See Saw Seen opened its first physical store at 515 Gough St. (and Grove) early last month. Husband-and-wife duo Jenny Yuen and Eric Tse offer eyeglasses for women, men and kids as well as full optometry services.
Tse told us when we visited the store that it took about three months to get the shop ready. John Chan, who is also a client of See Saw Seen, was the architect responsible for the store's buildout, Yuen said.
According to city documents, work in the 1,500-square-foot space, previously occupied by a bridal boutique, included floor finishes, new paint, a new interior non-bearing wall, new electric fixtures as well as a new suspended ceiling for a cost of $200,000.
Yuen, who is an optometrist, explained that they were initially shooting for an opening in May but navigating the city's permit process and construction took longer than expected. She added that the space is now also ADA accessible.
See Saw Seen operated four years as an online store with occasional pop-ups at Hayes Valley's Urban Air Market or the Treasure Island Flea Market, but it became obvious that customers needed to be able to try on glasses and feel the frames in a permanent store.
"We were searching for a space for a whole year," Yuen said. "We were lucky to find it."
She also added that customers can now easily come back when they need little adjustments to their glasses and that See Saw Seen is now also able to offer contact lens fittings.
Most of the shop's eyeglass frames are available for $98. Yuen noted that they don’t source their frames from the main distributors. Instead, they hunt for unique styles at international trade shows in Korea, China or Japan, and sometimes even visit producers' factories.
See Saw Seen's frames are named after well-known San Francisco streets. For example, customers can try a pair named Hayes, or others named after Market and Brannan streets.
The store currently doesn't have any employees, but Yuen joked that their four-year-old daughter is already very good at greeting customers.
See Saw Seen is open on Monday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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