Indies Tackle Allergy Season

By Staff
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—For many, springtime brings joy. Spring and summer mean longer days, warmer weather, and more outdoor adventures—but, for millions, it can also mean brutal and sometimes debilitating allergies that make this beautiful season unbearable. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, a professional medical membership organization of nearly 6,800 allergist/immunologists and related professionals, roughly 7.8 percent of people 18 and over in the U.S. have hay fever. This week, we’re taking a look at how some ECPs around the country are tackling the dawn of allergy season.

Getting Colorful This Spring

By Staff
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 8:20 AM NEW YORK—With the days letting longer and warmer, and the sun seemingly getting brighter, there’s no better time than Spring to break out the colorful eyewear. Colorful frames and lenses help brighten up the requisite rainy days in Spring, but also help make the bright days even brighter—plus, there’s nothing like walking down the street in frames that match the blooming tulips. As we settle into Spring, many indies and eyewear brands are focusing on showing off their most colorful, springtime frames. This week, we’re taking a look through Instagram to offer inspiration and excitement for this vibrant season.

For Indies, #FrameFriday Is the Perfect End to Any Week

By Staff
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Running a social media account for your practice isn’t always easy. It can be hard to keep up with regular posting, and sometimes it feels impossible to figure out what to post, when to post, and how often to post. One of the easiest ways to truly get involved on social media, and to up engagement, is to participate in hashtags and challenges, especially those that are specific to your social media niche. For the optical community, #framefriday is a perfect example.

Third VM ‘Micro Chat’ Explores Access to Care and Social Determinants of Health

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:27 AM NEW YORK—With millions of Americans facing job losses and other economic hardships resulting from the pandemic, providing access to healthcare for those in need has taken on new urgency. The crisis is prompting healthcare policy makers and researchers to sharpen their focus on the underlying causes that prevent many people from getting the healthcare services they need. In a new video, “Access to Care: The Social Determinants of Health,” VM editorial director Marge Axelrad and lens and technology editor Andrew Karp discuss this timely topic and how it impacts vision care. The video, the third in a series of “Micro Chats on Macro Topics,” can be viewed here.

Indies Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on Social

By Staff
Friday, March 19, 2021 4:09 PM NEW YORK—These days, it’s not uncommon for things to feel a little stagnant. Many people are still spending most of their time safe and at home, and without things like concerts, live sporting events and parties to break up the months, it can feel like every day is the same—which makes holidays even more fun to celebrate. This week, millions of people around the world donned their trusty green T-shirts and headed to the store to buy a can of Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, no matter how far away they are from The Emerald Isle. To bring a little joy into the monotony, we’re taking a look at how independent ECPs celebrated March 17, ranging from getting all dressed up to special sales.

Setting Up Shop for Spring

By Staff
Thursday, March 18, 2021 8:20 AM NEW YORK—It may not feel like it, but Spring has officially arrived. Marking the start of a new season is always a fun excuse for a bit of a celebration—especially when it means rotating out some new spring-appropriate frames, or changing the décor inside and outside the shop. This week, we’re taking a look at how some indies are marking the start of Spring online—there’s still plenty of time to get inspired and celebrate the new season.

Indies Celebrate Black History Month By Looking to the Past and the Future

By Staff
Thursday, February 18, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—In 1915, Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). In 1926, the association, which “was dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent,” according to, began sponsoring a national “Negro History Week.” Celebrated on the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, this week-long event grew into the Black History Month we now celebrate each and every February. President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month in 1976.

Family Business Builds on a Legacy of Caring

By Staff
Friday, February 12, 2021 4:41 PM Eyesight is the family legacy for Jessica Fielding Zwanziger, OD. The Oklahoma native grew up watching her father, the late Jeffrey Fielding, OD, practice optometry in his private practice. His impact steered three out of four of the Fielding daughters into optometry themselves. When she was young, Dr. Zwanziger began working in her father’s practice in Cushing, Oklahoma, where she developed a passion for the profession and for helping others. She always knew she wanted to come back to her home town that she and her father were both raised in. She became co-owner of the practice in 2010, and the pair renamed the practice Cushing Vision Center. This article originally appeared in Women In Optometry.

Indies and Etnia Barcelona Team Up for Super Bowl Vision Day Program

By Staff
Thursday, February 4, 2021 8:30 AM BRANDON, Fla.—When we think of the Super Bowl, we think of lots of things: football, of course; beer, probably; snacks and commercials, naturally—but probably very few people immediately think of eye health when the Super Bowl comes to mind. This year, Etnia Barcelona is changing that. At Bell Shoals Church in Brandon, Florida, just an hour outside of Tampa, where Super Bowl LV will take place, Etnia Barcelona is teaming up with five local optometrists to provide free eye exams to children and students in need.

During the Pandemic, ECPs Find Themselves Reaching Out to Colleagues for Ideas, Advice and Support

By Mark Tosh
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 2:30 PM NEW YORK—The COVID-19 pandemic has changed much about the way people think and go about their day-to-day business routines. But one thing that hasn’t changed—and indeed it’s become an even more enduring part of life—is the need to reach out to colleagues for support and advice on the best ways to manage during these difficult times. This trend has found a place in many eyecare professional groups and circles of ECP friends and colleagues. Among the groups of ECPs who are trying to use collaboration as an important component of their business practices today are the informal practice groups that have developed via the connections made among the ODs who have been recognized by CooperVision with a “Best Practices” award.

Unexpected Ending Gives Rise to New Opportunity

By Staff
Friday, January 15, 2021 4:06 PM When life gave Myria Reese, OD, lemons, she got to work making lemonade. This past summer, she received a one-month notice that her corporate contract was ending, and she had to make some tough decisions. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” she said. “I didn’t want to abandon my patients—I had been seeing many of them for eight years.” She finally decided she wanted to open her own practice, an idea that was pushed to the top of the priority list. After getting several recommendations to look in the Fairfield community near her home in Cypress, Texas, she found an empty location. She worked with a broker a colleague recommended, secured the location, and began a renovation. This article originally appeared in Women In Optometry

Indies Welcome in a New Year

By Staff
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 1:30 PM NEW YORK—For many of us in the optical industry, 2020 was supposed to be a year to remember. As it turned out, it will be exactly that—but not for the reasons we hoped it would be. This week, people all around the world welcomed the start of 2021 with open arms—including independent ECPs, who shared New Year’s messages with their patients and followers online. Although 2020 was a tough year, and 2021 will undoubtedly have some tough moments as well, there’s no denying that there is often something special in the air at the start of a new year. Many of us aren’t asking much of 2021—just to be kinder than the year before. This week, we’re taking a look at how some independent ECPs welcomed the new year on social media.

Cascadia Eye Inspires Patients to Embrace Its Patient Portal

By Staff
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 1:24 PM SKAGIT VALLEY, Wash.—Rolling out a brand new patient portal can be tough. Sometimes, patients are resistant to change, or need some help getting the grasp of how a new system works and why it’s necessary. The transition can be a lengthy, frustrating, and slow process—but there are ways to make everything a little bit easier. The team at Cascadia Eye, located in Washington State, came up with a special incentive to get patients to enroll in the portal system: a gift card drawing. Patients who signed up for the new portal were entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card, and the winner received a special shout-out on social media.

Indie Haywood Family Eye Care’s Elf on the Shelf Brings Social Media Joy

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, December 23, 2020 1:50 AM WAYNESVILLE, North Carolina—For many, Elf on the Shelf is a holiday staple that brings laughter, excitement and just a little bit of mystery to every day. For the uninitiated, the Elf on a Shelf is a small elf doll, which parents move every night to surprise their children in the morning. Usually, the Elf on the Shelf is for kids—but at Haywood Family Eye Care, Elf on the Shelf Seymour Clearly has found himself a home inside the office.

A Look at How Indies and the Optical Community Celebrated Shopping Local and #SmallBusinessSaturday

By Staff
Thursday, December 10, 2020 10:38 AM NEW YORK—Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, people across the country come together to Shop Small, and support their local businesses. American Express coined the first Small Business Saturday in 2010, but, this year, things looked a little different, of course. To celebrate shopping small in 2020, independent ECPs took to social media both to share information about their own promotions for the holiday and to spread the love to fellow small, local businesses. As always, Small Business Saturday is a day that showcases the power of community support—no matter if we’re together or apart.