See your career at Specsavers: Joining Specsavers during the pandemic – Sam’s story

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Meet Sam Craig our Director of Frame Development. Sam joined Specsavers as the pandemic hit, working remotely had it’s challenges but it hasn’t stopped Sam getting fully embedded into our unique culture, something we are quite proud of.

Greetings fellow earthlings, let’s get the introductions out of the way, I’m Sam Craig, Director of Frame Development, based in North London. I suppose those who know me would describe me as an eyewear geek.

22 years ago, I began my lifelong (so far) dedication to making spectacles. From Boots Opticians as an assistant buyer, I joined Inspecs working my way up to Head of Product. At the age of 25 the latter role took me to Hong Kong for 4 and half years, where I cut my teeth in factories all over Southeast Asia, including making the first French Connection product for Specsavers.

5 years followed at Inspecs UK-HQ, then my tenure as Creative Director at Mondottica, a role I held for 6 years during which time I re-launched Karen Millen in Specsavers, taking it to the No1 volume female brand globally. (I don’t think it would be too bold to state that this pipped me up on the green radar.)

Branded product has been my speciality, the trusted custodian of Superdry, Ted Baker, Hackett, Cath Kidston over the years and now my hands turn to making incredible product here with Specsavers.

Six weeks into my probation, lockdown. All plans to travel, visit the regions, get out to the frame suppliers; scuppered. And despite relishing a challenge, having to absorb a complex global business from home was a rather large one. Testament to one of the many strengths of this company, great people were everywhere I turned, and they have helped me, greatly.

During the past 18 months the frame development team has managed to seamlessly maintain supply and we have also launched fantastic innovative new products, one highlight being ReWear, making frames from recycled plastic bottles. I am very proud of the team for all that we have achieved together, mostly from our box rooms, lounges and kitchens.

What have you learnt during your time at Specsavers?
I have learnt the power of Microsoft Teams and the strength of having a great team around you, not just in my world of supply chain, but throughout the group. Everyone talks about the green blood, but it is undoubtedly the reason our heart beats ever stronger today. We came through this together. Now it is time to build for the future.

I have also remembered the importance of being together now that restrictions have lifted, and the team can get together again, it’s incredible how much more connected you feel in person.

What would you say to encourage someone thinking about applying?
Get on with it and stop reading this sentence immediately!

Why do you love working at Specsavers?
I’ve already mentioned the people, but for me, it’s the fact that we are led by the principle of doing what is right, this, a unique gift and a light that often guides me when I am decision making.

What one word would you use to describe the Specsavers culture?

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