OCEAN CITY – An Optical Galleria has brought a new art gallery to the area coupled with providing unique eyewear, as both of the boutiques aim to bring out the best in everyone.
An Optical Galleria, owned by Niki and Robert Pino, opened in Centreville, Md. located in Queen Anne’s County in August of 2002. The new location in West Ocean City located in the Teal Marsh Shopping Plaza off of Route 611 opened on March 15 of this year.
Robert Pino has been an optician since 1979 starting out in the Washington D.C. area. With a background in Marketing and Graphic Design, Niki Pino has put her artistic talents to work designing logos, brochures, newsletters, ad campaigns, and hundreds of books for both profit and nonprofit agencies.
Once getting married and starting a family in Centreville, Robert Pino began traveling working in sales for an optical company.
“One year I was in Las Vegas conducting sales at a trade show for an optical company, and my 13-year-old son Anthony scored three goals as freshman on the varsity soccer team and then when 9-11 happened it pushed me to stay at home and get off the road,” Robert Pino said.
That is when Robert and Niki Pino decided to put their talents together and open An Optical Galleria, a boutique that features both art of local artists and unique eyewear.
An Optical Galleria’s mission is to educate and provide the very best in eye care as an award winning full service optical boutique dispensing premium products and providing a wide variety of quality eyewear.
“A lot of the frames are based on the person’s personality and what they do … you put a frame on the right person it is unbelievable what happens,” Niki Pino said. “A lot of what we do is enhancing what somebody already has with their unique features of their personality. It is fun.”
Robert Pino pointed out a frame around a painting of a palm tree in the West Ocean City location.
“It brings out the beauty of the art, and that is what we do with our eyewear. We want to bring out somebody’s best features,” he said.
While the Pino’s are traveling between the two locations, their son Chris Pino operates the West Ocean City location full-time with their other son, Anthony, who also serves as the captain of the Blood Money out of Sunset Marina.
Both Robert and Chris Pino handcraft the eyewear on premise for better quality control, whether the frames are bought at An Optical Galleria or brought in.
The boutique carries a variety of unique, one-of-a-kind frames that include hand stitched Italian leather, marbleized Italian styles, hand painted in Israel, seamless handmade frames from Japan, or etched with designs.
Brands include Miyagi Eyewear, Wiley X, Ronit Furst, Amphibia floating sunglasses, and even custom handmade eyewear made by Robert Pino himself. An Optical Galleria is also a Costa RX dealer where the high-end sunglasses can be fit to a prescription.
Local artists currently on display is Niki Pino’s own paintings, as well as carver Joseph Poore, the watercolor paintings of Charlotte Poore, the original watercolors of Dee Brua, painter Dean Lo, and Jean Nichols of Riverhouse Studio.
The art shown at An Optical Galleria will rotate. If interested in having art shown in the space contact the Pino’s at the store by stopping by or call 410-390-3924.
“We like being different,” Niki Pino said. “An Optical Galleria brings out our different passions.”
Besides the art hanging on the walls, the space is a piece of art itself. Walking into the store it is a fresh of breath air from the intriguing displays down to the furniture Niki Pino created herself out of a tree their son Chris found in the bay and the desks made from dry cedar.
“It is warm and inviting,” Robert Pino said.
An Optical Galleria has won many awards several years in a row by What’s Up Magazine Best Of Eastern Shore in the categories of Local Optician, Customer Service and Boutique.
“We are fortunate that we have such a great customer base,” Niki Pino said.
An Optical Galleria works closely with the community in both Centreville and Ocean City. Since coming to the area, it has donated to several good causes, such as the Ocean City Reef Foundation.
For more information on An Optical Galleria visit their website at www. eyesandart.net.