A vision for business
It’s often the entrepreneurs with a real vision who can see beyond the obstacles and get their business up and running, and when your business is eyewear you need to rely on that business vision.
Optometry during the the Covid-19 pandemic, like many other businesses and services that relied on close contact between people, grappled to adjust to the new health regulations.
But in the midst of this uncertainty, optometrist Prianka Cuppusamy was not going to give up on her business vision to offer custom eyewear.
She started Mood Eyewear at the end of last year but said it was a logical step for her in her career.
“I’ve been practising for about five years and it’s been amazing, but also I just needed to take the next step in my career,” said Cuppusamy.
“I wanted to open my own practice in 2020 ... I was thinking about it around January, February and weighing up my options, and then unfortunately the global pandemic hit us and my dreams of opening up my practice came to a bit of a halt.”
Cuppusamy didn’t give up even though the future was uncertain.
“We (optometrists) were closed during level 5 (lockdown) and there was a lot of questioning about what the future might hold. Because as an optometrist you’re looking at people’s eyes, you’re up close and personal, you’re literally a few centimetres away from clients, so that also just made me brainstorm and think of innovative ways to capture people.”
She knew that the world was changing and that the way people select and buy their spectacles and sunglasses would also change.
“I noticed the online trend where everything was moving virtually, people were working from home and there was a lot of emphasis on the online industry. What I decided to do was combine my passions for eyewear, for optometry, for style and fashion into my own e-commerce store,” said Cuppusamy.
Her aim is to offer custom-made eyewear that’s not only functional but also fashionable and trendy.
Cuppusamy said: “I have designs that I think would work and that I come up with, so I’d start with a drawing and a picture. Then I have manufacturers overseas who can do the design for me and I work hands on with them, and they can guide me as well because I don’t have that manufacturing background.”
From the materials used to the design of the bridges of the eyewear, Cuppusamy is part of every step of the design and manufacturing process.
The business is in its infancy, but this entrepreneur is already encouraged by the uptake on her website and feedback on social media.
“We want to have fun with it and it’s trendy. This is a niche market but a lot of people love the designs.”
In the future she has a vision for a physical store opening its doors and people would be able to design their own eyewear alongside her, to add to the custom-made service that she offers.
Cuppusamy said: “In next three to four years we would love to expand Mood Eyewear into a spectacle store and an optometry practice where we can supply the trendiest eyewear to customers across South Africa. People would help design their own eyewear in future.”
Cuppusamy is not intimidated by the obstacles presented by her line of work and has a focused business plan that she hopes will be the map to a bright and profitable future.