Laura Draycott, owner of Wink I Wear Optometry, in her Kelowna store.  Don Denton photograph

Secrets and Lives with Laura Draycott

Boutique eyewear owner discusses life, business and perspective

  • May. 19, 2021 8:30 a.m.

– Words by Angela Cowan Photography by Don Denton

Licensed optician Laura Draycott had been managing and growing her unique eyewear boutique Wink i Wear in Kelowna for six years when a chance encounter pushed her business in a new direction.

She met Dr. Tim Degelman at a 2018 fundraiser for Kelowna General Hospital, and quickly discovered they shared a lot of common ground.

“He had recently moved from Saskatchewan, and his wife is a chiropractor,” says Laura, who was a practicing chiropractor herself years earlier. “We hit it off right away, and we had lots to talk about.”

Tim was immediately interested in the boutique, and inquired whether Laura was looking for an optometrist to join the team. His suggestion instantly clicked for Laura, who seized the opportunity to provide absolute comprehensive care to her clients.

“We put a plan together, found a bigger space and joined forces to create a full-service optical shop with a glam-warehouse feel,” she says.

Designs cover the gamut, with a huge variety of shapes, textures and colours to complement any face and satisfy any style. And combined with a truly impressive selection of eyewear, Wink i Wear Optometry now offers comprehensive eye exams with retinal imaging.

“We’re a complete eye-care centre with a boutique flair,” says Laura. “Exams, contact lenses, eye emergencies, medical referrals…we offer it all, and we’re actively growing this aspect of the business.”

Describing the inception of her business, Laura says, “I’d been in optical for a while, and I thought I’d take a chance. I knew that there was some very fun, unique and creative eyewear out there, so I just took a giant gamble that the stylish folks in the Okanagan would be supportive.”

The shop was so successful that Laura needed to bring on extra help by her second month, and many of those first customers have kept coming back over the years.

“Our clientele is amazing,” she enthuses. “We’ve had customers I’ve dealt with for eight years. It’s been such a joy, and I’ve met so many cool people!”

“I never thought I’d be living here, and I never thought I’d be doing this,” adds Laura, who moved to Kelowna from Alberta almost exactly a decade ago. “At the time, I just kept walking through doors.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my hubby, Stephen,” she adds warmly. “I just kind of threw everything into the store and he said, ‘You’ll do great!’ He’s been a big fan and a big support, and that’s really mattered in making the business successful.”

The 7 Sins

Envy:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

I think it would be interesting to walk my exact life, but as a man. I’m very curious as to how life would have turned out had I not had to deal with the challenges of being female. I’d like to imagine life without sexual harassment, misogyny, low wages, disrespect and ageism as I re-entered the workforce in my mid-40s… Would I have been more confident in my choices? Would I have had more courage to put myself first? Would I have made more money? Would I have been encouraged to become a business leader instead of a cheerleader? It’s an interesting thought experiment.

Gluttony:

What is the food you could eat over and over again?

Hawkins Cheezies, like a true Canadian!

Greed:

You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?

Charter a private jet to England. Buy a convertible Aston Martin and drive around Southern Europe staying at 5-star hotels, eating at Michelin-star restaurants, drinking fabulous wine and seeing everything that France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Malta and Greece have to offer.

Wrath:

Pet peeves?

Poor-fitting eyeglasses and gross, dirty or green nose pads.

Sloth:

Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

It is really hard for me to sit still for long periods of time. My idea of doing nothing is spending time with a good book, a cold drink and a lounge chair on a warm quiet beach.

Pride:

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?

I can still do a one-handed cartwheel.

Lust:

What makes your heart beat faster?

At my age, too much caffeine…but nothing gets it going like a challenging game of Dr. Mario with my hubby!

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

BusinessFashionLifestyleStyle

Just Posted

The City of Cranbrook and the Ktunaxa Nation raised the flag of the Ktunaxa Nation at the arches entrance into the city’s downtown core during a ceremony on Monday, June 21. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Ktunaxa Nation flag raised at downtown arches entrance

The Ktunaxa Nation flag was raised at the Cranbrook arches — the… Continue reading

Kimberley Search and Rescue were able to quickly respond to a call for service and transport an injured mountain biker to East Kootenay Regional Hospital over the weekend. Kimberley SAR file photo.
Kimberley Search and Rescue respond to injured mountain biker on Bootleg Mountain

Kimberley Search and Rescue responded to a call for service this past… Continue reading

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation to host flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day. (Corey Bullock file)
City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation hosting flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day

A temporary road closure and speed limit reduction will be in effect during the ceremony

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read