following my calling later in life

renee_renees_readers

Featured Story in HEALTHY AGING MAGAZINE  WINTER 2021 

It was something I thought about for a long time.  What would I do if I were to create my own line of reading glasses?  What would the styles look like, what would be my brand, and do I even know enough to do this?  Discouraged by a list of questions that just became longer, the dream remained just a dream also because in reality I was a mother of three and the daughter of aging parents and that was enough to keep me grounded and very busy.

I thought about having my own brand of glasses -on sleepless nights and difficult days of raising children, caring for elderly parents and running a business; it was my escape.  Then my father died, and my mother’s Alzheimer’s became full-blown and my days became even more busy pushing myself towards exhaustion as I struggled to get through each day that even with joyful happenings, I was overshadowed  by my caregiver worries.  I was not alone.

As a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association, and now in my new role as support group facilitator, there are times I am just overwhelmed with emotion when I hear the heart-breaking stories of caregivers.  There is no one who feels the effects of quarantine more than Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.  Every day is a challenge.  Support services are their lifeline and that is one of the many reasons why I am committed volunteer.

Having worked in fashion and retail a good part of my life, I have made many observations but the one that stuck with me the most is how the things that we experience in our life surfaces in our product picks and forms the style that silently speaks your story. 

And so, in a now or never decision, Renee’s Readers was created. I didn’t have to search far for inspiration, it was all around me.  In my store customers, in friends, in family and many times complete strangers. Everybody had a story. 

If anything, creating Renee’s Readers has taught me that sometimes we don’t realize our own strengths.  As a mother, I raised my children to believe in themselves, to work hard to accomplish their goals- and when they fall down trying, not to give up and to treat others the way that they would want to be treated.  

My own words empowered me.

For more than 30 years practicing as a licensed optician, I have helped people select eyewear that flatters them and performs to their highest expectations. I have been able to draw upon my life and previous business experiences to create readers that offer customers the clearest vision with styles so they can look their best. I’m happy that I’ve been able to combine my business with giving back through my work with the Alzheimer’s initiatives.

This is what keeps me going.

Renee