OUR BUSINESS’S HISTORY as best we know it.
Opened in 1961.
We aren’t sure of the exact date but what we do know is that no other business had ever occupied the space we inhabited since the building was erected. That would make the family run business born as Ballard Optical and known since 1994 as Eyedentity just a hair under 60 years old. While situated as a brick and mortar storefront, it was hands down one of the oldest extant businesses in the Riviera Village.
In early 2019, we left our roots (quite literally) and shed our outer shell. We chose to give up our brick and mortar storefront and move operations to a web based storefront, with a twist...
We created a groundbreaking and innovative concierge service which aimed to bridge the gap between the familiarity of the brick and mortar environment with the ease and comfort of at-home online shopping. We introduced Eyedentity Optique Online & “On The Move.” Personalized service from true professionals on a convenient web based platform. What do people love the most about it? The fact that we come to you!
WHY WE’RE INDEPENDENT
We are proud to be independent Opticians in an industry mauled with corporate monopolies controlling so much of it. We’ve stood by our principles and kept our promise to you, our clients, to remain fiercely independent in order to bring you the best products from around the globe which are produced by equally independent designers and manufacturers who’s sole product is optical goods.
No licensed brands will be found at Eyedentity Optique for they are almost all manufactured by four major companies which are, for the most part, completely vertically integrated. That’s right, they manufacture the frames they sell (even if it says Chanel or Tom Ford or Prada, these four big companies own the licenses to manufacture almost all of the biggest name brands you know. They have retail stores that then sell the products that they manufacture at full retail along with the lenses for prescription glasses (yes, they own those companies, too) and last but not least, they own the insurance companies which provide you with those coveted vision benefits.
So, if you go into a LensCrafters and use your Eyemed vision benefits for the eye exam and then pick out a Prada, Oakley or even something as all American as a Ray Ban frame and have them put Varilux lenses into the frames for your prescription, you may be unaware of it but every single part of that experience, every service and every product is owned by one massive, completely vertically integrated, global corporation, Luxottica from Italy. Choice? Not really...
The largest vision care provider VSP has their own labs and proprietary lenses and owns a frame manufacturing company called Marchon which has the licenses for Calvin Klein to DVF and on to Salvatore Ferragamo. You can bet that every time you use your benefits from VSP, you’re being steered towards their products first.
It is these very corporations which have driven the cost of eyeglasses and sunglasses to the levels they are now at. It is estimated that they may conservatively control somewhere between 70 to 80 percent of the global market for eyewear. Monopoly much?
and THE LIFER...
David B. Smith
Eyedentity Optique is owned and operated by locally born and raised Optician, David B Smith. David grew up in South Redondo and attended Alta Vista Elementary, Tulita Middle School, Calle Mayor Middle School and South High School '87. El Camino came next and it is during that time where he met, Wilma Dietiker (RIP). Wilma was the former owner of Eyedentity (David is the 3rd owner of this 60+ year old business).
"I can remember the day my life changed. That pivotal moment from which all else has developed. The day I met Wilma." (*full story available in person)
After working for Wilma from 1989 until 1993, David left on an exchange program for young professionals between the sister cities of Berlin, Germany and Los Angeles, California. The program only lasted one year but David enjoyed living abroad so much that he stayed until November of 1997. During this time he honed his craft working and training with some of the best Docents and Opticians in the world.
Germans are very regimented and precise and this work ethic and appreciation of such precision has given David a skill set which few in the Optical industry here in the US possess. This is one of the main reasons behind Eyedentity Optique having its own laboratory on premises. We control about 98% of the fabrication of the prescription eyeglasses we make from start to finish. After returning home, David worked a short time for Wilma and left to work in the wholesale side of the industry. Within the next year and a half, Wilma decided to retire and David began negotiations to buy the business in late 1999. By February of 2000, he was the owner.
With 30 years of experience under his belt, David is a true Benchman and Optician. From the front of the house to the back, David's knowledge of Optics has proven to be most beneficial to his clients over the past 20 years as owner of Eyedentity Optique. If you've ever had trouble with progressive lenses not working out for you, David knows which ones will function best with your prescription and eyecare needs.
We have left a bit more space for the future...