Minding their businesses: See better, see connections, see shakes

Designer eyewear, an app that’s better than a personal assistantand a yummie candy bar

 

Amy Kenny
Hamilton Business

Dr. Sheldon Salaba looks over a pair of designer frames. Dr. Salaba owns Advanced Vision, an optometrist's office but one that also does high fashion eyewear sales.

Dr. Sheldon Salaba looks over a pair of designer frames. Dr. Salaba owns Advanced Vision, an optometrist’s office but one that also does high fashion eyewear sales.

Advanced Vision

“I’m kind of a junkie for frames,” says Dr. Sheldon Salaba.

That’s how, since establishing his optometry practice in Hamilton in 2005, Salaba’s Queen Street office has become an eyewear boutique as well.

“It’s something I have been passionate about because I wanted to have cool stuff,” he says. “I wanted glasses that when people put them on, they get lots of compliments. It enhances their facial features.”

At Advanced Vision, you can find hard-to-find frames from designers, including New York City’s Robert Marc and Toronto’s Rapp, which makes handcrafted bespoke frames.

Salaba says 80 per cent of the store’s frames come from European designers, where the focus is on handcrafted, artisanal glasses. Because of that, Advanced Vision has turned to some non-traditional advertising avenues for an optometry office.

Salaba has a marketing manager on his staff of five, so his practice has teamed up with local stores (including Blackbird Studios and The Eye of Faith) to do cross-promotional shoots featuring his frames and their fashion.

This summer, more Advanced Vision frames will appear on the runway at some of the fashion shows scheduled to take place during Supercrawl.

WeBeam

Ever wish it was easier to network? If you could, for instance, tell just by looking at someone whether or not they were in your field?

WeBeam might be the closest you’ll come.

Nicholas Ivanecky has developed called WeBeam. It pings around at social events and finds people within 50 M who also use WeBeam and brings you back profiles of them.

Nicholas Ivanecky has developed called WeBeam. It pings around at social events and finds people within 50 M who also use WeBeam and brings you back profiles of them.

In any social setting, the iPhone app recognizes fellow WeBeam users within 50 metres and returns a profile of that person. Developer Nicholas Ivanecky likens it to a personal assistant that gives you a quick briefing before you start talking to someone.

It’s easier and more immediate than career-focused websites and, says Ivanecky, more visually appealing. WeBeam colour-codes profiles for quick identification. Blue for business people. Yellow for media. Red for those in engineering, which is where Ivanecky started out.

Ivanecky, 24, grew up in Dundas. After doing an undergrad in robotics engineering at McMaster University, he completed a master’s in engineering and entrepreneurship last April.

On June 14, he launched WeBeam. Before the launch, 1,500 people had signed up for the app.

The day it was featured on Product Hunt, a website that highlights techie startups, Ivanecky spent five hours fielding emails and messages.

He sees WeBeam primarily as a business tool, but says there are plenty of social applications, including meetups and speed dating.

Right now he’s focused on continuing to market the app.

The immediate goal is to make the app available to everyone.

Munchee’s Variety

Leesa Nauss - she is the milkshake queen of Hamillton. More than 200 kinds of shake at her store and if that's not enough, you can sit down and create a custom shake flavour with her for just $10.

Leesa Nauss – she is the milkshake queen of Hamillton. More than 200 kinds of shake at her store and if that’s not enough, you can sit down and create a custom shake flavour with her for just $10.

A King Street East business has the secret to capturing all demographics — candy.

Owner Leesa Nauss says toddlers to 92-year-olds come to Munchee’s for the candy bar where, for $2, they can fill bags with gummy candy.

That was Nauss’s vision when she opened the store in 2012. At the time, she divided her time between being a homemaker and acting as property manager for the building. She wanted to make a little extra cash so she talked to the building owner about opening a shop in the empty main floor storefront.

These days, Munchee’s draws people from the surrounding International Village as well as from Caledonia and Oakville.

They’ve heard about her candy, her homemade soups and fresh rolls. Mostly though, they’ve heard about her milkshakes.

Nauss offers more than 200 flavours. For $10, you can sit with Nauss and create your own shake.

“You know what? I think about shakes all the time,” she says. “I actually dream about them. I’m not kidding. I wake up in the middle of the night.

“Going back to the old days is what I wanted,” she says. “To be the local little store on the corner where I knew people’s names when they came in.”

akenny@thespec.com
905-526-2458 | @Amyatthespec

One thought on “Minding their businesses: See better, see connections, see shakes

  1. Thank you for the awesome article! One thing I need to clarify is 90 % of our shakes are $5.00. The $10.00 Create Your Own is: Take one with you, you create it, you name it and it will go on our menu!

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