Around the age of eighteen, Chong Mee Liang, the late founder of Mee Mee Optics, took an optometry apprenticeship from the Oriental Optical Company situated at North Bridge Road.
Back in the 60s, Singapore did not possess a formal training structure for optometry. It relied heavily on informal apprenticeships – often at the request of a kin – which is why the optometry profession in Singapore has a good number from the Hakka Chinese community. In 1965, the year of Singapore’s independence, Chong Mee Liang and his siblings – after years of optometric expertise – opened an optical shophouse at Beauty World Town, a well-received addition to Beauty World Park – which was converted from an amusement park.
Beauty World Town had an assortment of vendors that sold everything from groceries to cosmetics, shoes and eyewear.
The optical eyewear shop was named “Mee Mee Optics” or美美眼鏡店 (translated loosely to “Beautiful Eye-wear Shop”) located at 101 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, just outside where Beauty World Plaza currently stands at Bukit Timah. During that time, Chong Mee Liang fabricated prescription lenses at his own optical workshop, using semi-finished blanks, and spent long hours crafting the lens into the frame by hand. It was hard work but he took great pride in providing better vision to his customers.