MiraMira Optics officially opened in mid-May. We’d completed all the preparations in record time and our adventure was about to begin. It was going to be an adventure indeed, because who would have ever thought that I would become an owner of a business, together with Sanna, my good friend of many years? It’s one of life’s puzzles how it got to this: both Sanna and I having little experience in running a business or in optometrics! But opportunities arose and we were both motivated by our desire to support the Fundación Ruach, or possibly another social project, with the profit of the business in due course.
It’s seven months since we opened the shop. We have gained a lot of experience. We helped more than 400 customers. We made ten agreements with small companies whose employees an extra discount if they buy their glasses through us. We advertised our services during a working day in a town outside Juigalpa. We donated reading glasses to some residents of the only retirement home in Juigalpa. As there was lots to celebrate at the end of the year, Sanna and I took our employees out for dinner. In the photos you can see our optometrist, our main saleswoman, a shop assistant who can be used flexibly, the freelance bookkeeper, Sanna and myself. It was a pleasant social gathering with a touch of focus on work when we discussed our plans for 2022. There is no space for resting on our laurels!
We are happy with how business is going so far. It will take a while before we will have cleared the debts of the initial investment of equipment and a stock of frames. Each month so far our earnings exceeded our expenses, so we think it will take us a year or two to have paid back to several of our friends who provided soft loans. Our fixed costs are quite high, since we rent a shop in the centre, and the salary of the optometrist is considerable, e.g. it is three times as high as what our employees in the Community Home earn. But we have a great team. We trust that investing in good employees will pay for itself in due course. We are very grateful for the gifts from several people of goodwill in England and the Netherlands which enabled us to get our business going, via the Ruach Optics project page on the global giving website. This project page has now been discontinued. Donations for the Ruach Foundation can still be made through the Ruach foundation project on Global Giving. For those of you who want to indirectly support the Ruach Foundation by clearing MiraMira Optics’ debts as soon as possible, this is possible by a transfer to the account of Ruach’s mother foundation in the Netherlands, Vivir Juntos, but please refer to ‘MiraMira’. Vivir Juntos has tax exempt status: anbi-status. Another possibility is to directly pay into my Dutch account. Please send me an email if this is your preferred option.