Laura Draycott, owner of Wink I Wear Optometry, in her Kelowna store.  Don Denton photograph

Secrets and Lives with Laura Draycott

Boutique eyewear owner discusses life, business and perspective

  • May. 19, 2021 7:30 a.m.

– Words by Angela Cowan Photography by Don Denton

Licensed optician Laura Draycott had been managing and growing her unique eyewear boutique Wink i Wear in Kelowna for six years when a chance encounter pushed her business in a new direction.

She met Dr. Tim Degelman at a 2018 fundraiser for Kelowna General Hospital, and quickly discovered they shared a lot of common ground.

“He had recently moved from Saskatchewan, and his wife is a chiropractor,” says Laura, who was a practicing chiropractor herself years earlier. “We hit it off right away, and we had lots to talk about.”

Tim was immediately interested in the boutique, and inquired whether Laura was looking for an optometrist to join the team. His suggestion instantly clicked for Laura, who seized the opportunity to provide absolute comprehensive care to her clients.

“We put a plan together, found a bigger space and joined forces to create a full-service optical shop with a glam-warehouse feel,” she says.

Designs cover the gamut, with a huge variety of shapes, textures and colours to complement any face and satisfy any style. And combined with a truly impressive selection of eyewear, Wink i Wear Optometry now offers comprehensive eye exams with retinal imaging.

“We’re a complete eye-care centre with a boutique flair,” says Laura. “Exams, contact lenses, eye emergencies, medical referrals…we offer it all, and we’re actively growing this aspect of the business.”

Describing the inception of her business, Laura says, “I’d been in optical for a while, and I thought I’d take a chance. I knew that there was some very fun, unique and creative eyewear out there, so I just took a giant gamble that the stylish folks in the Okanagan would be supportive.”

The shop was so successful that Laura needed to bring on extra help by her second month, and many of those first customers have kept coming back over the years.

“Our clientele is amazing,” she enthuses. “We’ve had customers I’ve dealt with for eight years. It’s been such a joy, and I’ve met so many cool people!”

“I never thought I’d be living here, and I never thought I’d be doing this,” adds Laura, who moved to Kelowna from Alberta almost exactly a decade ago. “At the time, I just kept walking through doors.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my hubby, Stephen,” she adds warmly. “I just kind of threw everything into the store and he said, ‘You’ll do great!’ He’s been a big fan and a big support, and that’s really mattered in making the business successful.”

The 7 Sins

Envy:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

I think it would be interesting to walk my exact life, but as a man. I’m very curious as to how life would have turned out had I not had to deal with the challenges of being female. I’d like to imagine life without sexual harassment, misogyny, low wages, disrespect and ageism as I re-entered the workforce in my mid-40s… Would I have been more confident in my choices? Would I have had more courage to put myself first? Would I have made more money? Would I have been encouraged to become a business leader instead of a cheerleader? It’s an interesting thought experiment.

Gluttony:

What is the food you could eat over and over again?

Hawkins Cheezies, like a true Canadian!

Greed:

You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?

Charter a private jet to England. Buy a convertible Aston Martin and drive around Southern Europe staying at 5-star hotels, eating at Michelin-star restaurants, drinking fabulous wine and seeing everything that France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Malta and Greece have to offer.

Wrath:

Pet peeves?

Poor-fitting eyeglasses and gross, dirty or green nose pads.

Sloth:

Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

It is really hard for me to sit still for long periods of time. My idea of doing nothing is spending time with a good book, a cold drink and a lounge chair on a warm quiet beach.

Pride:

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?

I can still do a one-handed cartwheel.

Lust:

What makes your heart beat faster?

At my age, too much caffeine…but nothing gets it going like a challenging game of Dr. Mario with my hubby!

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

BusinessFashionLifestyleStyle

Just Posted

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

People had a chance to interact with different animals at the petting zoo, participate in mutton busting, and buy everything local during the Fall Fair held in 2019. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
55th Fall Fair in Vanderhoof cancelled

Alternative events eyed once again

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Dr. Réka Gustafson, who is British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on April 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

Flu-like? Health officials anticipate shift from pandemic to communicable disease control strategies

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Camper the dog was found Wednesday night by someone walking their own dog along Hollywood Crescent. She had gone missing after a violent attack on June 11. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Camper the dog found safe after fleeing violent van attack in Victoria

Young dog was missing for almost a week after incident

Most Read