Rae & Rae, a new family-run opticians which opened its doors at the end of last year, is a recent arrival on York’s thriving independent scene.
Georgia Rae, a York local who grew up in Huby and attended Easingwold School, and mother, Tracey, launched the business in December.
We caught up with Georgia to find out more.
“Optometry runs in the family,” she asserts. Georgia’s grandfather ran a successful family opticians for over 30 years, and his father before him was an optician. Georgia – now 27 – has worked in an opticians since she was just 16 so despite being relatively young already has a wealth of experience.
Located in the heart of York’s famed indie quarter – “Bishy” Road – Georgia hopes to tap into the strong community spirit which is synonymous with the area.
“It’s the perfect place for an independent. The locals are so supportive of all the small businesses. They really embrace the local shopping movement. It was a no brainer, really.”
Although “the new kid on the block,” number 33 has a proud, 30-year history of serving the community with expert eyecare, Georgia explains. The opticians started life as The Spectacle Galley in the ‘90s before becoming McBrides and most recently Cameron Beaumont, where for two and a half years Georgia was the lead optometrist prior to purchasing the business.
“We’re relatively small and boutique, which means we can’t stock thousands of frames,” Georgia says. “Each of our frames must earn a place in our store.”
Georgia and Tracey, along with Dispensing Optician, Lesley Collins, handpick frames from the best designer and independent brands.
“Being truly family-owned and independent we’re free to pick who we want to work with. We have a constantly evolving collection and make a conscious effort to stock independent manufacturers, most of which you won’t find in your average high street opticians.”
“Since taking over we have already secured three amazing new brands, none of which were previously available in York.”
As an essential service, opticians are permitted to stay open during the current lockdown. The store is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 10am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 1pm.