Women with Vision

Sales & Marketing Superstar

Location Edmonton Owner Jackie Fox, Douglas Reinbold, Brittany Reinbold
Employees 6 Founded 2004

★ The Business

Conventional wisdom says that you don’t limit the size of your market if you don’t have to. But Doug Reinbold, who was inspired by the strength that his mother, aunt and sister all showed as they dealt with their nearly-simultaneous cancer diagnoses, decided that his new optical business would be aimed specifically – and, at the start, solely – at women. “Everyone we talked to said we were absolutely nuts just focusing on women,” he says. “But the more I heard it wouldn’t work, the more I knew it would.” He was right. The business flourished, even in the face of a wave of new low-cost online optical businesses and a recession that wiped out virtually every other retailer in its building on 105 Street in Edmonton.

★ The Case

With a storefront that’s located in what might charitably be called a neighbourhood in transition – customers are all buzzed in through a back entrance – Women with Vision has always depended on advertising to bring people through the door. They’ve made a point of getting involved in the city’s fashion scene, and if you see a model wearing a pair of frames in Edmonton the chances are pretty good that they came from Women with Vision. But an even bigger component of their success is their everyman (and everywoman) “Our Brand is You” advertising campaigns that feature customers, friends and family members. “It helped people connect because they could see themselves in it,” says co-owner Jackie Fox. Her favourite was the Henry campaign that officially announced their foray into men’s eyewear, which ended up making the 65-year-old customer-cum-model famous. “The feedback we got from the Henry campaign was unbelievable,” she says. “Henry became a local celebrity, and it wasn’t even that much about the frames.”

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