Founded in a charming seaside town in Portugal in 2012 by three close friends, MoodOptic strives to help individuals around the world see life better. And with a friendship cemented since the summer of 1989, Nuno C, Nuno M and Luís A and their infectious passion for life and laughter sits at the heart of the brand.
Rather ironically, being colour-blind, Co-founder Nuno C has always seen things differently to others around him. He realised early on that life isn't black and white (or blue and grey!), there is always a story to interpret. Together with Co-founder Nuno M and co-worker Luís A, they believe that seeing life better is not only about what you see - colours, objects and words - but how you feel when you're viewing it.
That's the foundation of MoodOptic and true to their word, they continue to ensure that people around the world celebrate the beauty in life through seamless eye care and perfect eyewear.
A carefully selected range of quality eyewear, combined with highly competitive pricing and a personalised customer service, provides a remarkable one-stop-destination for individuals' eye care needs.
Join us in celebrating the beauty in life with #seelifebetter
I step into the bustling hub of the restaurant and I'm immediately hit by an aroma that makes my mouth water. I know for a fact that I'm not going to be able to resist any of the scrumptious looking food in this place. I'm still staring in awe at the plates of food being placed in front of a couple next to me when I'm greeted by [a man who has to be] the owner. After a brief "Boa tarde" he quickly realises that I'm English. "Do you have a reservation?" he asks. I give him the name Nuno Cabral and suddenly his face morphs into a huge grin. With no further exchange of words, he takes the lead as I follow him to a round table right next to the kitchen which he informs me is "the best table in the house". I smile my thanks and order a coffee as I wait for my guests. I glance at my watch to see that it's midday. Any minute now.
I'm daydreaming about the food and [slightly] panicking about what to order, when I hear raised voices at the entrance. I look over to see the owner approach three men at the door like they are family. One pulls him into a hug and I recognise the owner of the hug from photos; Nuno Cabral, founder of online retailer Mood Optic. He stops twice on the way over to me to say hello to people he knows and when he finally reaches me, gives me a warm smile which instantly puts me at ease. "Nicole, it's a pleasure to finally meet you. I am Nuno and these are my close friends and business partners, Maia and Luis". He playfully nudges the other two the way only old friends can, and I'm soon brushing cheeks with them as I introduce myself. I try not to blush but I'm not sure how well I cover it up. All three are quite charming and it's not long before Nuno is ordering everything on the menu which he insists I have to try. Challenge accepted.
Over glasses of wine and the greenest olives I have ever seen, I enquire about how they know each other. Nuno, the founder and driving force behind the business, explains how they met during childhood when they would spend entire summers together on holiday playing football and tennis, and playing pranks on each other.
NC: "I will always remember the time Luis dared me to eat as many Percebes as I could in 10 minutes." I must look confused because he pauses to explain that these are very popular in Portugal and are filter-feeding crustaceans that live attached to hard surfaces of rocks. He also informs me that he's ordered them. Hmmm. Yummy. He continues, "Luis said he would follow after me, but he didn't. Instead he wouldn't stop laughing because I looked so beaten!" Luis chuckles and Maia casually says with a wink, "Ah, but he got you back though didn't he Luis?" The bond between them all is almost palpable and I can't help but warm to this charming trio.
I go on to ask how their online brand Mood Optic started.
NC: "For 12 years I ran an optical store in Viseu specialising in contact lenses. One day I thought to myself, there must be a way of offering consumers better value when it comes to contact lenses. And so I went on a mission to do something about it!" I can't help but laugh at his faux determined expression. NM: "Then one day he calls me up at one o'clock in the morning and tells me to meet him at our regular spot the following evening because he has some exciting news for us." Nuno pretends to look sheepish. As it turns out, that meeting in 2012 was the start of their business partnership and the three of them have been joined at the hip ever since.
Nuno succeeded in his initial goal to provide consumers with the top contact lens brands for better prices. And together with Maia as the marketing brains and Luis as the tech wiz, they have quite the skillset. It's no wonder that they are now growing their business to include prescription glasses and sunglasses.
When I ask them more about their expansion into eyewear and how they plan to stand out from competitors, I half expect the usual plethora of responses - they want to offer consumers more for their money, a large range of frames for all tastes, 'free' returns, et cetera, et cetera. Instead I hear something quite different.
NC:"We [Portugal] often get missed off the map when it comes to the fashion meccas of the world - Milan, New York, London. However, we have access to some of the most highly skilled craftsmen who create the most beautiful designs right here in Lisbon. Our Q glasses are a prime example of this. Each pair has been handcrafted to give them that edge and it means we can be more original with our designs. I'm a... what's the word... a stickler? [I nod in reassurance that it's definitely a word] for quality and detail but value is very important to me too."
Having been a spectacles wearer myself from the age of three, I know first-hand just how expensive prescription eyewear can be if you don't shop around, especially if you want the quality. I tell them this and Nuno reaches into his satchel, pulls out a trendy looking glasses case and hands it to me. "These are for you. We saw a photo and thought this style would suit you." I open up the case as they eagerly wait for my reaction. I gently lift out the most beautiful pair of sunglasses I have ever seen. A cat-eye frame with a matte animal print. They are truly stunning and I put them on to find that they fit perfectly. For once I am speechless and I thank them with what little voice I have left.
As I recover, Maia continues where Nuno left off and adds that trust is a key factor for the business. "I am a firm believer that life should be enjoyed and explored. We want our customers to not only be happy with the service we provide but to feel special in the items they have chosen. Life is full of beauty and we want to help our customers see life better and feel good while doing so." Now, I'm not much of a romantic but even I am swept away by this passionate speech.
Needless to say, the food was out of this world. Before I knew it, it was three o'clock and it was time for me to go. Next stop, shopping. With my new sunglasses I felt great. More confident somehow. "Bela!" a dashing man shouts out and smiles as he points at my glasses. Now you don't have to be Portuguese to know what that means...