We are Allegro Optical. We are a new startup optical company, formed in September 2016 by myself and my partner Stephen Tighe.

We are the worlds only opticians for musicians, we specialise in helping the older musician who struggles to see their sheet music and other associated distances. It is a much more common problem than most people realise. It's a bit of a taboo among musicians who daren't say anything about their vision problems for fear of losing their jobs.

Our business is run and owned by optical professionals who are also musicians and we understand the problem because it has happened to us.

We have designed and developed a range of lenses specifically for presbyopic musicians to help them extend their playing career. These lenses are multi-powered lenses but they are not varifocals. They allow more comfortable vision and a much wider field of view for the performer. We use different designs depending on the instrument being played and the ensemble. We also have a completely different approach to dispensing these lenses compared to other optical providers.

Initially, we marketed our offering online and In our first year, we turned over £76,500. We opened our first fully-fledged practice in March 2017 in response to the demand of our clients. They wanted us to be able to test their vision as well as dispense their new glasses. We opened the practice in Meltham near Huddersfield. We chose that location for the strong musical connections in the area and because of its location halfway along the M62.

The practice has now been open over six months and has turned over £65,000.00 to date with a projected yearly turnover of £155,000 plus.

Because of the severity of the "unspoken problem," we have attracted business from all over the world, with musicians flying in for consultations from across Europe, including, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Australia.

We started the business with just myself and my partner, but over the course of a year we now employ 6 people and we plan to grow further. The lenses are currently manufactured for us by lens surfacing laboratories in the three different locations in the UK. With different laboratories making different lens designs. This keeps our secret safe, (That and an NDA)

Our growth has been mainly thanks to social media with musicians posting their experiences of the new lenses online. This has led to working coming in via virtual word of mouth recommendations. We also exhibit at the major music competitions and conferences as well as growing the business locally with flyers and through networking groups.

We plan to grow the business overseas and have been working with the Department for International Trade to take an exhibition stand at some of the major Brass Band competitions across Europe. This will help us reach our target audience abroad.

We would love to share our experience with others who may be thinking of developing a business because of their own life experiences or about turning taboos into a profitable business.

Thank you for your time

Kind Regards

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Allegro Optical is a new startup optician with a difference. Unlike many of the large optical chain stores, our business is mostly staffed by people over 40 years of age. By employing older staff we have a wealth of experience to call on. We feel it is this wide experience which gives our clients a first-class experience and it also means that our staff can empathise and often understand from their own experience, the varied eye conditions we frequently see.

Our target client is the older person who feels rushed or sometimes overwhelmed when using one of a large number of optical chains out there. We offer a more personal and less pressurised environment to the "big boys".

As far as we know we are the only opticians in the world to specialise in helping older musicians with their vision and we have a range of lenses that we have developed especially for the older musician. We have been lucky enough to have clients travel from all over the world to use our service and we have been successful in both enhancing and extending our clients playing and performing careers.