Campaign Description

I started Orenda Eyecare determined to improve the quality of eyecare provided to seniors housing, rural and persons with limited mobility by providing a mobile optical solution, at a fair price. I am attempting to expand my inventory to provide a broader range of options to my customers. I am also trying to change my delivery method by purchasing a dedicated unit outfitted specifically for optical dispensing to increase my ability to serve a greater number of customers more efficiently. In effect, Orenda Eyecare will truly become a completely mobile optical solution.

A Strong Background is the Foundation for Success

The decision to start Orenda Eyecare is the culmination of over 25 years of experience. I started in this industry as a sales associate in a large box store working my way up to managing a large downtown Calgary location and succeeding bringing the stores annual revenues to one million dollars for the first time since it opened its doors. By this time, I had completed my Optical Dispensing course and was a licensed Optician. Unfortunately, I became more and more aware as time went on that the focus was on the bottom line and not the customer.  Rather than having the freedom to supply a customer the best product to suit their needs, I was told which products I needed to sell to produce the greatest profit.  I decided to switch my focus to the smaller independent optometry offices in the hopes that I would again be able to have the freedom to supply my customers with a product they loved at a fair price, honestly and with integrity.  I continued to educate myself choosing to return to school and complete the NAIT Advanced Practice: Contact Lens and acquire my contact lens license to become a Registered Contact Lens Practitioner.  I completed the final course in the NAIT Optical Sciences Department, when I completed my NAIT Advanced Practice: Refracting program in 2020. 

 

 

Putting the "Care" back in Eyecare

I started out in this industry because I needed a job but I stayed in this industry because I discovered I truly enjoyed helping people, and I was good at it. I genuinely cared if my customers were happy with their purchase, my priority was and is their complete satisfaction. I understand how important it is to feel good in your eyewear, they are a representation of yourself that everyone can see, I am committed to providing that to my customers, regardless of financial status or mobility. The most rewarding part of providing quality care to my customers is the rapport and relationship I build with them. They leave confident that I provided them with their best eyewear options tailored to their needs not just what provided the best profit.  I started to realize that my industry priority was shifting and customer care was becoming less of a priority compared to dollar value.  Eyecare has become less about the care and service and more about the dollar figure associated with that care.  In my opinion this needs to change, you can sell eyewear with a conscience and still make a profit and I believe I can make that happen.   I believe everyone has the right to see the world clearly and Orenda Eyecare was conceived to help them do just that.

Providing Care the Right Way

I watched seniors having to work around a family members schedule or make arrangements for community buses to even come in to look at glasses.  Most of these cases ended in the customer feeling they needed to rush and often ended up paying more than necessary because they were not given the time they needed to make a confident choice.  Limited income and mobility often require this particular demographic to either forgo proper eyecare or pay beyond their means, sometimes it can even be the choice between proper nutrition or eyecare.  Throughout my years in this industry, I have seen it time and time again.  I believed things could be different.  I believed that eyecare can be both profitable for the business and financially feasible to the customer, it did not need to be one or the other.  I found myself missing the stage of my career where the best part of my day was connecting with my customers.  So, I decided to make a change myself.

I saw a need that I knew I could fill.  Rather than these people having to come to get their eyewear, why can't their eyewear options come to them.  I spent the next year researching frame and lens companies, comparing cost to retail and found suppliers and brands that aligned with my idea of providing quality eyewear to everyone, regardless of financial status or mobility. I was finally able to get back to what I loved, helping people....then Covid hit.

Covid-19 Isolation Intesified

Suddenly many of my customers were subjected to lock downs and restrictions making it difficult or impossible to reach them.  I was struck by how isolated they must feel, how the absence of family and friends must be devastating. Eyewear is an incredibly personal choice that has moved from the "medically required" to the fashion sector.  Glasses are a statement of your personality and style and the selection of them is often an event, especially for those people who otherwise live a fairly solitary existence.  With the addition of Covid-19, human connection and service are even more vital as that solitary existence has begun to feel more like isolation. Many of my customers are now unable to get to an optical location due to lock downs and restrictions, Orenda Eyecare can be the solution to these individuals and provide them with the care they deserve.

 Rather than feeling discouraged by this set back the lock downs caused, I was renewed in my commitment that now more than ever we need to make connections and build that rapport with our customers.  I knew that Covid would eventually stabilize and when it did, I would be ready to provide whatever help I could in my own way. I took the time to think about ways I could improve upon my business and provide an even greater level of service. Additional services and a vehicle dedicated to eyecare would allow me to truly become a completely mobile optical dispensary, with the ability to reach more customers and improve my customer experience.  Again, I was back to researching and found the equipment and vehicle best suited for my needs. Now I just needed to figure out how I would finance it, which brings me to where I am now.

Costs Down - Service Standards Up

 I currently serve the Central Alberta region with my base of operations in the small town of Didsbury.  I am set up to direct bill to most major insurance companies including the Seniors Benefit Plan through Alberta Health Care, often keeping my clients within their insurance range with very little out of pocket expense.  Having no physical location or employees and outsourcing all of my lab work reduces my costs and enables me to provide a quality product at a reasonable price while still making a profit. In order to continue to serve my customers, I need to expand my inventory and delivery system. I am currently operating with a very small inventory and tools in order to keep costs low.  I would like to expand my operation and increase my inventory to a wider range product to better serve my customers.   I need to increase my ability to perform eyeglass maintenance and repair so require tools to accommodate that. The most exciting innovation is the plan to add the additional service of providing refractions on site to further improve my service.  In order to do this, I need to purchase the equipment and vehicle to house the operation.

Eyecare With a Conscience

I started Orenda Eyecare because I believe that as an industry we can do better, that I personally can do better.  Orenda's literal meaning is "A force that exists in all people that empowers them to affect the world, or to affect change in their own lives".  That is what Orenda Eyecare stands for, changing the world in a small way, one pair of eyeglasses at a time.  I am creating a profitable company that sells eyewear, but does so with compassion and a conscience.

Meet the Team

Robin Zitaruk

Robin Zitaruk

I am a Licensed Optician and Registered Contact Lens Practitioner with over 25 years in the Optical Industry. I have recently completed my Advanced Practice: Refracting course through NAIT. Throughout my years in the industry, I have worked in various capacities, starting as a sales associate and working up to managing a busy optical location which achieved the milestone of an annual revenue of one million dollars in the year that I took it over. I am currently a Contact Lens Practitioner and owner of Orenda Eyecare.

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Jan 24, 2021

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Ready to Start This Journey

We are ready to start our BoostR, Build her Business campaign journey.  I am excited and optimistic to what we can accomplish!

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Jan 24, 2021
Project launched

FAQs

Is Orenda Eyecare only for Seniors, limited mobility and low income?

Orenda Eyecare is a service for everyone. We initially started with a senior focus but available for everyone.

Are you a strictly mobile service or do you offer an online solution?

At this time Orenda Eyecare is a strictly mobile service in order to maintain our high quality of care. We do however hope to open that as a partial option with glasses being available to order online but in person delivery in the future.

How do I take advantage of your service?

Simply call or email us to book an appointment and we will do the rest.

Do your eyeglasses come with any type of warranty?

Yes, our eyeglasses and lenses all have a manufacturers warranty and well as an extended warranty on select lenses and coatings. The only exception is discontinued stock which is sold at an even lower rate and fully explained upfront prior to purchase. At Orenda selling with integrity is our main focus.
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