Monday, November 20, 2023 8:30 AM
MOUNT PLEASANT, South Carolina—In 2019, Jake Sunkin, OD, achieved a long-held dream of opening up his own, independent eyecare practice. When Independent Optical
debuted in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina that June, things were looking bright and exciting—Dr. Sunkin’s dad, Chris, retired from a 25-year career in the industrial equipment industry and took on the challenge of opening a practice from the ground up alongside his son. The two documented every step of their process, from construction through to opening day, on Instagram
, and in an interview with The Independent Eye
Tuesday, November 14, 2023 2:57 PM
Sara Varghai, OD, FAAO, never planned to open a new practice in the middle of a pandemic. But working in a more retail-oriented practice, she wasn’t seeing the medical patients she wanted to. “So I decided to open my own practice,” she said. Dr. Varghai opened NOVA Optique + Eyecare in March 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. She wanted to practice differently. For one, she didn’t want to deal with vision plans, so she decided to create a cash only and medical insurance business. “I hear my colleagues lament how much of a discount they have to take from vision plans. They are working harder to make the same amount of money,” she said.
Monday, November 6, 2023 8:30 AM
NEW YORK—For independent ECPs taking their practice to the next level, private label eyewear is often a logical and exciting step, allowing ECPs to flex their creative muscles, lean into the design world and connect with their patients in a new and unique way. Now, with the launch of a new program from Frames Data
, in conjunction with private label supplier Your Brand Eyewear
, that integration has become even more seamless. The new program offers practices the ability to display their private label frames from Your Brand Eyewear in an online gallery, but under a custom brand name that is exclusive to the practice. Previously, private label eyewear could only be displayed under the name Your Brand.
Thursday, October 26, 2023 3:09 PM
Running an optometry practice comes with wearing many hats, including management and patient care, said Miki Lyn Zilnicki, OD, FCOVD, in a recent Eyes On Eyecare article. She owns her practice, Twin Forks Optometry and Vision Therapy in Riverhead, New York, and knows firsthand the various aspects that go into running a successful practice. “I realized quickly as a new optometry business owner that I cannot do it all,” Dr. Zilnicki said. “I need the right staff, doing their job well, in order for me to do my job and for my office to be successful.” So how can an owner ensure their staff members are the right people for the job?
Thursday, October 19, 2023 8:30 AM
NEW YORK—On October 12, members of the optical community all around the world came together to celebrate World Sight Day. This year, according to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and as reported
, the 200+ member groups and companies’ efforts generated more than 13 million eye test pledges, well above the group’s target goal of 10 million for the day, which emphasized the Love Your Eyes at Work theme this year. And, of course, ECPs all around the world did their part, too, this World Sight Day. We’re taking a look at how some indies celebrated World Sight Day on social media, spreading the word to their followers everywhere.
Thursday, October 19, 2023 8:20 AM
NEW YORK—Fall is in full swing, Halloween is on the horizon, and there’s no better time than now to get into the cozy, autumnal spirit. From lighting your favorite pumpkin scented candle to decorating with orange leaves and green gourds, there are countless ways to bring Fall into your office space or onto your work social media accounts this year—and plenty of time left to do it. We’re taking inspiration from some indies who have already gotten started.
Thursday, October 5, 2023 8:30 AM
NEW YORK—Hispanic Heritage Month
, which is observed from September 15 through October 15 every year, provides an opportunity for all Americans to celebrate Hispanic Americans who have made an impact on our country. Enacted into law on August 17, 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month’s 30-day span covers a number of important days for Hispanic Americans: September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. September 16 is Mexico’s independence day, while September 18 is Chile’s. Dia de la Raza is on October 12.
Thursday, October 5, 2023 8:20 AM
NEW YORK—Independents around the country are joining in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month
campaign to support women who are impacted by the disease. Practices are showing their own individual support, participating in community activities, sharing their stories to support the search for a cure. Throughout the country, members of the optical community are doing their part to increase the number of breast cancer survivors worldwide. Many are encouraging purchases of an increasing number of eyewear and sunwear branded products that donate to the cause and supplementing patients’ commitment with their own donations. The Independent Eye
is showcasing just a few examples here.
Monday, September 25, 2023 5:30 PM
"Whoever thought that an optometrist could be cool?” reads one of the endless positive Yelp reviews on Urban Optics’ owner Dave Schultz, OD. All it takes is a quick conversation to confirm—Dr. Dave, as he’s known around town, is very cool. Schultz has been providing the Central Coast town of San Luis Obispo, Calif., (nicknamed SLO) with quality eyewear and eyecare for over 30 years. Five years ago, 20/20
first introduced our readers to Urban Optics with a Successful Retail Strategy feature, and we decided it was time to revisit the optical store to catch up with Schultz and learn what’s new.
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 8:30 AM
NEW YORK—For sports lovers, Fall is an exciting time. Many sport seasons restart in the Fall, both professional and amateur—which also makes this season the perfect time to talk to patients about keeping their eyes safe while getting active. This Sports Eye Safety Month, Prevent Blindness shared new data that shows more than 32,000 sports-related eye injuries were treated in the U.S. last year—an increase
of nearly 20 percent from the previous year.
Thursday, September 14, 2023 8:30 AM
NEW YORK—Jennifer Tsai, OD, founder and owner of Line of Sight
in New York City, created her practice to be a unique environment with a boutique, concierge feel, blending eyecare and wellness in a holistic way. As she explained to VM
, “We have an exceptional team that works hard to keep the practice running smoothly to help patients with vision care and promote eye health. I specialize in specialty contact lens and offer an array of other services including dry eye treatments, vision therapies, ocular aesthetics and myopia control solutions.”
Thursday, September 7, 2023 8:30 AM
NEW YORK—For many of us, the COVID lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 provided some time to slow down, to reassess and to try to get some rest—but for Idriss and Federica Nestor, the opposite was true. Instead, the married couple used that time to develop OPR Eyewear
, their home-grown, family-owned eyewear business in New York City. Idriss told The Independent Eye
, “My wife and I have always been very passionate about glasses until one day, during COVID, we decided to finally invest in our dream and create our own brand. I had a consulting company while Federica had a legal background—very different worlds that, nevertheless, prepared us for what we were about to create.”
Thursday, August 24, 2023 8:30 AM
MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Southern College of Optometry
in Memphis, Tennessee, has recognized three young alumni with the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence Award—an award which recognizes a graduate of the past 10 years who owns and operates a private optometry practice. This year’s recipients are: Autumn Adams, OD, for the Practice Acquisition Award; Derek Hennig, OD, for the Partnership Award; and Andrew Bradbury, OD, for the New Practice Award.
Thursday, August 24, 2023 8:20 AM
NEW YORK—The back-to-school season has arrived. While some students are already in the classroom, plenty of others don’t get started again until after Labor Day. So there's no time like the present to squeeze in those back-to-school eye exams—and it’s up to ECPs to remind parents about the importance of getting their children’s eyes checked even if they've already started the school year. This week, we’re taking a look at a few inspiring social media posts that do just that.
Thursday, August 17, 2023 8:30 AM
NEW YORK—Having sustainable eyewear offerings in your practice is becoming a nonnegotiable these days—many patients are looking specifically to make purchases that are kinder to the planet, and sustainable eyewear has become just as fashionable and varied as traditional collections. But getting those sustainable collections into your practice is only half the battle—patients need to know that you have them available. One of the best ways to show off your in-office eyewear offerings is on social media—specifically apps like Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, which prioritize image and video sharing.