Optical on Main Street

Indie Brand Vontélle Pays Homage to its Roots With #FullFaceFashion

By Staff
Friday, March 5, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Vontélle Eyewear was born, at least partially, out of coincidence, when friends Tracy Vontélle Green and Nancey Harris both lost expensive pairs of eyewear within the same year. While shopping for replacement frames, both women found that they couldn’t find exactly what they wanted, and, so in 2019, Vontélle was born. Vontélle focuses on designs featuring textiles, patterns and colors from the African diaspora. Since the onset of the pandemic, Green and Harris have also been producing masks in the same patterns as their eyewear, and have coined the phrase #FullFaceFashion to describe what they do.

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.

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.

[Partner Post] The Perfect Match

By Staff
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 1:33 PM Introducing the perfect match of Ray-Ban’s legendary style and Essilor’s expertise in sight: Ray-Ban Authentic Essilor Special Edition. This latest edition of Ray-Ban Authentic combines the expertise of Essilor and Luxottica, capitalizing on the assets of both to meet consumer needs with the aim of diversifying the single vision category as well as growing the prescription sun category for private practices.

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.

[Partner Post] Enhance Their Vision. Elevate Your Care.

By Staff
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 1:00 PM Your patients have carefully chosen you as their eyecare provider, entrusting you with something incredibly precious: their vision. By recommending Varilux® progressive lenses, you help them see their sharpest, which not only validates that trust, but also sends a message that you don’t compromise when it comes to their vision care.

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.

[Partner Post] There’s More to Vision Care Than Just Vision Care

By Staff
Thursday, December 10, 2020 2:00 AM As an independent eyecare provider, you have a lot of needs to fulfill. You need to grow your practice. You need a steady stream of patients. And you need to provide exceptional care to keep those patients coming back. But before all those things, you need an advocate.

141 Years of History, and a New Location to Boot: St. Louis Icon Erkers Eyewear

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 3:18 PM ST. LOUIS—It was over 100 years ago, in 1879, when A.P. Erker arrived in the U.S. from Germany and founded Erkers in St. Louis, Missouri. Within a few years, A.P.’s brother August joined the business, and the rest, as they say, is history. Erkers is officially the first optical laboratory west of the Mississippi River, and also served as the official photographer for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The company is a steadfast and integral part of both St. Louis’ history and American optical history—and that stands true to today. 

November Is Diabetes-Related Eye Disease Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, November 13, 2020 9:51 AM NEW YORK—In addition to the many things that have made this month an important one, November is also Diabetes-Related Eye Disease Month, an important month as any for ECPs. Diabetes can make patients two to five times more likely to develop cataract, according to Prevent Blindness, and can lead to a whole host of other eye health issues as well. 

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.

[Partner Post] Enhanced Flexibility. Elevated Care.

By Staff
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 12:00 AM Among the many new themes in daily life which have emerged in the past months, two stand out: the accelerated shift to digital living, and the resulting need to be flexible. From online groceries to virtual school, from working at kitchen tables and sofas to telemedicine, we're all increasingly using digital devices which require a new level of flexibility.