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Lynda Winter of Great Spectacles: The Art of Eyewear

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A fabulous pair of glasses can give an everyday outfit a stylish upgrade. Whether it’s sophisticated or youthful, conservative or fashion-savvy, the right eyewear can enhance your personality and lifestyle.

Established in 1990, Great Spectacles is an upscale optical boutique in Stockton’s Lincoln Center. Owner and licensed optician Lynda Winter provides customers with exclusive eyewear designs that are both stylish and functional. She knows that a great pair of glasses can make or break an outfit, and with a coveted inventory of frames from designers such as Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Chrome Hearts and more, Great Spectacles has something for everyone.

Style
With nearly 50 years of experience, Lynda got her start in the optical business through a twist of fate. “At age 18, with a new family to support, I reached out to a staffing agency for a job. I was placed with an optometrist; little did I know it would be the start to a career that I love,” shared Lynda.

Great Spectacles was a passion project for the eager entrepreneur. “After 20 years of working alongside three different optometrists, I gathered everything I had learned, passed the state board exam and opened my own business,” shared Lynda. Obtaining enough credit to fulfill her venture would prove challenging. “When I began my optical business, women didn’t receive lines of credit. I opened Great Spectacles on a Macy’s card with only $500 in credit,” revealed Lynda. Winter built up her credit over time, never shying away from the expensive, hard-to-find styles along the way. With a focus on exceptional customer service, she meticulously built her inventory using her keen sense of style and procured styles by some of fashion’s most-admired designers.

“Finding styles that my customers wanted was my goal. I listened and learned, and then worked to secure select vendors that could give my customers a variety to choose from,” confirmed Lynda. “When I first opened I was in an out-of-sight, out-of-mind location,” Lynda revealed. Relying on word of mouth, she grew her business and made a name for herself in Northern California.

Design
In 2002, Great Spectacles moved into Lincoln Center; with a new space to design, Lynda added her own personal touches. “I wanted to blend comfort with more modern and stylish attributes,” she shared. Lynda’s keen eye for great style is evident both inside and out. With the front door painted hombre green, the color symbolizes growth and uses feng shui harmonious ideals by keeping the entrance free of obstacles. The overall design invites a calming experience in which customers experience an eclectic atmosphere of elegance and comfort.

“My mission is to help customers feel beautiful, comfortable and catered to,” noted Lynda. Visitors can also revel in her unique vintage collection of eyewear on display. “I have collected vintage and designer eyewear for years, and I love rotating out the display case. Almost daily someone comments on how unique and beautiful the collection is.”

Community
In 2017, Great Spectacles received the Merchant of the Year Award by Sims-Grupe, a recognition of businesses in Lincoln Center that best represent their business and community through involvement, marketing and social media, customer experience and store excitement.

In her spare time, Lynda has served on a variety of boards and is a member of the Junior League of San Joaquin County and an active member of Haggin Museum Junior Women’s Corporation.

Service
The team at Great Spectacles knows the importance of finding eyewear in a pressure-free environment. “We are a customer service business, not a sales business. Helping customers find something that fits and feels comfortable is our number one goal,” noted Lynda. “We help customers find styles that fit by assessing their bone structure, eye color and lifestyle. It’s important to me that customers can take their time to browse.”

People from Central Valley and beyond turn to Great Spectacles to find great styles. A memorable customer was rap artist Snoop Dogg with his entourage. “Snoop Dogg was in town for a meeting with the mayor and came to the store with a group of people. One of my staff members was across the street and was worried about so many people coming at once. She called security, and although we didn’t have what he was looking for, the experience was memorable!” said Lynda.

Customers can swoon over new styles from Tom Ford, Face à Face, Anne et Valentin, Chrome Hearts, Gucci and more. Lynda constantly seeks the latest trends. “Audrey Hepburn wore simple black sunglasses designed by Oliver Goldsmith in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Goldsmith still produces the Audrey, which we stock. Right now, pearls are very on trend,” she said. “In 1913, Gabriella (Coco) Chanel placed pearls on her sunglasses. It was the beginning of the ‘modern women’ wearing pants, black dresses, sunglasses with pearls and her classic interlocking double CC. Today, Chanel frames with pearls are one of the styles customers ask for. Only 340 stores nationwide carry Chanel eyewear, and I’m very proud to be one of them.”

Visit Great Spectacles at 622 Lincoln Center and greatspectacles.com.