Optical has been a resident of the Wedgwood community for over 34
years but has actually been in business since 1947. Now, what
does that tell you about a company that has been around for 57 years
and still going strong? According to the Small Business
Administration, only 50 percent of small businesses survive past
their first year of operation.
Ray Bailey started
his optical business in 1947 in the basement of his home on 65th &
Woodlawn, hence the name of Woodlawn Optical. In 1970 Ray took
on a partner - his new son-in-law, Fred Cook. The business had
outgrown the basement and it was time to find a new home. They
wanted a location that would retain that small neighborhood feeling
and found the perfect fit in Wedgwood.
Over the next several years, thanks
to the hard work and support of the Wedgwood community, the business
flourished and it was soon time to hire another optician. Glenn
Charles started in the Fall of 1978 and has gone from apprentice to
optician to manager to owner in the last 26 years. "From the first day of work, I've enjoyed the people
in the area. I like the neighborhood mentality where your
customers and neighbors soon become new friends."
Jennifer, who has worked at Woodlawn for over 12 years now, they
maintain the same commitment to the customers as Ray Bailey did 57
years ago. Being a smaller business, Woodlawn Optical can take
the time to provide different types of service that the chain and
warehouse stores can't or won't. "We do a lot of repairs on
glasses." Soldering broken frames back together is a lost art
that has been passed down from Ray to Fred and now to Glenn and
"The styles and
technology of eyewear has changed dramatically since 1947 but our
commitment is the same as it was in the basement days - honesty,
quality and service. Come in and give us a try. We look
forward to meeting you."
reprinted with permission
article from Sept/Oct 2004 issue of The View Ridge/Wedgwood Real
Estate Report & Newsletter
by Paul H. McLaughlin, John L.