Optical on Main Street

It’s Easy Being Green With Indie OD Brad Bodkin

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 12:18 PM MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C.—Cold opening an independent practice was not Dr. Brad Bodkin’s first plan. After graduating from the New England College of Optometry, Bodkin, OD, MS, FAAO spent a year working at another practice where, he said, “the idea started to make more sense.” Over the course of two years he built a business plan, and eventually was able to choose and lease a small location. At first, Dr. Bodkin chose the location for The Vision Center at Seaside Farms with expansion in mind. However, his neighbors started to buy land up pretty quickly—after just five years, nine out of the ten outparcels in the same shopping center were bought and developed into small condos. That’s when his wife, Sarah, gave the final push to buy that last remaining piece of land and expand—and five years later, they were able to do just that.

[Partner Post] Essilor Helps Raise Awareness About Myopia on World Sight Day

By Staff
Monday, October 14, 2019 11:00 AM DALLAS—Essilor of America, the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the U.S., is committed to improving lives by improving sight every day but during World Sight Day this month, the company focused efforts nationwide to drive attention and action for the growing myopia issue in the U.S., starting with its own campus.

Every Decoration Has a Story at This Indie Illinois Practice

By Staff
Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:17 AM NORTHFIELD, Ill.—Faye Gamboa, OD, has created a carefully crafted, immersive experience for patients and customers at Wanderlust Eyecare in Northfield, Illinois. She was inspired by her love of traveling—wanderlusting, as she calls it, as well as going on mission trips to help those in need—and each piece of décor has also been placed with great consideration. “Each decoration has a story,” Dr. Gamboa says. There’s pottery from a mission trip in Morroco, teacups from Dr. Gamboa’s honeymoon in the Maldives and a collection of vintage cameras to represent a love of photography.

Indie Father-Daughter Duo Are a San Diego Staple

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:00 PM SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Independent optometry is part of the Chinn family's DNA. Thirty years ago, Stephen Chinn, OD, opened his very first independent private practice in San Diego, after graduating from U.C. Berkeley School of Optometry in 1972. Throughout his career, Dr. Chinn has had up to three private practices at once—but these days he focuses his attention on one in particular. Today, he and his daughter, Jennifer Chinn, OD, who graduated from the University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry in 2015, practice together at Dr. Chinn’s Vision Care, in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. Their independent practice is a member of the VisionSource Network.

[Partner Post] Nationwide Pledge and Partnership Puts Focus on Single Vision

By Staff
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 10:28 AM Today’s families are facing an eyecare health crisis. Studies1 show nearly half (49 percent) of children with myopia have difficulty in the classroom, and 41 percent of parents with myopic children said their children struggle with everyday activities. To add to this growing issue, many parents are unaware that not all eyeglasses are the same and that there is a difference in lens quality and features that can impact their child’s visual outcome. 

Indie OD Rajat Shetty Does It All By Himself

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:00 AM ASTORIA, New York—Team work makes the dream work, or so they say. But what if the dream is doing it all yourself? Rajat Shetty, OD, knows what that’s like; his practice, Astoria Park Eyecare, is a one man show. Located in Queen’s trendy, family-oriented Astoria neighborhood, Astoria Park Eyecare sits on the edge of Astoria Park, a large, waterfront park with green space, a public pool, a skate park, a playground, and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. It’s a prime, peaceful location for a small business—and almost everyone who visits Astoria Park also lives in the neighborhood, so you’re likely to see the same faces—or the same frames—over and over again. That’s what Dr. Shetty, who’s lived in Astoria for six years and grew up just 15 minutes away, likes about it. 

[Partner Post] Essilor’s Varilux Challenge Reinforces the Message ‘Good Enough Just Isn’t Enough’

By Staff
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 8:00 AM Essilor designed the “Varilux® Challenge” to reinforce the message that, when it comes to progressive lenses, “good enough” just isn’t enough. The optical dispensary at Frisco Eye Associates in Frisco, Texas took that message to heart. And it’s changed the way the staff recommends and dispenses progressives. According to Steve Osorio, optical manager, the four-location optometric practice in the Dallas Metroplex didn’t have a go-to progressive prior to signing up for the “Challenge” earlier this year. Like all participating practices, Frisco Eye Associates committed to fitting the majority of its presbyopic patients with Varilux® lenses—and they’ve noticed a difference.

Family Matters for California-Based Brand Optometry

By Staff
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:00 AM GLENDALE, Calif.—Building and maintaining a network is important for anyone in any business, but not everyone can say they’ve turned their network into a family. For Brand Optometry, an independent practice in Glendale, California, however, family is at the center of everything. Brand Optometry calls themselves a family practice, and they mean it in every sense of the word, referring to their employees, patients and community as part of their extended family. The ability to do this is central to their being an independent practice, explained Ivon Jimenez, an optician at the practice.

EyeShop Optical Makes Being Indie Fun

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6:01 AM LEWIS CENTER, Ohio—If there’s one thing that sets EyeShop Optical apart, it’s just how much fun owner Cynthia Sayers, OD, seems to be having all the time. Dr. Sayers’ bio on her website includes a series of fun facts—she hosts Dessert Fridays at the office, and sometimes patients show up to their eye exams in their baseball uniforms. “I understand health care needs to be a serious business to a point, but combining professionalism with fun has brought EyeShop great success. No one should be that stressed coming to an eye appointment,” Dr. Sayers told VM.

[Partner Post] Kick Off Back-to-School Season With the Essilor Next GEN Offer

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6:00 AM Vision is the most overlooked factor impacting a child’s success in school and in life. With clear vision, there are no limits to what they can achieve. So, Essilor of America is gearing up for back-to-school season with the launch of the Essilor Next GEN Offer, a consumer promotion designed to enable eyecare professionals to recommend the new Transitions® Signature® GEN 8TM lenses to more patients and increase overall practice revenue while providing patients with their best vision possible.

Finding Your Niche in New York With Brooklyn’s Indie Sunny Eye Shop

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 12:10 AM NEW YORK—New York is one of those cities where they say only the strong survive. And while that kind of thinking might be a little dramatic, it does have some hints of truth. After all, New York is busy all the time—there’s places to go, people to see, and exorbitant rent to pay. It can be hard to make it in New York—but for Sunny Eye Shop, an independent practice located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, there’s no better place to be. 

[Partner Post] Dr. Aaron Goffinet’s 5 tips for Talking to Patients About Sun Protection

By Staff
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 12:05 AM A majority of Americans know they need to protect their skin from the sun, but only about 5% know to protect their eyes.1 With summer here, Dr. Aaron Goffinet, professional development director at Essilor, wants to ensure patients understand how important it is to shield their eyes from the sun. Here are the questions he poses to patients about total eye protection this summer season.

Independent Optical Opens From the Ground Up

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, June 27, 2019 11:09 AM MOUNT PLEASANT, South Carolina—For Jake Sunkin, OD, independence has always been the way. In fact, Dr. Sunkin told Vision Monday, “I’m not sure I even knew optometry existed outside of private practice until I was maybe in high school.” Dr. Sunkin grew up surrounded by independent practices, namely the one his aunt and uncle owned near Akron, Ohio, where he worked as a tech in high school and during college breaks. After getting his degree from Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Sunkin started working on his dream of opening his own independent practice.

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.