When Gerry Sondh got his first Sony Walkman, aged nine, that’s when everything changed.
“I had this crappy one before,” he says, sipping espresso, “but then my parents got me this Sony one with an equaliser on the side. It was beautiful, it sounded amazing, and it gave me control over the sound in a way I had never experienced. After that, whenever I wanted to buy something, I’d research it.”
In adulthood, that translated into an ethos that Gerry swears by. Form and function are everything to him. Affordability doesn’t matter. “There are plenty of cheap glasses out there.” He says, gesticulating. “I don’t think the world needs more cheap glasses.” I think the world needs more beautiful glasses, with better engineering.”
When he met Matt Rose, they were both successful opticians in their own right. Both of them had thriving local practices in Harborne, Birmingham, and Peterborough. Using Matt’s local knowledge, combined with Gerry’s eye for frames, they engaged Peterborough-based design agency Visual Etiquette, and the Glimpse brand was born. Gerry’s favourite city is Paris. “You know what I really love?” he says. “That film – Midnight in Paris. If I could live it, I would.” Gerry’s never going to be in a Woody Allen film, but he does spend lots of time getting lost in cities, eating, drinking, absorbing the culture, looking at the buildings. “I love those weird, Northern European 1960s buildings that look kinda shit, but when you dig a bit deeper they house an amazing community, and are filled with beautiful, light-filled offices and apartments.” He also likes any building with art up the side. As I found out – scrolling through his photo library.
When asked where he likes to eat, the response is way less specific than I expected. “I like anywhere that serves good quality seafood. Outdoors if possible. With a bottle of Pouilly Fume or Sancerre.”
I can tell from the way he describes food, buildings and places, that although he gesticulates, and appears flippant sometimes, this nonchalance is entirely studied, practised and executed with poise. What he really craves, and strives for, is exactitude. He doesn’t care about the product (whether that’s a film, a building, a plate of seafood or a pair of glasses) anywhere near as much as he cares about the experience.
And as we know, experience is the difference between a nice product, and a successful brand.
To find out more about Glimpse, visit them here.