James started Kwong Shin Optical in 1976 in front of a shophouse at 642 North Beach Road. Armed with a few frames, a display case and a tremendous amount determination, he gradually expanded from a booth space to occupy half of the shophouse, before relocating to Bras Basah Complex in 1980 to make way for road works.

He has since married one of his first (and still one of his best) salespeople, Annie, and together with 6 staff, continue to serve their customers with a lot of heart from the same shop in Bras Basah.