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Person Behind The Place: Lorali Downes

April 19, 2022 - by Sandy Vo


Categories Heart of Bellevue Person Behind the Place

Lorali Downes

Person Behind The Place:
Lorali Downes

Owner | Lorali's Optical

When you’re looking for the perfect pair of frames in Downtown Bellevue, Lorali’s Optical may be the first shop that comes to mind. Owner Lorali Downes started her optical career 34 years ago at Ottica Seattle. In 2007, she followed them to their second location in Downtown Bellevue, until it permanently closed years later.

Downes' time in Bellevue wasn't over just yet. The closure became the perfect opportunity to open her own shop, Lorali's Optical, where she's provided beautiful, high-quality glasses to the Downtown community since 2013.

Downes explained that glasses are the "essence of your appearance," and should be a piece of art on your face. She now has the chance to ease people's fear of wearing glasses by delivering unique frames designed to make them feel beautiful. Hear more from Downes about the inspiration behind her products and her treasured spots in the heart of Bellevue.

What makes Lorali’s Optical stand out from other eyeglass shops in the area?

We’re here to stand out. Lorali’s Optical has an on-site optometrist who makes sure you get the right prescription. Our line of glasses is all eco-friendly from small designers picked from trade shows in Milan and Japan. In my own lifestyle, I’m cautious about what I put on my skin and what I wear – this ideology extends to my shop. It’s important that the glasses we sell are plant-based and free of harmful chemicals.

Lorali's Optical's interior

I also operate my Poshmark business, where I sell vintage items that are available to buy online and in-store. People can come in, pick some frames and pair them with any of the clothes on the rack.

Lorali’s Optical has a very memorable interior, what went into designing your space?

Marie Harris from Veritables did a fantastic job of designing my space. I wanted to create a shop that didn’t feel like a doctor’s office. The red walls and artworks make my shop look more fun and quirkier. We want people to come in and feel refreshed and relaxed, not stuffy.

Why do you love working in Downtown Bellevue?

It’s safe, friendly and highly neighborhood oriented. Downtown Bellevue felt like an excellent place to open my business, and since then, we’ve done really well.

Do you have a favorite place to shop in Downtown?

Gin and the Banker has charming products. Owner Rachael Nov does a great job seeking out interesting jewelry. Obviously, I also love Veritables. If I need any home décor, they have everything I’m looking for.

Where are your favorite places to dine in Downtown?

For my dining options, I stick to Old Bellevue restaurants like Monsoon, they’re an absolute favorite. Bis on Main is another one, I love their truffle fries.

Do you have any favorite hidden gems in Bellevue?

J. Chapa Hernandez Jewelers is one of my favorite hidden spots in Bellevue. They have such great taste. The jewelry he designs looks like it's made for European royalty.

Where do you see Downtown Bellevue in 5-10 years?

I feel that Downtown Bellevue will stay the same in terms of safety and pleasantness, but the city will continue to grow as more companies and people know about Downtown. It'll become a place for everyone to enjoy their time in. 

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Person Behind The Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.

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Lorali's Optical
10032 Main St
Bellevue, WA 98004

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