Optical on Main Street

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. 

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.”

[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. 

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.

[Partner Post] Essilor Helps Raise Awareness About Myopia on World Sight Day

By Staff
Monday, October 14, 2019 11:00 AM DALLAS—Essilor of America, the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the U.S., is committed to improving lives by improving sight every day but during World Sight Day last month, the company focused efforts nationwide to drive attention and action for the growing myopia issue in the U.S., starting with its own campus.

Every Decoration Has a Story at This Indie Illinois Practice

By Staff
Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:17 AM NORTHFIELD, Ill.—Faye Gamboa, OD, has created a carefully crafted, immersive experience for patients and customers at Wanderlust Eyecare in Northfield, Illinois. She was inspired by her love of traveling—wanderlusting, as she calls it, as well as going on mission trips to help those in need—and each piece of décor has also been placed with great consideration. “Each decoration has a story,” Dr. Gamboa says. There’s pottery from a mission trip in Morroco, teacups from Dr. Gamboa’s honeymoon in the Maldives and a collection of vintage cameras to represent a love of photography.

Indie Father-Daughter Duo Are a San Diego Staple

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:00 PM SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Independent optometry is part of the Chinn family's DNA. Thirty years ago, Stephen Chinn, OD, opened his very first independent private practice in San Diego, after graduating from U.C. Berkeley School of Optometry in 1972. Throughout his career, Dr. Chinn has had up to three private practices at once—but these days he focuses his attention on one in particular. Today, he and his daughter, Jennifer Chinn, OD, who graduated from the University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry in 2015, practice together at Dr. Chinn’s Vision Care, in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. Their independent practice is a member of the VisionSource Network.

[Partner Post] Nationwide Pledge and Partnership Puts Focus on Single Vision

By Staff
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 10:28 AM Today’s families are facing an eyecare health crisis. Studies1 show nearly half (49 percent) of children with myopia have difficulty in the classroom, and 41 percent of parents with myopic children said their children struggle with everyday activities. To add to this growing issue, many parents are unaware that not all eyeglasses are the same and that there is a difference in lens quality and features that can impact their child’s visual outcome. 

Indie OD Rajat Shetty Does It All By Himself

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:00 AM ASTORIA, New York—Team work makes the dream work, or so they say. But what if the dream is doing it all yourself? Rajat Shetty, OD, knows what that’s like; his practice, Astoria Park Eyecare, is a one man show. Located in Queen’s trendy, family-oriented Astoria neighborhood, Astoria Park Eyecare sits on the edge of Astoria Park, a large, waterfront park with green space, a public pool, a skate park, a playground, and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. It’s a prime, peaceful location for a small business—and almost everyone who visits Astoria Park also lives in the neighborhood, so you’re likely to see the same faces—or the same frames—over and over again. That’s what Dr. Shetty, who’s lived in Astoria for six years and grew up just 15 minutes away, likes about it. 

[Partner Post] Essilor’s Varilux Challenge Reinforces the Message ‘Good Enough Just Isn’t Enough’

By Staff
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 8:00 AM Essilor designed the “Varilux® Challenge” to reinforce the message that, when it comes to progressive lenses, “good enough” just isn’t enough. The optical dispensary at Frisco Eye Associates in Frisco, Texas took that message to heart. And it’s changed the way the staff recommends and dispenses progressives. According to Steve Osorio, optical manager, the four-location optometric practice in the Dallas Metroplex didn’t have a go-to progressive prior to signing up for the “Challenge” earlier this year. Like all participating practices, Frisco Eye Associates committed to fitting the majority of its presbyopic patients with Varilux® lenses—and they’ve noticed a difference.

Family Matters for California-Based Brand Optometry

By Staff
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:00 AM GLENDALE, Calif.—Building and maintaining a network is important for anyone in any business, but not everyone can say they’ve turned their network into a family. For Brand Optometry, an independent practice in Glendale, California, however, family is at the center of everything. Brand Optometry calls themselves a family practice, and they mean it in every sense of the word, referring to their employees, patients and community as part of their extended family. The ability to do this is central to their being an independent practice, explained Ivon Jimenez, an optician at the practice.

EyeShop Optical Makes Being Indie Fun

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6:01 AM LEWIS CENTER, Ohio—If there’s one thing that sets EyeShop Optical apart, it’s just how much fun owner Cynthia Sayers, OD, seems to be having all the time. Dr. Sayers’ bio on her website includes a series of fun facts—she hosts Dessert Fridays at the office, and sometimes patients show up to their eye exams in their baseball uniforms. “I understand health care needs to be a serious business to a point, but combining professionalism with fun has brought EyeShop great success. No one should be that stressed coming to an eye appointment,” Dr. Sayers told VM.

[Partner Post] Kick Off Back-to-School Season With the Essilor Next GEN Offer

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6:00 AM Vision is the most overlooked factor impacting a child’s success in school and in life. With clear vision, there are no limits to what they can achieve. So, Essilor of America is gearing up for back-to-school season with the launch of the Essilor Next GEN Offer, a consumer promotion designed to enable eyecare professionals to recommend the new Transitions® Signature® GEN 8TM lenses to more patients and increase overall practice revenue while providing patients with their best vision possible.