Karma in Olivia by Kala – made in USA
Maximus in bold red Copacetic by Jonathan Cate
contact us for availability on the following frames:
Precious wearing deadstock vintage Ora
Frankie in Tang by Victory
Vinnie rockin’ kids vintage glasses
Mona in vintage pastel pink cat eyes
Roxie wearing vintage cat eyes with rhinestone embellishments
Pearl shines in Dauphine by KREWE (Matte Champagne with flat gold gradient mirror lenses)
The ONLINE selection of glasses is just a representation of what you’ll find in the store. Think of this website as the boutique version of Philip Brown’s Optical Emporium (aka Smith’s Opticians).
We hope you tell everyone you know, especially the out-of-town folks who always love your specs!
Our physical store will remain home to Houston’s largest selection of glasses with 1,000’s of choices!
Yes, it’s true, Smith’s long rumored website, with online shopping, has arrived!
New eyeglasses, sunglasses, and information are added regularly. The site is technically still in beta (testing) so please be patient and nice with your constructive criticisms.
Now you can browse some of our favorite independent designer glasses and new old stock vintage, all from the comfort of your home, pj’s, bath tub, favorite cafe, or wherever else you may prefer.
We’ll even mail any of these fine frames, with or without single vision lenses (current prescription required), to you or as a gift, anywhere in the U-S-A.
If you don’t find the perfect glasses on our shiny new website and can’t visit the shop,
send a message and we’ll search high and low.
Many of you asked for it AND we wanted to share some the independent designer glasses we love with everyone.
Throughout the 40+ years Smith’s Opticians has been on the independent eyewear scene we’ve met a lot of lovely people. While some are able to easily visit, even bringing their children or grandchildren to the shop, many have since left Houston.
1. We’re a small business and we’d like to maintain the high quality customer service of an old school Opticianry with today’s superior optical technologies. It sounds generic but we mean it.
2. We’re not looking to become the next Warby Parker (gasp – it’s cool), we know you might shop there too. They do some things great but we hope you also support local and small businesses like us. (All of our glasses are prescription ready so you can bring them to your local preferred optical provider for lenses.)
3. A lot of our frames are no longer in production and therefore we may only have one or a few pieces. This is obviously the case with all of the frames in our room of vintage glasses.
4. Some of our vendors and collections restrict online sales.
We completely respect their brand integrity and have an intimate understanding of the pros and cons to shopping for glasses online. For example, one of our favorite independent designer collections, Dolabany, offers dozens of high quality glasses in current trends but they’re only available at our physical store.
In-store, we have more options than the big guys. WHY? because we can utilize independent optical laboratories and aren’t restricted by sales minimums or franchise contracts, etc.
Single vision prescription lenses are the most basic and common form of vision correction. A single vision lens is typically prescribed for distance but can also address eyestrain in up close corrections like eye strain or fatigue from screen time.
There are thousands of choices for multi-focal aka progressive lenses (aka PAL or no-line bi-focal). The process is highly individualized and for an exact fitting, both lens selection and measurements should be made in person with a professional.
We’ve worked for a really long time, you could say at a snail’s pace (slow and steady), to provide a unique selection of glasses from our inventory. Things together without the patience and help of a handful of extremely talented & wonderful people. (more on that soon)
Smith’s eCommerce site actually went live during a very VERY hectic week in July 2016. Yes, it’s a little late for an official announcement but you know we are usually pretty modest about these sort of things.
It’s not out of the ordinary for the shop to be bustling and seem like a bit of a party, however, that particular week was especially busy. It just so happened that the online shopping component of our site was scheduled for soft launch THEN we got word that the lawyers, bank, and realtors were ready to wrap up paperwork with Philip to ensure we had a roof over our heads.
Here’s the official word on the location and fate of Houston’s biggest selection of glasses, Smith’s Opticians, or as we sometimes call it, Philip Brown’s Optical Emporium.
If you popped in for a visit or drove by the shop in 2016 you may have noticed the giant FOR SALE sign on the building.
2016 was quite the roller coaster ride for us… Good thing we are a ‘glass half full’ kind of team!
Wait! WHAT is Going on?
The short answer, a lot – including expanding our selection and launching this very website. Continue to get the general details and read the official story or skip to the outcome.
One day, in 2015, a large board that read “FOR SALE” curiously appeared on the pole of the old neon sign at the corner of Austin and Wheeler.
Talk about an unnerving surprise! In Houston’s real estate market anything is possible and many of you didn’t realize this was a rental property. Moreover, Smith’s has been in Houston’s Third Ward for over 40 years and had never imagined calling another place home!
For awhile it was unclear if the building was actually for sale.
The uncertainty continued for quite some time, literally over the course of several months and into the summer of 2016.
In that time Philip worked diligently to explore the options. While we hoped to purchase the property there were a lot of barriers to realizing that dream and it seemed like just as many to moving.
Philip’s dedication brought an answer in July 2016.
We can now say, with relief, that the location we have all come to know and love will remain the home of Smith’s Opticians for the foreseeable future!
There’s a lot of cleaning to do (we started upstairs)
It has been years since the building got a fresh coat of paint.
Expanded floor space & selection – even more glasses!
Stay tuned for updateson our store hours and details about any other changes – like when we kick off renovations.
Think: “Bigger, Better, Only Looks Fancier!”
We won’t can’t change too much, promise.
Wrapping things up…
Last but certainly not least! We wouldn’t be where we are without YOU! Seriously, we appreciate it!
To keep going strong, as a team, we need your help to spread the word…
tell everyone you know, shout it from the hills – well, we don’t have hills but – from the dives and patio bars to the Petroleum Club.
Need to do some last minute holiday shopping in Houston?
We’ve got a few suggestions on where you can find thoughtful and unique gifts. The map below is categorized and includes all of these shops plus many more.
The icon indicates hours for 12/24 (Christmas Eve Day) & any additional special holiday hours.
Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, you can purchase a Smith’s Opticians gift card online.
Quite possibly the most practical and fashionable gift card in town.
Space Montrose in Montrose (*gasp)
until 3 PM One stop shop for home goods + kids + stationary + Houston & Texas themed goods.
The D&Q Beer Station in Montrose (806 Richmond Ave)
Open until about 8 or 9. Give ’em a call to be safe (832) 705-0715
Their wine and beer selection is unbelievable and it includes plenty of affordable options. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.
Big Blue Whale in The Heights 9 AM to 7 PM until 12/23 9 AM to 4 PM on 12/24 for the little ones & conveniently located in walking distance of at least a dozen shops along 19th Street
Cactus Records near Amy’s on 59 @ Shepherd
10 AM to 7 PM music, concert tickets, general gifts, and gift cards Snag a bottle of the Big Daddy’s Ass Burn Hot Sauce, it’s made in Houston 🔥 more record shops on the map: All Records (Greenway/Upper Kirby), Deep End (at Walter’s Downtown), Heights Vinyl, Sig’s Lagoon (Mid Main), Sound Exchange (Upper Kirby), Wired Up
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Bedrock City Comics on Washington Ave
(all locations on the map below)
comics, books, toys, games, apparel
The Classroom in Rice Village
10 AM to 5 PM
Game Guys Warehouse South Outer Loop The Mario themed warehouse visible from 45.
closed on 12/24 & 25
Gift your video game lovers a trip here for events, lock-in’s, cosplay, tournaments…
Geek Life in The Heights (look for the TARDIS) (713) 864-2880
Games, game accessories, and space to play + events.
Hello Lucky in The Heights
11 AM to 3 PM & 7 days a week until 12/24 Houston &
Texas themed apparel for all ages, accessories, jewelry etc.
Insomnia in The Heights (281) 440-1405
art, toys, and geeky gifts TIP: across from Hugs n Donuts & Fat Cat Creamery (great stocking stuffers or get yourself a treat)
Manready in the Heights (713) 861-6618
A variety of gift options, menswear, and masculine accessories.
My Flaming Heart in the Mid Main area (close to Smith’s) (713) 533-1147
Vintage & quirky gifts, unique & one of a kind clothes
Myth and Symbol in Rice Village
11 AM to 7 PM plus Monday’s through the holiday season
Unique and on trend jewelry, accessories, and women’s clothing.
Replay Vintage & The Place Upstairs in the Mid Main area (close to Smith’s) (713) 294-0245
The reincarnation of Replay on 19th + their sister shop full of oddities and vintage trinkets.
Reserve on Washington Ave next to Catalina Coffee and Cut Throat Barbershoppe (713) 750-9582
Retropolous & Yoko Vintage in The Heights
11 AM to 6 PM
2 story vintage shop with a very wide selection
Saint Cloud in Rice Village
10 AM to 6 PM
home goods + accessories + kids + women’s (near Cloud10 Creamey and Myth & Symbol)
The Wilde Collection in The Heights on Yale (713) 931-1904
Interesting oddities for truly unique gifts (includes taxidermy items).
TX/RX Labs on the east side
Gift a class or a membership. Learn a new skill or improve upon an existing one.
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