A fashion-forward optical shop that was born at BW is getting national attention.

MBA Alumni Team up to Open Eye Candy Optical

July 13, 2015

A fashion-forward optical shop that was born at BW is getting national attention, was in the black within 10 months of opening and is on track to achieve its three-year revenue goal a year early! Eye Candy Optical in Westlake, the brainchild of MBA graduates Anton Syzdykov '13 and Steve Nelson '99, was recently featured in an Inside Business (IB) magazine story on entrepreneurship education.

In 2013, while still pursing his entrepreneurship MBA at BW, Syzdykov encouraged Nelson to audit a business-plan development class that he was taking and it was there that two men developed the plan for Eye Candy Optical with support from Professor Ven Ochaya. After Syzdykov graduated, the pair dipped into 401(k) accounts and personal savings, and secured a small business loan to open the store in a 1,300 square foot space in the Promenade at Crocker Park.

“The hardest thing about starting a business is [getting funding] and finding a framework — actually vetting out an idea and saying, ‘OK, does the idea have legs?’ and then, ‘How are we going to put all of the pieces together?’ ” Nelson told IB. “We had the opportunity to do it all in a classroom setting.”

With roughly 1,400 eye glass frames for customers to choose from, the business was ranked number two on a list of America's 10 finest optics retailers by InvisionMag. According to Invision, "Eye Candy is [Syzdykov and Nelson's] answer to this question: 'What if Victoria's Secret and House of Blues opened a glasses shop?' "

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