Meet Hexham director Julie Hall
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m 40-something years old and have worked in optics for 21 of those years. I’m the dispensing director at Specsavers in Hexham and live in Killingworth, North Tyneside, very close to stunning seaside and beaches.
What attracted you to a career in optics?
My career in optics came about due to an entirely chance conversation In the 1990s. I was working in a bank and started to chat to a Specsavers director who was doing his store’s banking. He told me about the career opportunities available to women at Specsavers and I was intrigued – it seemed so much more supportive than the banking world. I had a spur of the moment interview with that director and the rest, as they say, is history.
How did you come to run a Specsavers store?
I started work in Specsavers Camberley, 21 years ago and was encouraged to develop myself to my full potential, right from day one. After qualifying as a dispensing optician I spent five years getting management experience, and then became director of Penrith store. However after two years there the opportunity to have a store closer to home arose and I began working in Specsavers Hexham in 2010.
Where did you study?
I have experienced big city life, having studied at City and Islington University in London. Nowadays I have a great balance of city, Newcastle, historic town, Hexham and coast, North Tyneside. I feel really lucky to work in such a great part of the country.
What is the best part of your role?
Mixing and working with such a great range of people every day is one of the best parts of the job for me – there are never two days the same working alongside customers, staff and fellow directors.
Is there an interesting fact people might not know about you?
I was awarded a Blue Peter badge - which is a source of great pride – having come second in an art competition. The badge and congratulations letter are still kept safely at home! My toddler and I are always out and about as we live in such a stunning part of the North East. I’ve not used my Blue Peter badge to get free entry anywhere for quite some years. Maybe I’ll try it out this summer!