Who Am I Interviewing This Month?
- The business is owned and run by three brothers.
- Their father and mother started the business in 1986.
- The three brothers started in the business when they were 15 years of age. They started as Saturday boys doing cleaning, filing and making teas and coffees.
- Their heritage is a mix of Greek Cypriot from their father and a quarter German and Scottish from their mother’s side
- In his spare time, one of the brothers likes to make perfumes.
- One of the brothers used to work in music management and artist campaigns. He was a video director for a few of the major UK Grime acts. He was also an A&R scout for Ministry of Sound and Atlantic Records.
- Their Business Mantra – “Have fun in your job. If you are not, then neither will your staff or your clients, it’s all a chain reaction. Don’t be scared to do something completely out the box, in fact the craziest and simplest ideas are the best. You should always take time to sit and look from an outsider. It is also wise to invest in your business and keep up to date and move with the times”
- “Business wise, always have fun in your job and make it enjoyable. If you and your staff are, then your clients will too”
Have you guessed who it is yet? No?
- “We have toyed with the idea of moving our business, but we love Twickenham, it’s like our home from home. We have so many great memories here and have built such a relationship with our clients. You could say they have seen us grow up over the years”
- Their parents took over the Twickenham branch which was originally a small chain called Gregory & Seeley in 1986. Their father was the store manager and their mother was the Head receptionist.
- Their parents were both also working in a Greek restaurant in the evening’s which is where they originally met. As well as working 2 jobs their father was also studying to be a contact lens practitioner and qualified dispensing optician.
It can only be, Nicos Antoniades and his 2 brothers Antonios and Marios, otherwise known as the 3 Brothers….Nik, Ant & Maz. Together they have a combined history in optics of over 45 years.
The Optical Gallery on King Street is their business which they took over 5 years ago from their parents. They have completely changed the business. They had always been known for being clinically excellent but clients were buying their eyewear online.
Whilst abroad in Venice he decided to visit a few opticians, and it blew him away. People wore glasses as an accessory rather than just a necessity. The frames were cool, unique and fun. No branding printed on them; these were niche brands that specialised in the art of spectacle making. “I was actually enjoying my optical pilgrimage, and if I was enjoying it then surely my brothers, staff and clients would enjoy it too. I knew I needed to bring this back to the UK”
Upon his return he told his brothers who thought it was a great idea. They were so excited that within two days they transformed the look of their store from a clinical environment to a relaxed cool interior to represent what they wanted to achieve. They wanted to be known as styling opticians. As well as knowing the best ways to correct your vision, they also knew how to help style your eyewear to match your image, personality and wardrobe in a fun easy process of an eyewear styling experience. It was essential to their new niche independent brands that we stocked as they looked like nothing in our surrounding area.
Their father hadn’t fully handed over the business at that point, and wasn’t aware of what the brothers had decided to do with the business. Upon his return they took him out for a meal and discussed their plans and direction. He didn’t fully understand but he was happy to see a zest of life and passion come back to The Optical Gallery. The next day their dad retired and said he was proud of what they had done and wished them luck.
5 years later, they have become a destination practice with clients and high-profile celebs travelling from all over the country to visit them for their clinical expertise and frame styling advice. The frames they have cannot be found in your ordinary high street opticians. Word of mouth is their biggest advertisement and they aim to give a world class service at all times.
The Optical Gallery, 16 King Street, Twickenham
Con O’Brien, Business Consultant
0785 401 3864