John L. Spaziano and his son, John W. Spaziano, will take in a Pawtucket Red Sox game with their wives later this month to celebrate Father’s Day.
Their bond is both personal and professional. Each is a registered optician, and the younger Spaziano, 39, has joined his father at the family’s business, Double Vision Optical at 1168 Warwick Ave. in Warwick.
“I’m grateful to have him,” said the elder Spaziano, who is 61.
It’s not John L. Spaziano’s first experience working with family. He and his brother Louis were both trained as opticians during their service in the U.S. Navy, and they worked together at Douglas Drug for a time before going out into business on their own with Double Vision roughly 25 years ago.
A couple of years ago, Louis decided to retire and relocate to Florida. John bought out the business, and his son began to help part time as he pursued a new career path and earned his associate degree with honors from the Community College of Rhode Island’s Opticianry Program.
“I’ve had a little practice, working with my brother, working with a relative…It’s nice to have someone you can trust at the business, and someone that looks at it as their future and building for themselves,” the elder Spaziano said.
John W. Spaziano, who holds a master’s degree, previously worked as a physical education and health teacher in several school districts. He said his change in careers was motivated by a desire to work with and help people in a different setting.
“I just kind of got tired of bouncing around,” he said. “It gives you a lot of flexibility, working with family…I really enjoyed working with the kids, but it was everything else [that teaching involved].”
Double Vision draws many of its customers from the Warwick area, but also has regular clients from all corners of the state, including Newport and northern Rhode Island.
“If you come see me once a year, it’s worth the ride,” the elder Spaziano said.
Aside from the Spazianos, the business’ staff includes a doctor who is on-site part time – typically Saturdays – to provide eye exams. The elder Spaziano said the availability of exams might be expanded going forward.
He also spoke of the various aspects of the job.
“It’s a unique profession, because there certainly is a lot of retail with it, but there’s also diagnosing customers’ issues and concerns,” he said.
Double Vision offers many buy one, get one free specials – which allow clients to get a pair of sunglasses in addition to their regular eyewear, for example – and takes pride in providing affordable, high-quality work.
“We have a good following, and we’re very customer oriented,” the elder Spaziano said. “Our big thing is the customer service and our prices, and our attention to detail … I’m happy with the quality of what we put out.”
The younger Spaziano said he is excited to “continue the family tradition” and help Double Vision grow in the years ahead. He also spoke of his appreciation for his father as a resource and sounding board as he continues to gain experience.
The elder Spaziano, meanwhile, said he is looking forward to pursuing “semi-retirement” as his son takes the reins of the business.
“It’s been an adventure over the years…I’m grateful,” he said.
Double Vision Optical is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 463-7100.