Framing the world with a different pair of glasses
By Anasuya Kesavan, Marketing and Communications
A successful career can mean different things to different people. For Dispensing Opticianry grads Sara Moshurchak and Dana Dempsey, success means bringing creativity and customization to producing unique eye wear in an industry dominated by mass production.
Sara, a Regina native, is the owner of Mosh Framemakers, a one-of-a-kind Canadian optical store that specializes in custom-made, hand-crafted eye wear. She says, “As far as I know, I’m the only female eye-wear designer doing this type of work in Canada.” Dana Dempsey is her licensed optician who is also training under her and learning the art of “making people feel great about themselves with a pair of glasses.”
The Douglas College alums believe their success lies in polishing and refining the skills they gained in the two-year Dispensing Opticianry Program, where they got to apply their classroom learning in practicums.
“If you didn’t know a single thing about opticianry, Douglas College is the right call,” says Sara, who has 18 years’ experience in the business. “The majority of what we do as opticians is practical and impossible to teach. Skills are gained through experience and time. The in-depth program at Douglas College made me an attractive hire.”
Dana, who graduated in 2016, says, “I liked the smaller class sizes, individualized learning experience and support. We learned skills that can make an average optician a great optician.”
The two say that to truly embrace their profession, newcomers should specialize and bring their unique personality into their practice. Sara, who comes from a family who make their own toys and clothes, was always keen to create hand-crafted products. She took an apprenticeship with Klaus Sebök, a German optician, whose old-school method of making hand-crafted frames she found inspiring. This eight-year association led her to create a niche in the eye wear business and eventually strike out on her own.
A firm believer in mentorship, Sara says it’s important to find a person whose work you admire and then seek their guidance. “My curiosity and eagerness to learn has brought me so far. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and never refuse an opportunity to learn. You may have to do unglamorous work for months to gain confidence.”
Currently, she designs and produces individualized frames inspired by personal stories. They can take anywhere between six and 30 hours to produce. Sara says filing, sanding and polishing frames by hand and “seeing an idea transform into a product that has so much meaning and personal story” gives her a special satisfaction.
Dana, a former paramedic, was inspired by the idea of helping people see. She also liked the idea of a short work-related college program that was close to home. “I like working with people and with my hands,” she says. “To be able to say that I designed and made glasses, and made someone happy, is my ambition.”