Clever Ideas to Market Your Business Before and After Small Business Saturday

By Staff
Wednesday, November 27, 2019 10:24 AM NEW YORK—Small Business Trends, a great resource for all types of independent businesses, in an updated post this month, suggests 50 Clever Ways to Market Your Business Before and After Small Business Saturday, a post by Annie Pilon. 

Opti-Independents Prepare for #SmallBusinessSaturday

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 3:18 PM NEW YORK—With Thanksgiving on the horizon, the holiday shopping season is officially full steam ahead. As usual, there’s no shortage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to take advantage of this year—but, for many independent ECPs across the country, it’s Small Business Saturday (this year on Nov. 30th) that really makes a difference. 

Graeme Black Eyecare in Northern Ireland

By Staff
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 11:56 AM The team at Graeme Black Eyecare, in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, shared on Instagram that they won the Best Retailer award at their local 2019 Mid Ulster Business Excellence Awards. Image via Graeme Black Eyecare on Instagram. 

Independents Get Inspired—and Educational—With the Thanksgiving Spirit

By Staff
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 12:00 AM NEW YORK—By this time tomorrow, many of us will be camped out on a couch, stuffed to the brim with turkey and mashed potatoes, dreaming about pumpkin pie. But right now, people across the country are gearing up for Thanksgiving—and that includes ECPs, who are using Thanksgiving as inspiration for in-office decorations, special events and even educational moments. As you—hopefully—settle down for a long weekend and a whole lot of food, let’s take a little scroll through how the optical community is celebrating Thanksgiving this year. After all, is there any better way to get in the spirit?

Indie Brand Looks at Bugs for Inspiration

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 1:54 PM NEW YORK—Inspiration for frame design can strike from anywhere. We’re no strangers to terms like “vintage inspired,” or “travel inspired,” or “music inspired,” in this industry—but what about “bug inspired?” For independent brand Vuliwear, beauty is in the eye of the bug-holder. Vuliwear founder Dionne Ellison says she was struck by a magnified photo of a bug’s eyes, and began to design eyewear inspired by the colors and patterns of insects’ compound eyes. Working with Essilor Sun Solution, Ellison’s initial launch features six sun styles: BLKnBLU, Deuces, Zag, Flatliner, Pearl and Siren. Three featured styles, BLKnBLU, Deuces and Zag are lightweight unisex metal aviator styles inspired by the Blue Damselfly, Striped Horsefly and African Twig Mantis respectively.

Taking the Plunge With What a Spectacle Optometry

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 12:21 PM RANCHO MISSION VIEJO, Calif.—Opening a practice cold wasn’t the initial plan of Michelle Ahumada, OD—actually, it was the bank’s idea. The rest, she said, “was history.” Dr. Ahumada graduated from the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO), now the Southern California School of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University, in 2001, and, about a year later, bought a house and started a family. Now a mother of three, Dr. Ahumada told Vision Monday, “I never stopped working, but I did cut back to part-time.” Throughout the years, she worked in a variety of practices—most recently at Costco—and eventually decided she wanted the ability to be her own boss. She explained, “I first looked at buying a practice, but that did not work out. I had already applied for the loan, and the bank suggested I look into opening cold. When they did, I remembered about a brand new shopping center; I got in touch with the leasing company and the rest was history.”

Luckey Eye Care in Florida

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 11:53 AM To commemorate Veterans’ Day, Florida-based Luckey Eye Care shared that Google Maps have recently recognized them as a “highly rated ‘Veteran-Led’ business.”

Independents Can Navigate Challenges With The Merchant Map

By Mary Kane
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 10:48 AM You’re inspired and passionate as an independent optician or eyecare practice, but you might also want to be inspired and glean successful ideas from others. If so, you can check out The Merchant Map, a different and resource-rich site that describes itself as “The exact blue print to build your retail confidence and gain creative control….by prioritizing the right work at the right time so you can grow your business in your own way.” The site and its programs are run by Chris Guillot, the designer of The Merchant Map and founder of Merchant Method, a boutique consulting agency. She was named a 2019 (and 2018) retail industry influencer by Vend and featured on Business Insider, among others, for her retail insights.

Guillot explains that The Merchant Map and Method offers a signature planning process and workshops for retailers of all types, geared to those with “inventory-based businesses.” The Merchant Method and its blog offers other resources and tactical tips.

[Partner Post] Changing Life Through Lenses Program Helps Doctors Serve Those in Need

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 7:00 AM It’s the month of Thanksgiving and in this giving season, independent optometrists are partnering with Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) to serve those in need of better vision by providing free exams and eyeglasses through the Changing Life through Lenses program. There are 12 million children in the U.S. in need of vision care and this program helps doctors serve them through exams and glasses. The program allows eye doctors and non-profits to create an online account for no-cost prescription eyeglasses (lenses or frames or both); offers a free frame collection if doctors prefer to use EVF frames; and has resources on charitable engagement. The EVF frame kit has 30 styles representing 57 colors. 

Expanding to New Horizons With Indie Moscot

By Staff
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 12:32 PM NEW YORK—New York is Moscot’s DNA. The brand was founded in 1915 at 94 Rivington Street, in New York’s Lower East Side, by Hyman Moscot, who had been selling eyeglasses from a pushcart on nearby Orchard Street for nearly 20 years. In that time, the brand has established four locations in their native New York. But they didn’t stop there; New York is just the beginning for Moscot. Today, the brand, which is led by fourth-generation Harvey Moscot, OD, CEO, and fifth-generation Zack Moscot, chief design officer, also has locations in Tokyo, Seoul, Rome, Paris, London, and, their only U.S.-based location outside of New York: Moscot Melrose, which opened in Los Angeles this month. The father-son duo oversee the retail expansion together, and with three more openings on the horizon within the next six weeks—two in London and one in Milan—the Moscot family shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. 

EyeCarePro’s Optometry Marketing Ebooks Now Available for Download

By Mary Kane
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 10:10 AM NEW YORK—For ECPs who are looking to grow their practice, increase online presence and enhance revenue, EyeCarePro is offering their complete collection of ebooks, all available for free. These in-depth guides feature everything from how to shoot great practice videos to developing your practice brand and more. “Our mission is to give every eyecare practice the tools and strategies needed to truly grow. Now, we’re one step closer to that cause,” EyeCarePro said. As part of the library of Optometry Marketing ebooks, EyeCarePro continuously writes about and develops the most advanced marketing strategies, articles on best-practices, as well as guides for those practices that want to do-it-themselves.

Ebook titles include Beginner’s Guide to Online SEO, Guide to Practice Branding, Responding to Goggle reviews and more. Click here to peruse and download their library of ebooks. 

Norwalk Eye Care in Norwalk, Conn.

By Staff
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 9:17 AM Norwalk Eye Care in Norwalk, Conn., shared this easy-to-understand graphic to educate their followers on color vision deficiencies.

Independents Get Involved for Breast Cancer Awareness

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 4:24 PM Depending on how you define it, “making a difference” can feel a little daunting. Most of us don’t have the net worth, or networks, to change the world—but that doesn’t mean we can’t change the small world around us. This past month, independents across the country have done their bit to help bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Through special sales, donations, charity events, parties, special edition T-shirts, and more, independent practices have proven the age-old adage that every little bit counts. As October comes to a close, so does Breast Cancer Awareness Month--but that doesn’t mean we should write it off. This week, we’re taking a look at just a few of the ways independents have done their part this October; go ahead and take some inspiration from these ideas—it doesn’t have to wait until next year.

It’s Easy Being Green With Indie OD Brad Bodkin

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 12:18 PM MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C.—Cold opening an independent practice was not Dr. Brad Bodkin’s first plan. After graduating from the New England College of Optometry, Bodkin, OD, MS, FAAO spent a year working at another practice where, he said, “the idea started to make more sense.” Over the course of two years he built a business plan, and eventually was able to choose and lease a small location. At first, Dr. Bodkin chose the location for The Vision Center at Seaside Farms with expansion in mind. However, his neighbors started to buy land up pretty quickly—after just five years, nine out of the ten outparcels in the same shopping center were bought and developed into small condos. That’s when his wife, Sarah, gave the final push to buy that last remaining piece of land and expand—and five years later, they were able to do just that.

Independents Get Spooky for Halloween

By Staff
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:59 AM NEW YORK—With Halloween on the horizon, there’s no shortage of inspiring ideas for a little office spruce up. Last weekend, we took a look at some of the ways ECPs are getting excited for Halloween on social media, and independents are no exception. In fact, being independent might just mean a little more freedom to have some spooky, creepy fun in the office this October. When it comes to dressing up and decorating the office for Halloween, it’s pretty easy for ECPs to stay on brand. Eyeballs are a staple of Halloween décor, and some of the best Halloween costumes don’t just lend themselves to wearing glasses—they demand it. Imagine trying to dress up as Harry Potter, or Velma from Scooby Doo without the perfect pair? It just wouldn’t work.