Ben Collier (l) and Sarah Collier.

HIGH POINT, N.C.—Ben Collier, founder of Independent Optical Lab in Greensboro, N.C. has exited the company and is launching a new independent lab, Collier Optical Lab. “The original concept with Independent was to launch a major lab owned and funded by industry insiders—OD’s and opticians,” Collier told VMAIL. “The lab was a $5.5 million project, so in 2019 I took on investors from outside the industry to get the lab off the ground faster.” Collier launched Independent Optical Lab in March of 2020. He was serving as CEO when he left the company in January 2023.

“With our industry rapidly shifting, I wanted to guide the company back to my original plan of industry investment, in order to ensure long-term success. My outside investors and I were unable to come to an agreement on how to bring in industry investment and parted ways in January,” Collier said.

Ben and his wife, Sarah Collier, who together operated Independent Optical Lab since its inception, will launch Collier Optical Lab in April 2023. The lab is located in High Point, N.C. According to Sarah Collier, “Having the experience of launching and operating a major lab from the ground up gives us a massive advantage as we start our new operation. Most importantly, Collier Optical Lab will be funded and operated 100 percent by industry insiders.”

Commenting on the concept behind his new project, Ben Collier explained, “Collier Optical Lab launches as a private membership and profit-sharing lab that supports independent ECPs with a return of profit from their own lab work. Orders = membership. Membership = profit sharing.”