Name: Eric Dickstein
Organization/Business: Durant Sessions and Dutil
What do you do and how did you get here?
I am the owner of Durant Sessions eyewear store here in Gastown. I started in this business in 1996 working as an optician for the eyewear brand Oliver Peoples. I navigated my way through the company to become a sales rep. I was also responsible for marketing and I still work for the company. A few years ago, I decided to take the knowledge and experience I had gained and open my own optical shop. Durant Sessions has been here for two years now and we’re growing steadily.
How did you come up with the name Durant Sessions?
A friend of mine, who has inspired me a great deal and who also works in the optical industry, and I used to play music together. We did a series of recording sessions called: “The Durant Sessions” – named after a street he lived on in Beverley Hills.
If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?
Tough one. Good question though. I would walk back and forth to Dutil and Durant Sessions. I like supporting local businesses and one of my favourite spots is The Black Frog. I would grab lunch there.
What do you love about the neighbourhood?
I love the fact that there is a metamorphosis occurring here. Back when we opened we were like a caterpillar and now we are a like a butterfly and that’s what Gastown is. It’s a transformation of different cultures, people and economic backgrounds working and living together in a very historic area of the city. It’s a beautiful process that occurs here and I feel very proud to be a part of it.
What’s your most memorable happy moment or experience in Gastown?
I remember when I first opened Dutil back in April 2006 and I was very naïve and excited. I remember thinking how cool the store looked. I would park across the street and watch to see people pass by and look at the store. It was really exciting to watch people’s reactions to something that I had created. It was special.
What’s your philosophy for a good life?
Be kind. Stay true to who you are. Cherish the moments that you have because they go by quickly. We don’t know how long we have so enjoy this moment in time.