Communication and Creativity Keep Patients Coming Back to Boston’s Envision

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 10:32 AM BOSTON—When Jaclyn Garlich, OD, FAAO, purchased her practice, Envision, on Jan. 1, 2020, this was definitely not the year she was expecting. A graduate of the New England College of Optometry, Dr. Garlich had been working at Envision, located in Boston’s Financial District, since 2018, before she purchased the practice. Now, as practice owner and optometrist, she and her team are working their way through a pandemic both in-store and online. 

Indies Warn Patients to Beware the Scary Consequences of Halloween Contacts

By Staff
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 9:50 AM NEW YORK—With Halloween quickly approaching, many people are getting their costume plans in order—even if we’re just going to wear them to sit on the couch and watch scary movies this year. For many Halloween lovers, a great costume also involves theatrical contact lenses in order to get the perfectly spooky look—but many consumers don’t realize the dangers involved in purchasing costume contact lenses from unverified sources. As October is also Contact Lens Safety Month, there is no better time than now for ECPs to remind their patients how important it is to ensure their contacts are legitimate and safe.

For Indie Oxford Eyes, a Grand Reopening Is the Talk of the Town

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, September 28, 2020 11:24 AM ORLANDO, Fla—For the team at Oxford Eyes in Orlando, Florida, it’s been an exciting, bustling two years on Swanson’s Ivanhoe Row in Ivanhoe Village—and now things are about to get even better. This week, the family-owned indie eyewear shop is moving on up—six doors down, that is, to a larger location on “The Row,” in Ivanhoe Village, which will allow the shop to host bigger trunk shows, popups, and other events, as well as carry an expanded eyewear collection and offer other additional services in the future. 

Indie Luxeye Optical Expands to New Borough in New York City

By Staff
Wednesday, September 9, 2020 11:12 AM NEW YORK—You know what they say: if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. But what about making it all across New York? For Luxeye Optical, a New York-based eyewear boutique dedicated to luxury and independent brands, New York City is the horizon. With locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Luxeye has been a New York staple since it first opened its doors in 2009. Brother and sister team Jacky and Jenny Ma are the brains behind the operation, and together they run four locations: one in North Williamsburg, Brooklyn, one in Manhattan’s Gramercy neighborhood, another in Manhattan’s Chinatown, and their newest location in Little Neck, Queens.

A Warm Welcome To A (Really) Cold Start

By Staff
Friday, August 7, 2020 2:18 PM Melissa Bourland, OD, had her plan in place for Duneland Family Eyecare to open at the beginning of April. However, COVID-19 changed all of that. Dr. Bourland graduated from Illinois College of Optometry in 2017. She had been working part-time at a private practice when she and her husband, Mike Bourland, who has a business degree and serves as her business manager, decided Chesterton, Indiana, was a great place to start a practice.

Three Generations of Women ODs

By Staff
Friday, July 10, 2020 3:49 PM Not many optometric families can boast three generations of ODs—and even fewer can say that they’re three generations of women ODs—but the Montecalvos can. Brenda Montecalvo, OD, FCOVD, FAAO, FCSO, and her daughter Natalie Montecalvo, OD, MS, had the influence and mentorship of Marilyn Brenne Heinke, OD, FAAO, FCOVD. Dr. Heinke is a 1945 graduate of the Northern Illinois College of Optometry. An accomplished optometrist, lobbyist for physicians and single mother of four after her husband passed away while the young couple was still in their 40s, Dr. Heinke took few breaks.

Three Independents Take On a New Challenge: Their Own Eyewear Collections

By Staff
Thursday, May 28, 2020 10:00 AM NEW YORK—Many ECPs find that independence comes with a lot of space for creativity and freedom, and just as many say that this space is what allows them to stand out amongst competition, to make their practices entirely their own. Along with fun and creative names, signs, and promotions, some ECPs have taken an additional step in their independence: creating their own eyewear collections. To get a grasp on what it’s like to create your own eyewear collection, The Independent Eye reached out to three independent ODs who created their collections with Your Brand, which works directly with ECPs to create unique, private label brands.

No Mask, No Service: Indies Get Creative With Mask Required Signage

By Staff
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 2:13 PM For ECPs around the country, heading back into the office means spending a lot of time thinking about masks. From wearing your own mask to making sure your staff and patients are covered as well, thinking and talking about face masks has become a part of our daily routines. Most practices require that both staff and patients wear masks at all times—and many are making this requirement abundantly clear through signage and social media posts. 

To Address COVID-19: A Helpful Tool for ECPs to Use in the Pandemic and Beyond

By Staff
Friday, April 3, 2020 12:26 PM NEW YORK—If the pandemic has not impacted your practice yet, it’s just a matter of time until it does. One of your goals in a time of decreased revenue collected is to downsize expenses to avoid going negative on your practice cash flow. This specially designed spreadsheet is designed to help you achieve that goal. This article will show you how to use the spreadsheet to guide your practice not only in these difficult times but also as we climb back out of this problem. There are four pieces of background information important for you to know.

Independents Rally to Spread Positivity Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

By Staff
Friday, March 20, 2020 12:27 PM NEW YORK—There is absolutely no making light of our current situation. The COVID-19 pandemic is an international tragedy, and there’s no denying that—but in times of extreme unhappiness, it’s important and helpful to be positive where and whenever we can in order to help ourselves and those around us get through an otherwise overwhelming period. For ECPs, this pandemic has ultimately meant many practices either have been or will be forced to temporarily close their doors until it is safe to open up once again. But in spite of this, ECPs all around the world have been coming together to spread positivity and messages of help and hope however they can. This week, we headed over to Instagram to take a look at how independent ECPs are doing their part to keep spirits up.

Independents Take to Social Media and Spread the Word About AMD/Low Vision Awareness

By Staff
Friday, March 6, 2020 4:16 PM NEW YORK—This year, February was AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month. According to Prevent Blindness, AMD, affects an estimated 1.8 million Americans aged 40 years and older, with an additional 7.3 million with large drusen at substantial risk of developing it. Although most of us in the community know the stats and risks associated with AMD, many members of the public might not know just how common AMD actually is. Independents took to social media to share information about AMD and Low Vision Awareness month, including basic information about the disease, resources to help, and more.

Vision Therapy Brings Satisfaction and Opportunity for Dr. Justine Simon Bailey

By Staff
Friday, February 28, 2020 2:25 PM Justine Simon Bailey, OD, FCOVD, says that nothing quite compares to the experience working with patients through vision therapy (VT) and rehabilitation. “There’s no greater feeling to me when children go into VT and start succeeding in school,” she says. “Not only does VT lift up their academic performance, but it lifts their spirit, confidence, and self-worth.” She first observed VT during her undergraduate studies which led her to attend Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry, graduating in 2015.

Independents Felt the Love Ahead of Valentine’s Day

By Staff
Friday, February 14, 2020 1:26 PM NEW YORK—Taken, single, or somewhere in between, there’s plenty of love to go around this time of year. Although it can be easy to feel cynical—or to not want to play into the consumerism and wastefulness surrounding a holiday like Valentine’s Day—there’s also no question that we all need the little boost of brightness, love, and sugar-induced happiness, that Feburary 14 brings. When it comes down to it, celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean an expensive dinner at a stuffy, crowded restaurant. It can also mean spending time with your friends and family, or taking your dog out for an extra-long walk, or—as many independents are doing—getting in the spirit by decking out the office in more hearts than Kim Kardashian’s Instagram notifications.

Taking the Frame Show Out of the Office

By By Nikki Iravani, OD, of Santa Clara, California
Friday, January 31, 2020 12:19 PM We took a new approach in hosting our trunk show at the end of last year, showing our appreciation by inviting patients to join us at Fleming's restaurant, which is located in our shopping center. We thought our patients would appreciate an invitation to a holiday champagne brunch at a nice restaurant versus bringing them back in our office as we've done in the past. As much as our patients like our office, it's still a nice change to be treated at a fine restaurant. The special format, which we advertised as a Sip + SEE, was well-received and a big success.

Think About Your Eyes Announces Contest Winners for #seebeyond2020

By Staff
Friday, January 24, 2020 12:49 PM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Think About Your Eyes, a national public awareness campaign about the importance of scheduling an annual eye exam with an optometrist, has announced the winners of the #seebeyond2020 contest. Think About Your Eyes launched the contest last October to capture and feature the stories of individuals whose lives were enhanced by visiting the eye doctor. Criteria in winner selection included how well the eye health story communicated a life-changing impact of an eye exam and how well it conveyed how eye health contributes to the quality of life. The contest’s grand prize winner is Patricia Burke of Summerville, S.C., who submitted her adopted daughter Gwendolyn’s story about her need for eyeglasses. A total of 10 additional winners were also selected to receive a cash prize.