December 5, 2002

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Citing need to grow, Eye 1 moving store to Oakwood

The giant green eyeglasses on the south end of town will soon vanish, after Eye 1 closes its Yellow Springs business at the end of this week. At that time the optical store will move to its new location at 2319 Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood.

Convenience and a desire for growth led to the move, said co-owner David Brown.

The new site will be more convenient because it lessens the time Brown spends in his car moving between Eye 1 locations, he said. Since Brown and his partners opened an Eye 1 in Cincinnati — they also have a store in Columbus — he has been traveling back and forth between the Yellow Springs and Cincinnati locations five days a week. The drive between Cincinnati and Oakwood saves about 25 minutes each way, he said.

Since the opening of the Cincinnati store, Eye 1’s business in Yellow Springs decreased about one third, said Brown, since so many customers had travelled from Cincinnati to the village. The drop in business here led to a need to increase sales, and the owners of Eye 1 decided to move to a more populated area. Currently, said Brown, about 65 percent of the Yellow Springs store’s business comes from Dayton customers.

“We’re going to miss Yellow Springs,” said Brown. “It’s a lovely place. But we’re needing to grow.”

Eye 1 is modeled after a “European optical store,” Brown said, and offers a variety of optical equipment, including eyeglasses, telescopes, opera glasses, binoculars and magnifiers.

The store specializes in high-end eyewear, which Brown describes as “face jewelry — art for your face.” While most optical stores carry approximately the same product, Eye 1 carries a wide variety of unusual eyewear, many from European manufacturers.

The store’s unique eyewear attracts customers from all over the world, said Brown. For instance, one customer last week came from Montreal and another from Manhattan.

A native of Springfield, Brown opened the store 24 years ago. It employs four full-time people and one part-time, one of whom lives in Yellow Springs. All of the employees will move to the Oakwood store.

The Eye 1 building, which is owned by Brown and his partners, is currently available for rent.


—Diane Chiddister