I am Koen Van Pottelbergh and due to a serious accident where I lost half of my sight, my view on life changed drastically. That is why I created the concept “CreativEyeworks”. Because everyone in the world has the right to see well, and to take all opportunities life has to offer!
The concept is based on five pillars, which are put into practice by different concepts and organizations. The intention with “CreativEyeworks” is to develop and streamline these five pillars properly. Each pillar is equally important for success, because these are the communicating vessels.
Eyes For The World
Is the “Social pillar”. It aims to give as many people as possible around the world and in Belgium the opportunity to see fully.
For example, approximately 350,000 people worldwide have been helped with the “FocusSpecs”, self-correcting glasses. These projects span South America, Africa, Asia and Europe and are done in collaboration with numerous organizations. This is done with the help of donations and gifts from people and organizations, but also gifts from our commercial pillar “Den Brillenman”. This model is called: Business to Society ( B2S)
In Belgium, we work together with various organizations such as the Red Cross, Fedasil, but also social houses of the municipalities around the city Mechelen. The intention is to pursue this form of cooperation with social houses to help throughout the whole Belgium.
Represents our “Commercial pillar”, it is an optician concept-store in Mechelen that started as a pop-up store in 2019, but is now permanently located in Mechelen.
The physical store/webshop is the commercial aspect within the larger concept “CreativEyeworks”. However, it is essential to also have a commercial pillar and therefore a shop in order to be able to implement the socio-economic aspect on a large scale. And eventually be completely self-sustaining.
Galleria Het Oog
Our cultural pillar. We collaborate with young artists from the region and give them the opportunity to exhibit their work to a wider audience. We start from the motto “seeing gives art a soul”.
Each time, a local artist is given a month to exhibit his/her works in the physical store of “Den Brillenman”.
This is a win-win situation for everyone, in the first place for the artist, who becomes more famous, but also for the visitor who has a nice extra pigment when they come to the store.
Is the “Circular pillar” and is very important to us. As a society we have the responsibility to overthink our consumer behavior, we need to transform from a mass-consumption to a re-consumption model. Refaced is the new concept that we want to develop and deploy. The aim here is to collect old and second-hand glasses and give them a new life, so that the economic life can be extended. This makes it possible to make the process circular. We want to start a recycling process with the recovered lenses as well. With this concept we want to improve the quality of glasses and decrease the price of it.
Education and personal development of people, especially from disadvantaged groups, is also extremely important within the entire concept of “CreativEyeworks”. That is why there is currently already a collaboration with the city of Mechelen to give people from disadvantaged groups the opportunity to do an internship at “Den Brillenman”. These people are trained mainly through a practical approach to learning on the job.
The intention is to also enter into even more collaborations, such as with the VDAB, social houses, etc. in order to employ even more people. The profession of optician has become a bottleneck profession and if we want to make this socioeconomic circular concept a success that can be implemented on a large scale, we just need a lot of good opticians. That is why we see it as our duty to give these people a chance and to train them well and to develop our “educational pillar” as well.
I am convinced that this project will succeed and will have a disruptive and positive impact on the optical sector and society as a whole.