Norfolk opticians Dipple & Conway has named as one of the most fashion-forward in the UK. The directors, Matthew and Ben Conway, explains how the heritage brand has become a fashion institution in the county
An independent, family-owned, Norfolk business, has been named as one of the six most fashionable in the UK within its sector. Dipple & Conway opticians, which has practices in Norwich, Swaffham and Diss has been shortlisted in the Optician Awards within the Fashion Practice of the Year category. Fashion and eyewear are inextricably linked, and the Optician Awards, which is run in conjunction with the UK optometry industry’s leading publication, was looking for practices that understand how style and trends are translated into retail optics.
Dipple & Conway was founded in 1916 and over 107 years has grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of its customer base.
‘Whilst in many ways we are a heritage brand, with a long history and a proven reputation in delivering outstanding eyecare to many generations of customers, we are also proud to be a fashion forward business,’ explains Matthew Conway, director of Dipple & Conway. ‘From the earliest days of the business, eyewear was as much about fashion as it was about sight. In those days, jewellers often branched out into optics; selling the pre-war version of ‘ready-readers’ or magnifying spectacles and producing gold frames. So, when jeweller George Dipple and optician Thomas Conway got together it was a match made in heaven.
‘In terms of clinical expertise, as a business we are second to none,’ continues Matthew. “Each of our practices is equipped with state-of-the-art optometry equipment such as the latest OCT machines which can take pictures of the back of the eye, often spotting problems before a patient is aware they exist. But ensuring that our customers look and feel their best is also of paramount importance, so the ability to blend the worlds of fashion, eyewear and clinical excellent is essential. We believe that the right pair of glasses can elevate an outfit, reflect an individual’s personality and boost a person’s confidence.’
Dipple & Conway takes style seriously; attending global trade shows, visiting designers and bringing a world class range of cutting-edge frames to Norfolk. Each local branch has an unrivalled selection of spectacles for customers to try, carefully curated to suit the customer base at each practice.
‘We collaborate with both mainstream and niche spectacle manufacturers,’ says Ben Conway, co-director of Dipple & Conway. ‘It means we have very well-known designer names such as Dior and Tom Ford sitting alongside super-cool eyewear specialists such as Cutler & Gross and Dutz. We also have our unique Dipple & Conway range, made by German manufacturer Schnuchel, with new frames being commissioned twice a year to reflect latest trends.
‘We believe that Dipple & Conway isn’t just an optician, it’s a fashion institution in Norfolk,’ continues Ben. ‘We love collaborating with local designers, magazines, social media influencers and style-focused events, to show that glasses aren’t a necessary evil, they are a fabulous fashion accessory and style statement. When customers are looking for new glasses, they know they will receive great advice and be encouraged to try something different. We listen to what they tell us and ensure they leave with both excellent vision and glasses they feel amazing in.’
The winners of the Optician Awards will be announced in London on December 9, 2023.
For more information on Dipple & Conway, visit dippleconway.co.uk.
Main image: Matthew Conway (left) and Ben Conway (right), co-Directors of dippleconway.co.uk – supplied by Plain Speaking PR