Independent opticians Anne Gill Eyecare has reached the landmark achievement of 1,000 customers on its second anniversary.
Since opening the opticians in London Road, North End, Portsmouth, two years ago, owner Anne Gill, of Southsea, has seen her business go from strength to strength.
‘To have reached such a milestone on our second anniversary is really thrilling,’ she said.
‘People often say they need a boost at this time of year, and we have certainly had an exciting start to 2015.’
Kerrie Morrison, of Wickham, became the 1,000th customer after going to the optician with eyesight problems at the end of last year.
‘It was just before Christmas and suddenly I started to experience what I can only describe as kaleidoscopic vision,’ explained Kerrie, 51.
‘It was as if the light was pulsating and I was frightened, so I got on the phone to Anne.’
After tests, Kerrie was given a clean bill of eye health. ‘I felt happier the moment I walked in the shop – it is so modern, clean, tidy and welcoming,’ she added.
Anne, 58, credits her success to the emphasis she puts on maintaining a personable atmosphere.
‘When someone comes to the door we are so delighted that someone has chosen us,’ explained Anne.
‘If you give them a good personal service and treat them like a person then they will recommend you.’
Anne recalls the hard work she put into establishing the business, working seven-day weeks and going out on trips with her husband Kevin to hand out leaflets.
‘The big companies have phenomenally big budgets to advertise and the big challenge for me is that as a small business you really feel you’re on your own,’ she said.
It wasn’t until she began networking with local businesses that she saw things take off and things became easier.
‘Networking groups give you phenomenal support.’
‘Now I love coming to work every morning’
Anne Gill Eyecare has also been short-listed for Retailer of the Year and Innovation of the Year for The News Business Excellence Awards 2015.