Nicole Nguyen’s ‘Eye Scribbles’—a Therapeutic Hobby That Turned Into a Business

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Chantilly, Va.—Nicole Nguyen, OD, has been a fulltime practitioner in the northern Virginia area for a little over a year now and her time as a full-time optometrist at MyEyeDr. in Chantilly, Va. inspired her to create Eye Scribbles, an Etsy shop that features eye-related artwork tailored for fellow doctors and lovers of all things eyewear. Eye Scribbles, which Nguyen started this past June has already taken off, gaining traction on Instagram and boasting nearly 600 followers in the short time it’s been up.

“I started Eye Scribbles because I felt like there was not enough eye related artwork or designs out there,” Nguyen stated. “I wanted to create great poster art to help make an office look pretty, as well as educate the patients.”

In addition to vinyl stickers—which, as shown on her Instagram page, can be placed on iPads, water bottles, wine glasses, planners, etc.—Nguyen also makes artwork tailored for optometrists and ophthalmologists. “Every time I saw a post about eye things on ODs on Facebook, it seemed like everyone was rushing to the stores to get one for themselves. I wanted to make educational optometry artwork, in addition to fun optometry vinyl stickers for optometrists and ophthalmologists.”

The artwork ranges from “Dry Eye Therapy Basics.” to “Contact Lens Don’ts” as well as witty quotes such as “When life gets blurry, see your eye doctor” and “Sunglasses are the sunscreen for your eyes.”

When it comes to creating various pieces, Nguyen seems to have struck a perfect balance. As a full-time optometrist, she finds that her work inspires the things she makes for Eye Scribbles. “For my educational artwork pieces, I get my inspiration from my patients. I am constantly seeing patients throughout the day, and when patients ask me a great question, that I feel I can make into an art piece or poster, I start drawing,” Nguyen explained. “As for my vinyl stickers, I love cute and simple designs. I have been mainly focusing on animals wearing glasses, and simple personalized eyeglass stickers.”

Nguyen uses her iPad’s Apple Pencil to design each piece and is usually done with posters or sticker designs in one day—depending on how busy she is with patients. Customized designs tend to take longer because she works with the individual to create exactly what they’re envisioning. As of right now, Nguyen said customers are gravitating more toward her posters, but she is hopeful that the stickers will gain a following once she adds them to the Etsy page.

When it comes to promoting her product, Nguyen relies solely on the power of Instagram. “My Instagram page is the only way I am advertising my pieces. As of right now, I do not have Facebook, so Instagram has been a great marketing tool, as well as a way to communicate with other ECPs on social media,” she told VMail Weekend.

Though her business is only just starting, Nguyen has already found the time put in to be gratifying. “It is rewarding when I know that I am helping the high demand of eye-related artwork for all the eye nerds out there. Drawing and designing are therapeutic to me, so I don’t feel like it is ‘work.’ All the sales that I make from my Etsy page, help pay for the supplies needed to run my business, and the rest goes toward my student loans. Everyone is helping me make my massive student loan debt just a little bit smaller with each sale, so thank you to every customer!”