David Salk

When David Salk was in college, he dreamed of taking his rock and roll band on gigs around the world. He needed a way to pay for his amplifiers and instruments, though, so he always kept a side job working in his father’s field: optometry.

One job fitting contact lenses led to other similar ventures and in 1976 Salk opened Focal Point Opticians on Ashby near College. From the start, the store emphasized customer service and style. Focal Point carries frames from most of the world’s sophisticated eyeglass designers, including Oliver Peoples, Face a Face, Alain Mikli, la Eyeworks, and many more.

But Salk also has a related business that has given him a vaulted reputation in the optical world. In the 1980s he started manufacturing eyeglass clip-ons that can convert ordinary glasses into sunglasses.  Now his company, eClips, makes clip-ons for eyeglass professionals around the country.

The industry magazine 2020 recently profiled Salk, calling him a “sunglass clip guru,” and characterized eClips as a “sunglass empire.”

Elijah Woods is wearing the new flip-ups produced Oliver Peoples and eClips

In February, Oliver Peoples will begin selling sunglass flip-ups manufactured by Salk’s company.  Oliver Peoples hired actor Elijah Wood and singer Shirley Manson to model the new frames, creating quite a buzz on fashion blogs.

As for music? Salk hasn’t given it up. He has written songs for the members of the Jefferson Airplane and has a band, Eyerock, that plays at trade gatherings.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...