Berkley Eyewear expands its sunglass offerings

A sunny spin-off

2680 Coolidge Hwy., Berkley; 248-632-1088;

Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday (closed Sunday)

Andy Gilbert opened Berkley Eyewear five years ago. Over the past several years the company's stock of sunglasses outgrew the space of the store. That's when Gilbert decided to spin the sunglasses into a separate business.

Located a few doors down down the street from Berkley Eyewear, Local Sunglass Co. opened its doors a couple months ago. So far Gilbert says things have been going pretty, well, cool.

"I would say we have the largest selection of sunglasses outside the mall," Gilbert says. "Depending on your case, we might have a better selection than the mall just because we have a wider variety." Gilbert says they do prescription lenses, and carry stock by the likes of Oakley, Ray-Ban, Jimmy Crystal, Vinyl Factory, Tom Ford, Gucci, Vogue — well, you get the idea. Prices range from $5 all the way up to $800.

Gilbert adds that Local Sunglass Co. offers a level of customer service you won't find elsewhere. "I think we're more knowledgeable than your average Sunglass Hut," he says.

Another feature of Local Sunglass Co. will be periodic shows, one-day events that will offer a wider selection than what the store typically has. They just did a Ray-Ban show, and Gilbert is planning to host an Oakley show during the holiday season.

"The frame shows are cool because when we bring that line in, we may only carry 50 or 70 pieces out of a several hundred piece line," he says. "So when we have the show, they bring the entire collection — all the colors, all the shapes, all the sizes. When we had the Ray Ban show, I wouldn't buy the pink crushed velvet frames, because I can't generally sell them. But if you saw them and you liked them, you would have an opportunity to try them on. It's one of those pieces that you'd never what to buy unless you tried them on."

Gilbert adds, "If you're in the mood for sunglasses, and you're in the market for something stylish and different, we have everything from A to Z."

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