by Brian Lipton
Robert Marc
Robert Marc

Eyewear retailer Robert Marc celebrated his 35th anniversary in business with an intimate party at his store at 190 Columbus Avenue, his first-ever retail location, on Wednesday, August 10.

In an emotional speech, Marc recalled how he invested all his savings, including his bar-mitzvah money, into the fledgling business, believing that there was a customer interested in fashionable eyewear who was not being served.

Robert MarcHe added that during the six months that it took to build out the space (which was about half the size of the current location), he not only helped design and choose all the furnishings, but also hand-dyed frames on his kitchen stove.

And then came the moment of truth: “We opened at 10 a.m. on a Monday, and the only I employee I had hired was off on Mondays, so I was all alone, waiting for someone to come in,” he recalled. “At 10:30 nothing, but I was still sure this was a great idea, then at 11:00 nothing, and I began to wonder if this was such a good idea after all. Finally, at 11:30, some man came in off the street – obviously, he didn’t know he was here – and bought our first pair of frames. The joy I felt from that sale was almost indescribable, and I’m happy to say I still have that same feeling all these many thousands of sales and 35 years later.”