Colleen Brondo Is The Crafty Optician

By

SUSSEX COUNTY, N.J.—Colleen Brondo has been a licensed optician since 1994 and in November 2015, she created The Crafty Optician, which started out as a Facebook page dedicated to people who can’t get enough optical finds. Her first piece was a self-made necklace, which got such a strong response when she posted it, that she decided to create more. “I found that optical people—myself included—love optical finds,” Brondo said. “After I posted the photo of that necklace I made, so many people wanted me to make more. I have been adding items on a regular basis since then.”

Last November, Brondo decided to create The Crafty Optician Etsy page to make ordering simpler for people. In addition to necklaces, Brondo also has earrings, necklaces and key chains on the page for sale. While all her pieces are made for the optical enthusiasts, her biggest seller to date has been the round bezel necklace.

When creating pieces, Brondo must take time in-between managing her practice—Andover, N.J.-based Visual Eyes Optical, which she has run with her husband for the past 20 years—and being a full-time mom of three. Her creative process, however, is straightforward.

She said, “I'll come up with an idea and try to block off time to create as many variations as possible. I use different images for necklaces or I will find a charm I love and try as many ways to incorporate it into different pieces of jewelry. For instance, the eye chart charm, I will make earrings, put it on a necklace or a bracelet and even a key charm.”

   

As with any other small business, social media has been a huge contributing factor to the growth of The Crafty Optician. Currently, her Facebook page has garnered almost 2,000 likes, while the Instagram page has gained 200 followers and counting. “Social media has been huge for me. I only had a Facebook page for the first two years. I give major credit to the Opticians on Facebook page for my recognition!”

  

While juggling her practice, being a businesswoman and mother can be a lot to juggle, the rewarding aspects of being The Crafty Optician are not lost on Brondo. “One of my favorite memories was from this year at the Opticians on Facebook party at Vision Expo East,” Brondo stated. “Someone said to me ‘you're The Crafty Optician? I love your stuff!’”

As she continues to add more pieces to The Crafty Optician, Brondo hopes her online presence continues to grow. “My inspiration comes from the love of all things eyeglass and optical,” she explained. “I am happy where I am, but would love more recognition.”