Wink Optics owner Quynh and her family. Courtesy image.

PictureWink Optics at 70 Throckmorton Ave. in Mill Valley.

There’s no shortage of business owners in Mill Valley for whom their current professional pursuit is a second or even third chapter. Many of them put their careers on pause to raise their children and then dipped their toes back into the business world as their kids got older.

Some of that arc describes the journey of Quynh Nguyen, owner of Wink Optics on Throckmorton Ave. downtown – except for the part of the toe dipping.

“I didn’t just dabble – I have thrown myself completely into this business,” she says about Wink, whose state board certified opticians play a similar role as a pharmacist in relation to a doctor. “We style and adjust to make sure the prescription fits the frame.”

Nguyen’s first career was in supply chain management for a major pharmaceutical company in San Diego. Nguyen says and her husband, who is in commercial construction management for DPR Construction, chose to move to Mill Valley for a variety of reasons.

PictureThe interior at Wink Optics.

“We wanted to live in an area where we didn’t have to move every few years every time a project was finished,” says Nguyen, who also has a brother in Sunnyvale and sister-in-law in San Rafael. “And obviously Mill Valley is such a great place to live  and the school system is exceptional.

She took some time off after she had her twin daughters, and later took a job with an eyeglasses frame sales company job so she could have more flexibility with her daughters. 

Through that role, Nguyen met Michael Quinn, who owned an eponymous optician shop at 70 Throckmorton Ave. downtown that he’d operated since 1989. Quinn eventually sought to sell the shop, and Nguyen and her business partner Frank Gomez, who also owns Wink locations in San Anselmo and Ukiah, bought the business from him in July 2009.

While Nguyen is deeply involved in the day-to-day at Wink, she’s just as involved in raising her twin 8th grade daughters Grace and Lauren, who play both CYO basketball and competitive volleyball, the latter through the Firebolts Volleyball Club, which Nguyen created. “There was definitely a need for an avenue for these girls to continue their volleyball.”

Nguyen seems to have struck the perfect balance between operating her own small business, playing a vital role in Marin’s youth sports programs and 

The 411: Wink Optics is at 70 Throckmorton Avenue. MORE INFO. ​

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