By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Magay & Barron Eye Center
Address: 460 Lincoln St., Worcester
Owners: Jim and Eddi Magay
Contact Information: 508-852-3760
What services do you provide?
“We help people see the world better,” said Jim Magay, who, with his wife, Eddi, has continued the business started by his grandfather in 1912.
“We serve infants to people over their hundredth birthday. We have everything from $99 complete pair specials to luxury goods. We have a wide selection, including the most unique frames you can imagine. Whichever frame you are buying, you get the same expertise. Every client is important to us.”
Magay specializes in service and variety?
“We think in terms of what’s best for the individual,” said Jim. “We look at the shape of the face, the size, the strength of the prescription, the function. And we look at the person’s clothing, personality, what they do, and we try to choose eyewear that fits their lifestyle.”
“I can pull out fabric swatches in the colors they wear and drape them so they can see how different frames work,” Eddi said.
What do you offer for the end-of-the year holidays?
“First, we are experts at helping you use your FSA health care spending account before the end of the year. People do not like to lose money from that process,” Jim said.
“And eyewear can be a great gift item. We can put non-prescription sunglasses in a gift bag with a gift certificate, and people can come back for their prescription. People often won’t buy prescription sunglasses for themselves but secretly want them.”
You can solve special problems?
“We are making hiking glasses for someone planning a trip to the Himalayas. At high altitudes, you need sunblock for your eyes. Snow blindness is a serious problem. She has a strong prescription, and the glasses will be made with mirror coatings and a special transition quality that gets both darker and more polarized as it gets brighter.
“We have a line of sports and safety eyewear. We can put your prescription, no matter how strong, into a mask for snorkeling. We just delivered a mask to a person who was overjoyed. She’s been snorkeling for years and couldn’t see a thing. We can do that for ski goggles too.”
What are the current eyewear trends?
“Larger frames. Color, and now color for men as well. Plaids and stripes for younger people,” said Eddi.
“There’s a trend as well to block ‘blue light’ from screens. Coatings can diminish the effect of blue light,” added Jim.
And your ads feature Worcester citizens?
“We are using clients in our ads today because our business is very community-oriented,” said Jim
“Instead of professional models, we show how fabulous real people can look in glasses,” Eddi said. “Pam Flint-Dube owns a hair studio, gives styling demonstrations around the country and is a mom. She wears exotic frames on stage, work frames when she’s cutting hair, and a different frame when she’s out with her kids.
“Dale LePage is New England entertainer and has frames to match all his stage outfits.
“Tina Zlody organizes stART on the Street, a Worcester event that draws 60,000 people. She handles the performing arts at Clark University, and she’s an athlete. So she has glasses for work and for biking and jogging.”