This week we wanted to talk about someone who everyone at Eye Emporium holds in extremely high regard. In fact, if you’ve ever been to our Open Eyes Opticians branch in Willesden, then you’ll probably know exactly who we’re talking about; Munira Asaria.
This year, Munira celebrates her 32nd year of working in optics and, as you can imagine, she has a few stories she could tell you. What we want to do today though, is to tell you her story, with some details of exactly what makes her so special to us all.
It was 1982 when Munira began her career as an Optical Assistant at a family-run practice. She loved her job and being the perfectionist that she is, she wanted to learn more about the industry, so decided to further her career by going back to college, in 1994.
She qualified in 1997 and returned to the same practice to demonstrate her new skills. Patients loved her caring ways and many requested that they see her on each visit. It was this close bond with patients that made her think about opening her own practice one day.
In 2002 she found a run-down internet café to buy, and together with her businessman husband and two daughters, transformed the musty old building into the professional, clean and modern practice that is now Open Eyes Opticians
Munira’s daughters both inherited a passion for eyes from their mother and now one works as an optometrist, and the other as a dispensing optician. They both worked alongside Munira to create an expert team that patients loved. In fact, on their very first day of opening they had a fully booked clinic!
The first weeks in the new practice weren’t easy for Munira and her family though. After just two months of opening, they had a difficult journey to work thanks to closed roads along the way. When they finally arrived at their practice, they found it had been completely flooded thanks to a burst water pipe. For two months the practice had to be closed and refurbished, but their loyal patients all returned when they re-opened.
A month later, Munira’s husband suffered a heart attack, meaning that Munira and her daughters had to take some time away to nurse him back to full health. Again, their patients were all extremely understanding and returned once the family was back on its feet.
In 2005, sadly, Munira’s husband lost his sight. The following three years became more difficult for her, having to split her time between family and the practice. She had also gained more than 5,000 new patients at the practice. A local independent optician was closing down and handed his patients to Munira thanks to her excellent reputation for delighting clients.
In 2008, it all became too much for Munira and she made the decision to sell her family business. This was a difficult decision for Munira because she loved her patients, spending time talking to them and even forging friendships with many of them.
Fortunately, Munira’s nephew, our own Salim Juma, bought the practice. This meant that Munira could continue to work in her beloved practice, but without the stresses that being a business owner brings.
Today, Munira couldn’t be happier. She spends much of her time doing what she loves; helping patients in her “friendly, spacious and bright” practice. She also still has a big input in choosing which frames the practice stocks, which is a big job in itself since there are more than 1000 frames on display! She really knows how to create a collection that will please even the fussiest of patients.
Here at Eye Emporium, we love Munira, and we know that each and every patient that visits her loves her too. With a winning personality (and smile), her expert skills, and her eye for detail, there couldn’t be a better person for the job.
We’d like you to join us in congratulating Munira on her many years in the industry, and we really do hope that if you haven’t met the lady herself yet, you get to do so in the not too distant future.
To book your next appointment at Open Eyes Opticians in Willesden, or at any other Eye Emporium branch, simply call our team on 0800 020 9202.