By: Mary McCandless
Photo By: Alice G. Patterson
As kids, we were influenced and mesmerized by astronauts, doctors, nurses and even the super hero in comic books. These were the people that we thought we wanted to grow up to be, but as we got older our ideas of who and what we wanted to be changed. However, for Stacy Murphy they did not. At the young age of nine, she knew what she wanted to do and that was a job in optics. Each year she could not wait for her yearly exam at the optometrist. Most kids would put up a fuss about going to the doctors, but not Stacy. She looked forward to her visits. I asked Stacy if she ever wore contacts since she loved glasses, she said, “I was not a spoiled child, and it was the only thing I can remember crying to my mother every day to get contacts, and It meant going to the eye doctor. I wore them all of my high school years and probably my next ten years after high school.”
Stacy loved the smell of the optician’s office, and to see her doctor whom unbeknownst to him was the driving force of her now career. It was a long history to her short path. The whole process of the optician’s job was interesting to her. Although as many of us change our minds as to what we want to do in life; it did not change for Stacy. In fact, in became her goal.
After high school Stacy wanted to be in Optical in some capacity and wanted to be an eye doctor, but in her junior – senior year, she knew that college right out of high school was not for her because she did not feel she was disciplined enough. She eventually looked into a program at Erie Community College in Buffalo that offered a degree in Optics, which is dispensing, and earned her degree. There are not a whole lot of people in her line of work that have this degree. After graduation she had a big decision to make whether to go private or go to the corporate sector. She decided to go to Pearl Vision and was there for 12 years. Stacy says, “ that is where I really found a love for people, retail, eyeglasses, and management; Pearl Vision was very good to me, and they paid for college.” So she decided to go back to college and get her degree in finance. I loved the money part of the optical world.
When Stacy got married and had kids, she took a bit of a break going from full-time to part-time. Pearl Vision again was really good to her and let her work part-time. When she moved from Atlanta back home to Syracuse she took a job with a private optometrist. It was a whole new world for her that she enjoyed. However, with family, husband and kids, she really did not want to work full time anymore. Stacy decided to open a bead shop called Market Beads in Liverpool. The shop offered a wide variety of beads, charms, and specialty stones along with everything you needed to make jewelry. The shop also offered classes on how to make jewelry. The bead store taught her more about retail and management all of which she learned at school and her job at Pearl. It also gave her the opportunity to meet new people, fine tune her skill set along with the flexibility she needed for family life. She had the store for six years and realized after a while that the bead making industry was not as popular as she thought and decided to close it. Stacy said, “I knew my capabilities of running a company and owning my own business, and management to literally seeing myself as the big cheese, I think that is what the bead company gave me. Even though the bead world was very good to me, it was still a hobby shop it wasn’t a necessity in life, and you could only grow it so much.”
After taking a short break she went back to the private world with a local optometrist and worked in a small office for about nine months. Stacy realized that by doing this she was not utilizing her education along with her management skills, finance skills and people skills. She wanted to take over his optical business, but her did not want her to. Stacy then went to her accountant and said, “I want to have my own business, either a restaurant or an optical store.” Her accountant said “ I do not want you to do a restaurant, so I guess it is optical.” It was the best thing for her because she did not know the restaurant business.
Stacy wanted to have something different that offered one on one personal service with a mix of sophisticated, classy and sassy quality frames. “I knew a luxury world existed, but Syracuse did not have one yet.” It was important that people could have real choice frames, which would allow them the funky, functional and unique look that fit their personality. To do that, she had to use her own creativity, passion and money to make it happen. Thus Frameology was born. It is a business of necessity in a 34 billion-dollar industry, and her piece of this world is extremely small and said, “if you do it right and stay at a constant level of customer service and good product you have to keep your foot on the gas pedal and never let up.”
She had the support from her family. They knew this was Stacy’s calling, and she had the passion and fortitude to do it, but also realized that it took money. It was not an easy process. The hardest part to getting to this point was finances. She had recently divorced and didn’t have the second income. Stacy went on to say, “I had no credit. I was kind of stupid thinking; I could get a loan, which is impossible being divorced.” Her business was opened solely on credit cards something she does not recommend ever.
Frameology is quaint and personable carrying exclusive lines, which means that she has exclusivity on all of them, and most other optical stores cannot carry them. They are all European, not made in China; this is a personal decision and made of the best materials and by hand. They are high-quality artisan labels that are colorful, with different shapes, and sizes. She carries Theo, Ann e et Valentin, Mykita, Salt and Bevel to name a few. Her tag line is “ We have eyewear for self-expression.” I cater to quality and self-expression. Stacy has a method in her madness when showing frames. She will have the customer try on a ton of frames, assisting them with what they think would look good on them. It is usually about ten to twelve frames. “We will have them take a seat and try on two frames and have them eliminate one of them, then two more and get rid of one. Now, when they are down to about six frames, we will do it again until they are down to just two frames that they like. This process helps them to make a decision between the two best frames that they like.” The biggest thing about this process is that the customer does not leave second-guessing their choice, and are confident about their decision.
Stacy’s journey has been a long and hard one, but she is providing a product that is classy, unique and sassy that you will want to check out. It is refreshing to find a selection of frames that fit each individuals personality. Her hard work has also paid off, recently Frameology was featured in the April 2018 issue of Invision highlighting her store and achievements.
When I asked Stacy what advice she would give she said, “ Anyone can open a business. You just have to have the guts and fortitude, and you have to have an exit plan.” Framelogy has given me the goal I always saw my sitting at. Discover Frameology for your self and visit her store located at 5781 Bridge Street or visit www.frameologyoptical.com
“To Get Something You Never Had,
You Have To Do Something You’ve Never Done”.
~ Sig Hanson