Thursday, July 3, 2014

Frederick Faces: Meline Baron

Meline Baron, owner of VISIONS (16 N. Market Street), describes her position as business owner and optician as “the perfect career for [her].” However, it wasn’t a straight path getting to where she is today.

The Rochester, New York native started her working career as a saleswoman for XEROX, though she claims she “never wore a blue suit” during her days of selling printers and copiers. Her career as an optician began in 1996 when she met her current VISIONS partner and significant other, Phil Bromwell. 

Meline and Phil spent the first few years of their relationship managing a friend’s optical boutique in Baltimore. When the couple opened their Frederick shop in 1999, Meline was able to combine her lifelong interest in art and design with her career as an optician.  

“VISIONS is a combination of the best of function, fit, fashion, and fun,” Meline explains, though she admits, ”the frame fashions and artistic environment may be what catches peoples’ eye and brings them in the door at first, but it’s the time we take engaging our customers, and, most important, our expertise that keeps them coming back.”

Meline loves creating pieces of “living art” by helping people find the frames that best fit their face and optical needs. But, her true inspiration comes from “making happy faces,” which occur when her customers see themselves in a new way when they get their first pair of glasses. Meline shared a heartwarming story about dispensing a pair of progressive lenses to a customer from Kazakhstan during his annual visit to the US. She recalls, “When he put on the new glasses he was so happy to be able to see and read clearly that he wanted to read anything we had in the store, even though it meant struggling with the English!”

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