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Fascinated by how our eyes work, Nadine Shelton studied optometry at Indiana University and went on to open her own business: NV Eyewear.
Nadine Shelton, a Manitoba-born Francophone, began having vision problems when she was 10. It made her want to learn more about how our eyes work and the solutions that can address some vision problems.
After graduating from Indiana University in Optometry in 2008, she returned to her home province and began working for opticians’ groups in Winnipeg.
Nearly a decade later, Nadine Shelton decided to start her own optometry practice. In June 2017, with her husband Victor who manages the management and administration side of the business, they opened NV Eyewear in Winnipeg, dedicated to promoting independent eyewear designers.
Their store features original and fashion-forward designer glasses rather than the big eyewear brands. “We sell makes that are hard to find in Manitoba or even Canada,” says Nadine Shelton.
When she set up her own business, Dr. Shelton was able to keep some of her existing customers from previous jobs. One of the biggest challenges when she decided to open her own practice was choosing the location.
She scoped out the neighbourhoods of St. Boniface, Corydon and Osborne. An opportunity finally came up on Corydon Avenue.
“Corydon Village was the perfect spot, given that there was already a customer base waiting for this kind of product,” she says. “Area residents tend to look for unique items that are funkier and edgier, with a European flair.”
In addition to offering a unique selection of eyewear, Shelton also speaks three languages: English, French and Portuguese. While she admits she doesn’t use much Portuguese in the office, French gives her a clear advantage, helping her build a customer base from the nearby neighbourhood of St. Boniface.
Shelton eventually hopes to hire a second bilingual optometrist and a bilingual receptionist to further develop her services in both official languages.
The trilingual optometrist has also volunteered for the past ten years with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). “I give eye exams to the visually impaired to try to determine how they can use the vision they have to their best advantage.”
The CNIB, which also provides assistance to people with a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by prescription eye glasses, benefits greatly from the expertise of Dr. Shelton, who volunteers there one or two mornings a week.