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I always prided myself on having such “perfect” vision – better than perfect in fact. I had 20/15 vision and I didn’t mind bragging about it! Pride cometh before the fall as the old adage goes! It seems the moment I turned 44, it was like someone hit the proverbial light switch. Or should I say, someone turned the dimmer down a notch! It seemed as if one minute I could read the fine print, and the next it was all a blur.
Well, I immediately booked an appointment with an eye doctor. It was clear to me that I had an eye infection at minimum or a brain tumor at worst! However, after explaining my symptoms and the process of a short examination, my ophthalmologist delivered his diagnosis. He was sorry to inform me that I had the “plague” – the plague of the 40s. With a wry, I’ve seen this before tone in his voice, he said. “You’re fine. Stop by Walgreens on the way home and pick up a pair of readers.”
“Did you say readers”, I whispered, hoping I had misunderstood and praying that nobody in the waiting room heard me or him. Unfortunately, he nodded affirmatively, confirming what I already thought…I’m officially old! I would have to wear granny glasses!
I did not drop by Walgreens on the way home. In fact, like any self-respecting person in pure denial, I boycotted Walgreens for a month. However, after many attempts to read menus at restaurants or price tags while shopping, I finally succumbed.
What an ordeal. I must have tried on every pair of reading glasses on the rack trying to find that one pair of “spectacles” that might be…well…make me appear youthful or playful, perhaps even remotely appealing. But, it was a disaster!
After finally picking out a pair that I felt I could live with and using them in daily life for just a week, I realized just how difficult it was to keep up with the darn things! I would lay them down in my office and walk off and leave them. I would leave them in the living room or in the bedroom. Yes, even the bathroom. Even pulling them from my purse was a chore. I would rummage around for what seemed like five minutes just so I could read the dosage on my son’s cough medicine bottle!
Let’s just say that the number of reading glasses I lost is embarrassingly high. The nice lady at the Walgreen’s cash register knew me on a first-name basis. I began purchasing the “10 pack” at Costco and I strategically placed a pair in every room, the car, my purse and on top of my head. Then one day while having lunch with a friend my age, it hit me! As I began digging around in my purse searching for my glasses, I noticed that she had her reading glasses hanging from her neck on what I had come to refer to as a “granny cord”.
I refused to wear the “granny” cord but I definitely understood its convenience and practicality. I just couldn’t get over how it reminded me of Auntie Em from the Wizard of Oz. In any case, I knew at that very moment, I was going to invent a pair of reading glasses that would be camouflaged as a “necklace”. But I also knew it would have to really look good and be perceived as a true piece of fashion and jewelry.
I thought of myself as trendy. I had a business helping people design the interior of their homes. Style and fashion were part of my daily life and of course I also dressed professional. I always enjoyed “spicing” it up a bit, whether I was decorating a living room or picking out an outfit. So, there I was, a woman in her forties with the “plague” and a limited fashion background who had an idea.
So, I did what anyone would do…I Googled! But, after much research and not finding what I knew would solve my dilemma, I took pencil to paper and began to draw what I wanted. I surprised myself and came up with what I thought were novel ideas that offered the convenience of having a pair of glasses around one’s neck with the incentive of having them double as a chic fashion accessory! The more I worked at it, the more they took the form of legitimate jewelry and fashion items. I dubbed them “neckglasses” and after sharing my ideas to several friends, I knew I was on to something when they urged me to “hurry up” because they wanted a pair as soon as possible!
My quest to create the antidote to the “plague of the forties for women” finally has come to fruition. I hope you like our first two options and the designs we’ve developed. But more importantly, I hope we’ve been able to give you something that you need but also WANT.