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 History.com, 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.

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.