By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Worcester – Upon entering the lobby of Magay & Barron Eye Center, located at 460 Lincoln St. in Worcester, one is met with a dazzling array of designer frames from all over the globe. The selection of colors and motifs are amazing, and many are truly works of art. Equally amazing is the science that goes into the lenses. Fashion meets technology in this business.
Magay & Barron Eye Center is owned and operated by Jim and Eddi Magay. Jim is a licensed optician and graduate of Boston University. His wife Eddi has an artistic background having studied at the Vesper George School of Art. She uses her talents as a frame stylist to help their customers find their perfect eyeglasses.
Over 100 years old, the practice was established in 1912 by Jim’s grandfather, James O. Magay and his best friend, Ralph Barron. The original location was in the Slater Building at 390 Main St. in downtown Worcester.
From eye exams, to eyeglasses and contact lenses, Magay & Barron provides a full range of services for adults and children beginning with a comprehensive eye health assessment including screenings for macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. Examinations are conducted by optometrist Dr. John Dadah, a graduate of the New England College of Optometry.
“We feature unusual frames and we try to carry items that you don’t find in the mall. We are looking for much more fashion forward and unique frames,” Jim said. “We show people what is the best combination of lens and frame for them.”
“We guide our clients based on the color of their skin tone, their eyes, hair color and bone structure and their prescription,” added Eddi.
Jim noted that frames are made these days from many recycled materials such as plastic that are lightweight, flexible and durable.
Ninety percent of the lenses they fit are digitally surfaced with options such as blue light blocking to mitigate blue light from phones and tablets, polarized protection from sun glare, scratch resistance and coatings to eliminate reflection or repel oil, static, water and dust.
Their vast and varied inventory of frames is created by international designers from Europe and Asia. Many are made with natural materials and gem stones that are embedded in the plastic.
“One of our most recent acquisitions is designed by an opera singer from Canada who has the frames made in Paris,” added Eddi. This particular designer uses an opera motif as her inspiration.
Jim remarked that glasses have become a fashion accessory and noted the trends are returning to bigger frames with bolder colors. He sees people that build an eyeglass wardrobe to accommodate a varied lifestyle involving the workplace, sports and leisure.
Prices for a complete pair of glasses range from as low as $99 to over $1,000, based on the customer’s needs and desires. When one purchases a pair of eyeglasses with Magay & Barron, they are offered an option to buy a second pair at half price. Most forms of insurance are accepted and gift certificates are available for purchase.