This week, Laura and Joelle are joined by Drew Ladochi, owner of Pearle Vision in Andersonville, where your eye health and wellness is their primary focus. Drew has been in the optical world for nearly 10 years and is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life. You can visit Drew at Pearle Vision for eye exams, prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, contacts and more at 4814 N. Clark.
“It’s all about the people. From the people you put on your team, to the people who come into your store and how you treat them.” -Drew Ladochi
Listen to Episode 73 with Drew Ladochi!
Here are some references from Episode 73 that you may want to check out:
- Drew is originally from Michigan, just outside of Detroit. Specifically, he’s from Algonac, MI from where you can see Canada!
- Drew has had a tenured career in retail. Prior to Pearle, Drew worked at Express, where he managed large teams of staff, trainings, and the busy holiday seasons. Now, he welcomes the change of managing a small team of 3, which allows him to know his staff and provide the best experience for customers.
- After 10 years in retail, an opportunity to open his very own eye care franchise with his cousin-in-law came along. Drew has lived in Andersonville since 2012, and opening Pearle this past year meant being in a neighborhood he loved, improving the quality of life for others, with the added bonus of a short commute and no traffic! Drew and his business partner specifically selected Pearle because of their values. The founder, Dr. Stanley Pearle, believed in neighborhood eye centers that offered great care, selection, and customer relationships. In a tough competitive market filled with online options and other retail, Pearle sets itself apart by offering great care, technology, and follow up.
- At a typical visit, a customer can expect to be greeted, and walked through their eye care needs. Everything is provided to them electronically for their convenience. They are guided through the store, where there is a lab on-site which can provide eyeglasses in just 1 hour, provided the lenses are in stock.
- Drew hasn’t always worn glasses, but currently wears blue light filter glasses which reduce eye strain by removing the brightest light from the color spectrum: blue. Since so many of us spend so much time in front of screens, they help to make everyday life more comfortable.
- Pearle’s location is close to other Andersonville businesses; Ora, StudioUs, Guesthouse Hotel, and Ridman’s, to name a few. Drew loves chatting with his neighbors and promoting them to visitors, friends, and family. They offer an alternative to downtown options and everyone loves them!
- In addition to providing eye care in Andersonville, Drew is an avid volunteer with One Sight, a vision care and eyewear charity. It is through this charity that Drew solidified his passion for providing eye care, especially to those who need it most. His charity work has brought him to Atlanta, Vietnam, and most recently Mexico, just a few short weeks ago. In Mexico, One Sight served 4,600 people, of which Drew saw 1,600. Specifically, he also had the opportunity to help teach others how to make glasses quickly and correctly. Describing his experience in Mexico, Drew says that it was exhausting (requiring lots of carbs!), and really put things into perspective. The people he served shared that they travel by foot and car, anywhere from 3-6 hours, and that their primary reason for eye care was so they could see well enough to read, and in turn work.
- Outside of Pearle Vision Drew also cultivates a serious hobby of coaching and playing in LGTB+ sports leagues, often through Chicago Metro Sports Association. He’s been on almost every kind of team imaginable (bocce, bowling, softball, volleyball, dodgeball, kickball, etc.) and even though he didn’t play sports much as a kid, as an adult he has discovered fun in putting a team together. His #1 one rule? No yelling. That, and don’t be mean and have fun! His favorite sport is dodgeball…because it’s funny! Grown people hitting each other with foam balls is just funny, and a far improvement from the old-school days of dreaded rubber kick balls! His teams have also distinguished themselves by wearing blue wigs, and being family-friendly with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. They don’t take themselves too seriously…but don’t let that fool you!
- When reflecting on characteristics and qualities essential to success, Drew returns to his mother’s advice. “It’s all about the people, from the people on your team to the people who come in your store and how you treat them,” he says. “Be genuine, and how you treat others is how you will be treated.”
- If he could swap with another Andersonville business for a day, it would be Strange Cargo. Drew regularly uses them for his sports team jerseys, love the quality of their work, and feels connected to them because of his retail background. And, the offer glitter print! It rocks his world.
This week’s episode is sponsored by locally-owned Pearle Vision on Clark & Lawrence at 4818 N Clark. Go visit Drew and his team!