I was recently contacted to visit a third generation eye care specialist, M.A Fox Optometrists, in Poynton, Cheshire to meet up with brothers Jonathan and Nicholas to find out more about what they do and to review their bespoke frame styling and consultation services. Located in the quaint and friendly town, the shop can be easily spotted on the high street with ample of parking close by. The towns people were warm and cars immediately stopped to let me cross the busy street. I headed to their family run practise and was greated at the Reception and offered a cup of water or hot drink. I next, filled in my details and met up with the brothers. Nicholas guided me to the room to get my eye tested. He explained that as a norm, adults should get their eyes tested every once in two years while children from the ages of 4 to 18 and the elderly should get their eyes tested once a year. He also added that if a child has any sort of eye issues such as squints and lazy eyes, this needs to be picked up before the child is 6-years-old.
He started the session by asking some health related questions about me and then went on to check my vision which is part of the standard private sight examination. Next, he took a retinal photo of my eye to check for eye disease such as cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular disease, retinal disease, ocular tumours and other vascular diseases. Which I thought was really good as those with diabetes or other illness can benefit from this check. He also added that M.A Fox was specialised in diabetes screening and were part of the NHS Eyecare Services. Here’s my retinal photo, this was almost instant and I did not wait long for it.
The shop which has been in Poynton for the last 35 years has recently had some renovation work done to it. It is spacious and has an inviting and warm feel to it (have a look at the video below to see more visuals of the inside of the shop). I love supporting family run independent shops and this practise is no exception. The staff at the shop were very friendly and greated customers by their first names. Many of their customers who are local to Ponyton, have been coming to the shop for nearly 35 years. What’s different about them is that they offer bespoke eye glasses with recommendation on styling. They understand that modern and trendy customers use their eyewear as a form of making a statement or changing their look. Its more common now for a lot of people to own more than 1 pair or glasses with different frame colour / style to flatter their day and night or formal and informal look. The staff at M. A Fox have understood this and aim to help you achieve the look you are looking for.
Here’s Nicholas showing my eye test results to Dan who next help me select the perfect frame to suit my lifestyle and face.
I was surprised that Dan started the conversation by asking about my personal preference, likes, favourite colour clothes, favourite pastimes and even noticed the colour of my lipstick which I was wearing etc before he went off to pick a selection of glasses for me to choose from. I told him that I’d like a frame that is understated and for everyday wear. He immediately came back with four pair of glasses to suit my face shape which I tried out. This was great as there were hundreds of glasses and I would have been lost if I had to pick one for myself.
Here are some tips from Dan to help you choose your glasses:
- Glass shape needs to be opposite to the face shape ie, if you have an oval face, its not recommended using an oval shaped glass
- Areas above and below glasses are fairly even
- Eyes central horizontally, 2/3 vertically
- Lower rim should be opposite to jawline
- Bolder = Thicker, stronger contrast to skin tone
- Understated = Thinner Rims, neutral / transclucent colours
- Dressy = As bling as you possibly can get away with
I was told that the glasses would be ready within a week (but was called to come in to pick the glasses up after a day). I also did not realised it, but there is so much more that needs to be checked during the fitting, some of these includes:
- Making sure that the lens power is accurate, hence I had to do some reading tests with my glasses on
- I had to wear my glasses and move my head around, to ensure that my glasses fitted me well especially behind my ears and on the bridge of my nose. It had to be perfect….not loose or too tight …it had to be just snug.
- I was given tips on how to can care for my glasses and how to use glasses in the correct manner.
- I was given a bottle of cleaning spray to help clean off the fingerprint marks etc. This was free, but I was told I can return to the shop at anytime to get a refill (and this will only cost me £1). I was also told that if my glasses ever got loose, just to pop into the shop to get it adjusted for free.
Here’s a short video of my review of M. A. Fox Optometrists :
My glasses looked amazing and I totally love the look and feel of the frame. It felt light and the clarity of the glass is much better than my existing pair (these are reading glasses by the way). I was given a lovely custom bag with my glasses in a custom made casing and lens cleaning cloth and some magic cleaning liquid (I say magic as they clean the lens amazingly well and remove dirt and oil residue easily!) as well as a referral card for me to pass on to family and friends. I was told that if the person I referred to visited them, my friend would receive a 20% discount and I would receive a special gift as well.
How much does it cost and what services do they offer?
M.A Fox offers Eye Examinations, Contact Lenses, Spectacles, polarised and prescription sunglasses as well as eye health checks and here are their estimate charges:
- The standard private eye examination cost £30 while the Eye Test which includes the retinal photography costs £45. If you would like to go futher, you could also get yourself an eye test which costs £60 and this includes retinal photography and visual field investigation.
- As for the cost of glasses – A prescription glasses can cost anywhere from £89 to £399 while the cost of the lens can start from £79. Prices for sunglasses start from £139 (this does not include prescription costs).
- Do note that M.A. Fox Optometrists do offer free eye test for those under 16 years of age and those older than 60, they are also part of the NHS Eyecare Services.
Tips from Dan on how to care for your eyes:
- Use good quality polarised sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV Rays
- Eat lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits
- Exercise and live a healthy lifestyle
- Avoid smoking and avoid drinking too much alcohol, eating too much meat or food that contains fat
- If you work with computers, ensure regular breaks
- Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated
- Ensure that you do an eye test every once in two years (If you have a family history of glaucoma or diabetes, get your check done once every year especially if you are over 40)
- Totally loved that it was a local family run business offering bespoke service which is so rare nowadays. I felt important and was not just an ordinary customer.
- Their care to detail was great, noticed staff addressing customers by first name basis and having small chats with them. Althought they were a business and everything ran accordingly to schedule, I did not feel rushed at all. There was plenty of time from checks to consultation. It was basically a one-to-one service at my pace.
- I had a chance to chat with Jonathan, Nicholas and Dan and felt confident with their suggestions and knowledge on the product. Their experience shone through.
- They just did not hand over the glasses to me, but talked me throught the whole process. The eye checks and my fitting easily took about an hour in total with lots of questions and conversations. I did not feel rushed at any point. When I picked up my glasses that took another half an hour as well. It was not just pick up the glasses and leave, but ‘sit down, have a drink and have a conversation with us while we check your fitting’
- From my visit I can clearly see that the brothers and each of the staff are really passionate about eyecare and giving personalised service which you would not get in other franchise stores.
- They provide niche eye wear and support only esteemed eyewear designers so that their customers have only the best quality for their budget.
- If I had to give a negative point it would only be the price factor. Yes bespoke service does cost much more than your standard online store, but I feel that I’d rather pay for a complimentary piece of eyecare which makes a strong fashion statement than wearing a pair of glasses that don’t fit well or suit my personality.
- That being said, I am planning to head there again to get my next pair of shades as well as get both my children’s eyes tested
What Are their Opening Hours?
I would totally recommend you making an appointment first before heading to the shop as they are busy. Their opening hours are:
Monday & Tuesday : 9.15 to 13.00, 14.00 to 17.30
Wednesday: 9.15 to 13.00
Thursday & Friday : 9.15 – 13.00, 14.00 – 17.30
Saturday: 9.15 to 12.15
Where is Fox Opticians?
Fabulously located in the charming little town of Poynton in Stockport, Cheshire. Just key in the postcode on google maps for easy direction. Fox Optician is located on the high street and you can easily park up at Waitrose which is just a 5 minute walk away from the shop.
56 Park Lane
About Fox-Stevens Optometrists
In 1965 Mr Gregory Henry Fox opened up in Handforth and today his grandsons own & run Fox-Stevens Optometrists. Nicholas & Jonathan Fox took over the business in December 2010 from their Father Michael Fox & Linda Stonefield. They still believe in their grandfathers views to provide the best possible eye care service for all of their clients whether it be Health awareness, treatment or choosing the best possible eye correction.
About Nicholas L Fox
Nicholas Fox qualified in August 2006 as a member of the General Optical Council and the Association Of Optometrists. He has a vast amount of experience from his training at the Hospital Eye Service as well as multiple & private Independent Practice. He is a Diabetic grader for the East Cheshire NHS and has an interest in Glaucoma & Macula degeneration screening. He regularly attends workshops and conferences around the Country to keep up-to-date with the latest advances of Optometry and patient care.
About Jonathan D Fox
(FBDO CL Dispensing Contact Lens Optometrist)
Has been in optics for over 15 years. When he was younger he used to follow his dad around the practice and always found the profession fascinating. He studied in London to become a Dispensing Optometrist and after qualifying took additional training to become a contact lens specialist. Moving back to Manchester in 2006 he kept up to date with training and attends seminars all over the North West.
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