My Montrose: Nick Protz of Eye Elegance
Tell me a little bit about Eye Elegance.
Eye Elegance was started by my father [Daniel Protz] twenty-six years ago this June. Originally started in the Post Oak Pavilion before moving to Highland Village for fifteen and a half years. We had to leave there pretty quickly; the timeline we had, this space [in Montrose] was really the only place available. And we’ve been here since August 2013. It’s a much different feel than Highland Village, but we love it here. We like the neighborhood.
How would you describe the difference between Highland Village and here?
Highland Village is way too busy. Montrose is a little bit more eclectic, a much different feel. It’s not as busy. It’s much more laid back, without a doubt.
Have you seen a lot of new clients now that you’re in Montrose?
Absolutely. A lot of clients followed us from Highland Village, but we have a lot of new clients too. Walk-in clientele, they’re very different. They’re looking for that little bit funkier style that we like to sell. We’ve always tried to get people into that fun, funky look. The Montrose area just likes the fun, more fashionable styles.
Has that changed what you stock at the store?
A little bit. The biggest difference is probably that I took over frame-buying about a year ago. As I got into that position and learned what styles move in Montrose, it absolutely changed what styles I buy in the stores. If I can get away with selling the funkier stuff, I’m definitely going to stock it because I think it’s cool! If I can send you out the door in some cool eyewear, I want people to notice it, and ask about it.
Do you ever get people in looking for a conservative look, but they end up buying something more edgy?
Yeah, we get people in all the time like that. They fight it at first, but they buy something cool, and that first compliment they get on the frames…they’re sold for life. We had a guy not too long ago who wore a very nice, very conservative Lindberg frame. He came in; he’s worn that frame for probably ten years. He bought a frame that was brown, but had a sort of confetti pattern on the sides. He bought that, and another Lindberg. He’s come back in three or four times now, and he has the crazier frame of the two on and said he ends up wearing those ninety percent of the time. So, the people who are kind of hesitant on it…it’s just that one compliment, and they’re sold.
What would you say the price range is in the store?
We start around $295 to somewhere around $5600. But we only have one piece at that price point. Average is probably in the $500-600 range. Another big collection we do well with is Lindberg’s horn collection that has a buffalo horn front, and titanium backs.
What’s your favorite things about being in Montrose?
The laid-back atmosphere in Montrose. Hopefully it stays that way, even though it’s going to get even more busy here in the future.
Do you have any favorite neighborhood spots?
I like the places in the center. Canopy is great, and I love Little Bigs down the street.
Thanks for talking to us, Nick!
If you’re interested in learning more about Eye Elegance, you can find them at 3030 Montrose, or on their website.