Framing the Father’s Day Retail Landscape

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, June 14, 2019 12:32 PM NEW YORK—According to the National Retail Federation, this year’s Father’s Day is slated to be bigger than ever before. The NRF reports that Father’s Day spending in 2019 is expected to reach an all-time high of $16 billion, with an average planned spending of about $139 per person. In the same vein, this year, the optical community is getting online and getting involved with Father’s Day in a major way.

It’s All About the Relationships for Belmont Eye’s Husband and Wife Team

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 10:20 AM BELMONT, North Carolina—It’s been two years since husband and wife team Brad and Rachael Wruble, ODs, took the plunge and opened Belmont Eye, an independent practice located here. Michigan natives who met and fell in love while pursuing their degrees at Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, Drs. Wruble moved south in 2010 after completing their residencies, when Rachael landed a job in Gastonia, North Carolina. Now, the couple are well established as a local, family-oriented independent practice—but it wasn’t always this smooth going. “I think we have always wanted to have our own office together, it just took a few years with a few roadblocks and a few lucky opportunities,” Dr. Brad Wruble told VM.

Everyone Is Looking to Elton John for Eyewear Inspiration

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 10:14 AM NEW YORK—Musician-inspired celebrity biopics have been all the rage recently. The trend started with "Bohemian Rhapsody," and is escalating even higher with "Rocketman," as VM noted in this feature. "Rocketman" tells the story of Elton John’s career and stars Taron Egerton. The film was produced, in part, by John himself. John’s career has been eye-catching for a multitude of reasons—including his fantastical, over the top, trendsetting eyewear decisions. John has long been the king of campy eyewear, and of using his eyewear both to complete a look and make a statement. And now, "Rocketman" has reminded many of us just how incredible John’s optical looks were.

Independence Means Freedom and Quality for Frameology Optical

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, June 10, 2019 1:00 AM SYRACUSE, N.Y.—When Stacy Daniel, LDO, opened Frameology Optical in December 2013, she knew she was doing something different. Located in Syracuse, a city with a population of just under 145,000 in upstate New York, opening up an independent optical office that focuses on handmade, artisan, European frames is “something people think doesn’t happen in Syracuse,” Daniel told Vision Monday.

Independence Means Freedom and Quality for Upstate New York’s Frameology Optical

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:20 AM When Stacy Daniel, LDO, opened Frameology Optical in December 2013, she knew she was doing something different. Located in Syracuse, a city with a population of just under 145,000 in upstate New York, opening up an independent optical office that focuses on handmade, artisan, European frames is “something people think doesn’t happen in Syracuse,” Daniel told Vision Monday. But five years later, Frameology is thriving. The staff is headed up by Daniel, who is a licensed contact lens fitter with a degree in optical dispensing from Erie Community College and a BBA in finance, as well as 25 years of work experience in private practice and the corporate world. Along with her staff, which includes Amanda Twohig, licensed optician, and Gina Wright, optical assistant, Daniel focuses on bringing handcrafted, European frames to Syracuse. It’s a passion project for Daniel, who combined two of her loves—frames and retail—to create Frameology.

Add Some Optical Treats to Your Memorial Day Celebration

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, May 17, 2019 3:22 PM NEW YORK—With Memorial Day just around the corner, many of us are thinking about summer parties already. Planning a Memorial Day celebration can be overwhelming. There’s so much to take into account: the guest list, the food, the decorations, the drinks. Thankfully for all us optical-nerds, there’s no shortage of fun ways to inject a little optical joy into our parties alongside the abundance of American flags, and getting the party planning out of the way early means more time to relax and commemorate this Memorial Day Weekend, which is as good a reason as any to get shopping now. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite optical treats to help make your Memorial Day, no matter what you’re planning, stand out.

For Bella Vision, Community and Vision Therapy Are a Perfect Match

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:00 AM SPARTANBURG, S.C.—Like many independent practices, Bella Vision, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is homegrown. Janet Monaco Wilson, OD, FCOVD, founded the practice in 2014, after years of practicing throughout the state. Opening an independent practice meant moving closer to home for Dr. Wilson, who earned her degree from the Southern College of Optometry, but her vision was more involved than that. “I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of practice modalities—including corporate, multidisciplinary and private practices,” Dr. Wilson told Vision Monday.

Gearing Up for National Sunglasses Day on June 27

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, May 13, 2019 12:00 AM

EYESPOT Chestnut Hill Makes Independence the Height of Luxury

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 10:45 AM CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.—For independent optical boutique EYESPOT, it’s all about luxury. Founded in 2010 by ophthalmologist Jorge Arroyo, EYESPOT calls Chestnut Hill—one of Massachusetts’ most expensive zip codes—its home, and the practice operates on the goal of providing its community with “the highest level of medical and aesthetic attention,” said Melaine Cabral, LDO, managing optician. “Luxury eyewear is essential to the EYESPOT brand,” Cabral told Vision Monday. In store, EYESPOT offers “the most fashion-forward eyewear from around the world,” which includes frames from companies such as Krewe, Oliver Goldsmith, Lafont, Lindberg and more. These top of the line frames come hand in hand with what the practice calls “concierge-level service.”

For Bella Vision, Community and Vision Therapy Are a Perfect Match

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:45 AM SPARTANBURG, S.C.—Like many independent practices, Bella Vision, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is homegrown. Janet Monaco Wilson, OD, FCOVD, founded the practice in 2014, after years of practicing throughout the state. Opening an independent practice meant moving closer to home for Dr. Wilson, who earned her degree from the Southern College of Optometry, but her vision was more involved than that. “I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of practice modalities—including corporate, multidisciplinary and private practices,” Dr. Wilson told Vision Monday.

Easter at Highstreet Eyecare

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:40 AM Harbir Sian, OD, owner of Highstreet Eyecare had a special guest in the exam chair this past Easter weekend.

#IHaveThisThingWithSunglasses Shows Independents What Consumers Want

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:30 AM NEW YORK—There’s a hashtag for just about everything. Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? Try #foodie to see what looks good. Not sure what to wear? Try #fashionblogger to see how the trendiest people are putting their outfits together every morning. Not sure what kind of frames your customers are looking for? Try #ihavethisthingwithsunglasses. @ihavethisthingwithfloors, an Instagram account with over 800,000 followers, started the popular hashtag #ihavethisthingwithfloors years ago. Since then, #ihavethisthingwith has taken off—there’s #ihavethisthingwithframes, #ihavethisthingwithglasshouses, #ihavethisthingwithplants, and, of course, #ihavethisthingwithsunglasses. The hashtag is a place for sunglass lovers to gather, to show off,and to interact—and it’s a great place for independents to grab inspiration.

Student Innovators of the Year Present Their Inventions at the VM Summit

By Gwendolyn Plummer, Contributing Editor
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:56 PM NEW YORK—Three optometry students, each representing a different school of optometry, were recipients of this year’s Student Innovator of the Year Award at the VM Global Leadership Summit. Named after Rick Bay, former publisher and president of Review of Optometry and Review of Ophthalmology, the Foundation’s Student Innovator of the Year award aims to support optometry’s next generation. This year’s winners were Christian Crespo, representing SUNY Optometry; Mahsa Katherine Masoudi, representing UC Berkeley; and Dmitriy Richter, representing the New England College of Optometry.

April Showers Bring an Important Reminder About UV Protection

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, April 12, 2019 1:01 PM NEW YORK—I recently returned from a week-long vacation to Ireland. When our flight landed in Dublin, I stood up and gathered my things, ready to disembark. I put on my jacket, wrapped up my scarf, and slid my sunglasses onto my face—only for the friendly Irishman seated behind me to laugh and say, “Ah, you won’t be needing those here! It’s always overcast.”

47 Years Later, Gleek + Howard Is Still the Attraction

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 12:27 PM In 1969, William (Bill) Berk was one of about 400,000 people at Woodstock. Like the rest of the crowd at the legendary music festival, Bill was witness to a historic event—one that would change his life forever. For Bill, that historic moment came when his friend, Albert Gleek the 3rd, who was with him at Woodstock, mentioned the fact that his father was thinking of selling his optical store, Gleek + Howard, in Montclair, New Jersey. Bill was interested—and in 1972, Bill, a Vietnam veteran who began working in the optical industry as soon as he returned home from service, purchased the store from Albert Gleek and John Howard. He kept the original name, but has made the independent business entirely his own since then.