Industry Spotlight: King & Rose Austin
Welcome back to AO's Industry Spotlight, where we highlight some of our favorite movers in the Independent Optical industry. Last time we spoke with the team at Nashville's Look East, an independent-only purveyor in one of the hippest neighborhoods in America. This week we went 800 miles southwest, but as close as it gets in mission and style, and chatted with King & Rose Optical in Austin. Also committed to independent-only frames, Optometrist and K&R founder Dr. Drew Provost opened his shop less than a year ago. King & Rose is at the forefront of the optical digital age, with in-house product shots, efficient ecommerce, and a beautiful social media presence. Read on to get to know Dr. Drew and the K&R mission.
First, how did you get into the optical industry and what drew you to it?
Dr. Provost: My father who happens to be an Optometrist convinced me to pursue the field and I’m so thankful for his advice. I love the optical industry because it blends fashion and technology with helping people. I’ve always been drawn to quality, detail and design so the world of independent eyewear is a perfect fit.
In July you celebrate being open for 1 year, what has been the toughest challenge as a new shop this far?
The toughest part has been figuring out the best way to advertise and promote the business to reach our target demographic. Our clients have a taste for style and fashion so we’ve done some inventive things like pop-up shops and partnering with other local businesses that have the same clientele.
We love following you on social media! How do you think your social media presence has helped your business?
Thanks! Our optical manager Bryan and the rest of the team at King and Rose are incredible and put a lot of extra love into our social media. We believe in operating at the highest level when it comes to representing the products and brands we work with. Our social media has been an essential tool for us to connect with potential clients and designers. We also just made an unbelievable deal to partner with a marquee event in the Texas fashion world and are so excited to share more about that soon!
Any advice to other optical shops wanting to get more involved in using social media?
Have fun with it and be true to your store’s brand. The goal is not just to be pretty, but to attract your perfect client. Know who your demographic is and get after it!
If you could pick any person, throughout history, to walk into your shop needing frames who would you most like to outfit?
I’m terrible with questions like this! Maybe Matthew McConaughey since he lives in Austin….alright, alright, alright!
As a store that sells only independent brands how do you combat the need to work with conglomerates?
Collections we stock must meet our criteria of high quality and thoughtful design. They must also have a story to tell. We were very intentional from the beginning that King and Rose would only stock independent brands meeting these criteria so there has not been a need to accommodate the big boys.
Does Optometry feel like a legacy career for your family?
Yes. My father and my brother are both Optometrists. It has been a great experience being able to talk shop with them, especially my brother since he also champions independent eyewear in his Portland stores. Even my two-year-old knows all the parts to a pair of eyeglasses now so who knows, she might be next!
If you weren't in the optical industry what would you be doing?
Learning a new language and exploring the world, one beach at a time
What is your favorite Article One frame?
There are so many winners in the collection it is hard to decide but I’d have to go with the Walsh in brushed silver. It’s a classic and fits like a glove. I fully expect it to be my new daily driver.
Thanks, Dr. Provost, and King & Rose Optical for fighting the good fight and finding the good frames.