Adam Maher has been a Singleton local his entire life, only moving away to complete his degree in Optometry. While studying he worked as a Dispenser’s Assistant, which gave him invaluable training and insight into his chosen field of Optometry.
After completing his Bachelor of Optometry and receiving the Neville Fulthorpe Award for Clinical Excellence, Adam returned to Singleton to take an Optometry position.
In 2015, Adam along with his wife and business partner Anna, opened The Eye Place in Singleton. The business has gone from strength to strength, becoming a well-known name throughout the community. Adam puts the businesses success down to the warm and welcoming community in Singleton, though those that know him, know that it is his business acumen and amazing customer service skills that set The Eye Place apart the rest.
- Tell us about the journey that lead you to start your own business.
It would have started around thirteen when I first needed my own glasses. Before that the world was pretty blurry; I couldn’t see my friends’ faces, I couldn’t see writing on a blackboard. When I got my first glasses I could see clearly, and I felt so happy. And I thought, that’d be a pretty good profession if I could do the same for others – help them see clearly and give them that same feeling of happiness that I had. And also, the potential to start my own business was a big factor in becoming an Optometrist. So, I studied my tail off, got the mark I needed, went through university and then started working in a few practices outside of university hours. I got a bit of experience with a few independent practices and a couple of chain stores.
Fast forward to after graduating, I came back to Singleton and worked in a chain store there for a year. I went back to Sydney following that, to Bondi Junction. I wasn’t quite ready to be back in Singleton quite yet after having a good time in the city through uni. I worked there for years in Bondi Junction and then progressed to Central Coast to a full scope practice for four years. I got a lot more experience there with kind of management with ophthalmologists and diseases and working with GPs in the area too.
I had enough of that after they got taken over and I went back to Sydney, got a job in the central business district (the marketplace) and stayed there for four years. And from there I started thinking about starting our own practice, so I did a bit of local work which I’d always wanted to get a bit of experience with and worked in Canberra, Hardy Bay, Perth and Adelaide. Finished my post-grad study of ocular therapeutics, and then July 2015 we opened our place in Singleton, on George Street.
- Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
It comes back to that first experience of me needing glasses. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and have the potential to own my own practice, so I became an Optometrist, which led me down that career path. I guess in a roundabout way, I always did want to be an entrepreneur.
- What is one action or task you ensure you incorporate into your diary each week?
Me time. I try at least two maybe three times a week to recharge mentally, physically by going to the gym, going for a run, doing a bit of yoga and meditating. Whatever it may be just to try and get me as close as I can to 100% so I can give my all when I’m at home being a dad, a partner, and at the store just giving a great experience for each and every customer.
- What do you attribute your success to?
I think it comes down to providing a really great and personalised customer experience. I have a great team around me to put that all together. And just a lot of hard work.
- Which local entrepreneur do you find inspiring?
There’s a lady called Lindy Harris who is a Real Estate Agent and has her own one agency in town. She started from scratch, been in business 15 years and is now at the top of the game, so she’d be one lady I look up. She’s super approachable and really lovely.
The Eye Place was an aspiration of Adam and Anna’s for over five years. They wanted to build a business of their own and felt they could combine their skills to make a great Optometry Practice. The idea was born over a weekend in Singleton visiting Adam’s family. Talking about what each of them wanted to do with their careers and where they ultimately wanted to settle - an Optometry Practice in Singleton seemed ideal.
Since opening in 2015, The Eye Place has gone from strength to strength and surpassed both Adam and Anna’s expectations in more ways than one. They have built a strong family-owned and operated business, that continues to strive for excellence in optometry, eyewear and customer service. Their product focus is predominantly prescription lenses, optical frames, sunglasses and contact lenses, along with offering general and urgent eye examination services.