Dual Focus - An interview by Jane The Grey Attic

Practicality and creativity dance in harmony at WINK.

To challenge and change takes resilience, but more importantly, demanding to see something differently takes courage. In an act of intuition, Jo Twaddell began to explore her work as a way to inject more creativity and playfulness into her life. She launched WINK in 2006 and, in doing so, began breaking down the restrictive barriers of what the optometry industry looked like.

Emily Nolan 1 Emily Nolan 2

Stepping into the WINK world, we remember that in returning to the act of play, we relinquish our role as an adult—that stern and serious character who places completion before curiosity—pressing pause on that relentless pursuit of perfection and coming home instead to our childhood selves: innocent, experimental, and brave.

ANNIKA HEIN: William Shakespeare has long been associated with the famous quote, ‘The eyes are the windows to your soul.’ What was it about working within the space of optometry that first piqued your interest?
Jo Twaddell: When I was in the UK, I crossed paths with someone who was so inspirational and he happened to be an optometrist and I remember being quite intrigued by that. I was drawn to the way he weaved his passion of the arts into his work, and he was just having so much fun! I vividly remember thinking; I want to curate a life that is that playful. It’s fascinating how some see optometry as a linear expression. There are so many layers that one can infuse into an industry. For me, I use optometry as the vehicle for creativity and playfulness.

The non-verbal language of our eyes has fascinated me though. Experts whose jobs require them to study faces have observed that eyes are the window to the soul because they’re the sincerest part of the face. I mean, from a content point of view, there’s so much creativity that can be explored just from this alone!

Can you share a little background on WINK and the store you have in Melbourne?
Jo: I started WINK in 2006. I had my own personal experience in buying glasses and I realised there was a lack of choice away from the mass- produced eyewear norm. So I was committed to [creating] a space [that] offered options [honouring] innovation, creativity, and craftsmanship.

How does WINK differ from other optometry experiences?
Jo: WINK is an optical house, meaning it’s where creativity is explored and shared. A lot of people always comment that when walking past WINK, it looks like people are having fun. [The store is] full of activity and colour.

Lucy Rouw: The service is deeply personal. We want our clients to feel expended[2] in their glasses, the better they feel and look in them the more fulfilled we are. Unlike other stores, our eyewear is not branded labels, our style is more discreet, letting craftsmanship and the designer story be the elements that shine.

Read the full interview by Annika Hein for Jane the Grey Attic here

Images by Bobby Clark.

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