A family trip to Europe sparked the inspiration for an eyewear business in downtown Hastings.
Mikaela Krueger, who has been in the eyewear and eyecare business for 20 years, opened Optika Curated Eyewear, 620 W. Second St., earlier this month.
It was in 2017 that she decided to open her own eyewear shop.
That year she took a trip to Europe with her husband and two daughters that included a tour of four countries. She sought out small optical shops in three of the countries for inspiration and ideas of how she wanted her business back home to be like.
“We designed Optika to feel when you walk in as though you’re walking in a small optical shop in Vienna,” Krueger said.”I wanted clients to walk into our space and feel transported to Europe.“
She said her historic downtown location is perfect in giving her customers the same feel that she had while in Europe.
“Optika is a space dedicated to a sense of comfort and beauty,” she said.
Her shop’s design isn’t the only thing that inspired Krueger on that trip. She offers European products, as well.
“We emphasize beautiful European-designed frames from France and Germany,” Krueger said.
They also offer frames from Spain and a few American lines, as well.
“What we’re doing here at Optika is we have a wide range of quality products at exceptional values,” Krueger said.
Along with high-quality lenses, Krueger said, she wants to make sure she is offering each customer a personalized experience.
“I want to get to know them, to help them find solutions for their eyes,” she said. “Our personal voice is more than just our sound.”
With the culture we live in, music, fashion and even eyewear can all be our voice, she said.
“Uniqueness is what set us all apart,” Krueger said.
She said that is why she wants to help customers find their own style when it comes to lenses.
“I really want people to look at themselves and decide for themselves what’s best for them,” Krueger said.
Krueger has traveled to plenty of places around the world, but, to her, Hastings is special.
“I think after you’ve lived in Hastings even after such a short period of time, people know that Hastings is exceptional,” Krueger said.