Start a Pearle Vision Franchise and Love What You Do: Q&A with Leslie Pacer
When her old job wasn’t working out, Leslie Pacer decided to start a Pearle Vision franchise near Rochester, NY, and never looked back
Leslie Pacer felt like she wasn’t in control of her own life. Working in a job where colleagues were leaving left and right, she wanted to be the one steering her career, so she decided to start a Pearle Vision franchise. After five years as a Licensed Operator near Rochester, New York, she says she’d do it all over again. Below, Pacer tells us more about why she chose Pearle Vision.
Where is your Pearle Vision located, and when did you get started?
I am an optician and Licensed Operator in Webster, New York, near Rochester. We actually started the process in March or April of 2010 and by the time we got all our ducks in a row, found our location and really committed to the whole idea, we opened in September of 2011.
You opened a brand-new location?
Yes, brand-new. There were no Pearle Visions in our town; the nearest one was about 10 miles away. I picked our town because it’s my town. It’s my neighbors, it’s my friends. I’m taking care of the people that I know, that I interact with, that my kids go to school with. One of my associates made a comment to me about a week or so ago. She hasn’t been there that long, and she said, “Do you know everybody?” and I looked at her and I said, “No, why?” She said, “Because everybody that comes in here, you find something in common with them.” I enjoy that. I enjoy working in the community that I live in.
The Pearle Vision brand had good name recognition in the area when we opened up and people were very excited that they didn’t have to drive 10 to 15 miles to the location in the mall.
How did you first become interested in owning your own Pearle Vision?
It actually started because of a bad day at my other job. My previous employer had quite a few people who had jumped ship. One of them, my boss, purchased an existing Pearle Vision, and he was very happy with that decision.
So one night when I couldn’t sleep at night after a bad day at work, I sat on the computer and I researched Pearle Vision. It came up with an interest form and I thought, “Well, I’ll fill it out.” I assumed they’d send me a packet of information in the mail.
I never even mentioned it to my husband; he had no idea I had looked into this. The next morning, I get a phone call at 9:30 in the morning and I ended up setting up an appointment to meet with the gentleman that called.
I called my husband at work to tell him what I was doing. When I said, “You’ll never guess what I did when I stayed up late last night,” he said, “I know you, you played mahjong.” I told him that I had put in interest paperwork to start a Pearle Vision franchise; he asked if I was serious about this and I said, “You know, I think I am.” He was on board from day one.
How did you become an optician?
I became an optician in 1981. I went to a two-year program in college and I was licensed right away, and soon my husband and I moved to Webster, New York.
When I got to Webster, I was hired as an assistant retail manager at another chain. They had me sitting in on interviews for the retail manager, and finally I looked at the GM, and said, “Why not interview for an assistant, and I could be the retail manager?” It turned out they were waiting for me to say that’s what I wanted.
That taught me to take charge of my life, and I kept that in mind when I was looking to leave my last job. I needed to be someplace where I have control over my future, where I have support, but I also have options and can direct my future, and that led me to Pearle Vision. We will hit our five-year anniversary in September.
What would you tell another optician if they were looking to start a Pearle Vision franchise?
I think Pearle Vision is a good opportunity if you want to be the owner and decision-maker, but you know you need some support that you wouldn’t have as an independent. If I were to decide to open up Pacer Optical as an independent, I don’t believe I would be as successful as I am. There is something to be said about having that brand behind you, and having the same core values and the same blueprint in line throughout the company.
What do you like about owning a Pearle Vision?
I like walking in there, and knowing that it’s my store. Ultimately I can make the decisions. Yes, there are guidelines, there are things that you have to make sure that you are doing correctly, but I think we do a good job of doing those things.
If you were to start over again today, would you still do the same thing?
I would do it again. There are things, in any company, that you just wish they would do a little differently, and I believe that the group we have in place now is paying attention to our feedback. They’re looking at things and saying, “How can we make it better?”
Learn about Pearle Vision business opportunities
To learn more about our company and the opportunity to start a Pearle Vision franchise, fill out the form on this page to request more information. We’re happy to answer your questions about the brand.
*This article is not intended as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy a
franchise. Within the U.S.A., we offer franchises solely by means of our Franchise Disclosure Document. Certain states in the U.S.A. and certain other countries have laws governing the offer and sale of franchises. If you are a resident of one of these states or countries, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable franchise investment law requirements in your jurisdiction.