STOW — The new owner of Diamond Optical said she found herself buying the business after showing up for a job interview.
Christi Hendricks said she wasn’t planning to become a business owner for the first time when she answered an ad on an employment website, indeed.
"Honestly, it literally fell in my lap," she said. "It was really weird how it happened. The previous owner had this teeny, tiny ad on indeed."
Hendricks said the ad’s wording was vague and she wasn’t sure what then-owner Elizabeth Vliet was looking for when she placed the online ad.
"I’m very inquisitive. I’m like, ‘This is odd. Does she mean she needs a manager? A supervisor?’ The way it read it, it could have been interpreted a couple different ways," she said.
So, Hendricks scheduled an interview and met with Vliet. Not long into their conversation, the interviewer revealed what she was looking for.
"She’s talking and then she says, ‘I want to retire, so I’m going to sell.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, OK …’ I said, ‘I never would have got that out of the ad you placed.’"
Hendricks said this was the perfect opportunity to use her bachelor’s and a master’s degrees in business administration while continuing to do what she enjoys. She has worked in the optical field for 20 years, most recently in Fairlawn.
"What I enjoy most about my job is the fashion end of it and helping someone pick out new glasses," she said. "New frames can change a person’s appearance and their confidence level. That’s what I really enjoy."
After taking over in January, Hendricks completely remodeled, giving the interior a clean, bright look using white paint, stainless steel and crystal-like lights. Rustic-industrial pieces like rusty metal letters that spell "welcome" on the wall behind the front counter add a homey touch.
"It’s more open, more welcoming," Hendricks said about the store’s new look. A grand re-opening took place in June.
And there is no shortage of eyeglass frames inside. Hendricks she’s added more up-to-date styles and more name brands. Diamond Optical has three employees: Hendricks and two optometrists, Drs. Emily Voytilla and Kenneth Kovach, who were here before. She noted sometimes her mother comes in and helps out.
Hendricks and her husband, Clate, a registered nurse, live in Fairlawn with their three dogs: a Goldendoodle, a Labradoodle and a Shih-tese. She is a member of the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce.
Diamond Optical’s summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. Beginning Sept. 10, Friday hours will extend until 5 p.m. The phone number is 330-688-1800.
Reporter Steve Wiandt, can be reached at 330-541-9420, firstname.lastname@example.org or @SteveWiandt_RPC.