LIKE A BOY…
– see like a man
You must have seen him around in the press lately, Ludovic, the new journalists’ favourite! This young and unique Belgian has managed to choose and find success with his ambitious custom-made glasses project!
Passionate, skilled and daring – we wanted to know more about the guy who dreams about taking care of the Belgian royal family and Elton John’s eyesight with style! We’ll let you cast an eye over his interview!
(ok ok, easy joke, we know! 😉 )
Pictures: Benoit Do Quang
10 QUESTIONS TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR MEN WITH A PROJECT
*translated from the original French version by Abbie & Rose
First of all – and most importantly: what is your favourite Emoji?
? not surprising, I guess…
How would you describe your duo in a few words?
I care about what I wear and what I do. I try to keep things under control. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is what I keep in mind when I meet new people. It’s a great motivation for a retailer. That’s my professional side.
In private, I completely let go. I have fun, I don’t take anything seriously and play the fool (too) easily.
Well… tell us how your close friends would describe you in a few words?
The “bon vivant” of the crew. I help my friends a lot and people can count on me. Some of them admire me for what I do. I love to organize events, themed parties, weddings, weekend trips with friends. This is my boy scout side which never leaves me.
Tell us more about your project… How did you get there?
When I was young, I was not the perfect pupil. I was too “active” in class and then I didn’t have enough energy to “study” at night (let’s put it that way).
I did optical studies in Antwerp. It was more by chance than by choice. I hadn’t even graduated when I got hired by a big optical chain as a store manager with a team of 9, I was 21. I hired my friends for their student jobs. At night, I came back to my flat-share in Brussels. Days were long, evenings boozy and nights were short. I managed that lifestyle for 3 years.
Then, this big company didn’t need me anymore and I decided to go on a one-year trip to Togo, in Western Africa.
I lived in the back of beyond, without running water and only a few hours’ electricity per day if the generator decided to work. An awesome experience! I travelled along the Togo roads with my motorbike. Genuine pleasure! I grew up a lot during this trip…
When I came back to Brussels, I had to find a job. So I sent out a few CVs…
I don’t mean to annoy you, but I sent out 15 CVs and got 14 positive answers. I chose to attend 6 interviews and selected 3 of them for a day-trial. It may seem a somewhat unusual of a process, but finding a trilingual optometrist optician is apparently not so easy… I was a rare commodity.
I finally chose to join HOET, rue Antoine Dansaert, an optician for 8 generations. This store is a master in the optometry world, known internationally from Japan to Peru.
Some clients there wanted custom-made eyewear and we outsourced the manufacturing abroad. I looked for unique manufacturers in Belgium but there were none. I was facing demand but there was no offer…
I then told my future wife:
« Vinciane, my love, I always told you I wanted my own store. I have a concept: we’re going to sell custom-made buffalo horn glasses.
What sort of glasses, made of what? »
After a few explanations, she jumped in and we invested all that we had in glasses manufacturing training, in the Jura in France. I loved it.
Then, to be quick this is how things went:
01/02/2015: I quit my job at Hoet and started to create my own company.
10/15/2015: « Lunetier Ludovic » – Custom-made eyewear – store opening in Sablon, in Brussels.
10/20/15: First client – who came across the store randomly – to order custom-made horn glasses (confirmation of concept, location and price)
April 2016 (6 months later): 45 custom-made glasses ordered
The impossible happened, but it’s nowhere near close to the end…
To be continued…
But what is your secret?
Be true, don’t take myself too seriously. Target high, but keep my feet on the ground. Surround myself with the right people and follow my instinct. “Follow your gut feeling”.
Do you have a fun story to tell us about your project?
– “Hello, I would like to try custom-made horn glasses.
– Sir, that’s not possible, but I can make let you try one I made for another client. Here you go.
– These glasses are way too small for me! This is not custom-made…
– Whaaaaat? (the f***, you understand what custom-made is????)
Ah yes, I also made an offer for my store’s lease in the labour room between contractions, just before my wife gave birth. A few hours later, I had a store and a kid to care about.
So, don’t lie – you can’t work all the time. What do you do to take your mind off work?
Yes, you’re right. I play tennis with a very good friend on Wednesday nights. We unwind and end up at the bar setting the world to rights.
I also sing in a choir (yes I do), I am one of the stronger bass singers. And then I spend my time on all fours with my little 9-months-old son Felix.
Who did you want to be when you were young?
When I was 8, I wanted to live in the woods, make traps and eat blueberries. Luckily, I didn’t end up like this. Christopher McCandless aka A. Supertramp knows what I’m talking about…
But seriously, I don’t know if I had anything in mind instead of being a scout chief maybe!?!
And… Did it work out?
Yes, for two days. Does it count? (I had to go back to school on Monday). It took me a few years before realising that there was no school to learn how to live in the woods.
Do you have any other dreams?
Not really, I already use 95% of my brain capacity on this project. We will try to raise our son the best we can. It’s actually an ambitious project in itself.
And now, what do you need to reach the very top?
A few employees, some contacts to become the royal court supplier and a trick to reach Elton John, as well as many other short-sighted people.
Finally, what advice would you have liked to give yourself from ten years ago?
Go! Believe in yourself and your abilities! Build your own bricks to reach your projects!
WHO IS ABBIE & ROSE?
Abbie & Rose – or A&R for those in the know even if it is unpronounceable – is the casual-chic shirt label for the modern man,
a guy who’s classy but doesn’t really care about it.
Discover soon the interview with Alex on this page.
If you want to keep posted, follow us on our social networks .
See you soon!