America's Finest: Modern Eyes


WEBSITE: | OWNER: Dr. Sonja Franklin | OPENED : 2010 AREA: 2,000 square feet | EMPLOYEES: 6 | TOP BRANDS: Ray-Ban, Gucci, Burberry FACEBOOK: moderneyesaustin

Modern Eyes is a fitting name for this eyecare business near the University of Texas. “From the start, our goal has been to offer a different experience from that of other opticals, which tend to have identical ‘cookie-cutter’ finishes, displays and lighting,” says owner Dr. Sonja Franklin. “The space has more in common with boutique retail stores and residential lofts than with most other opticals.” Indeed, the practice has proven popular among its tech-savvy target clientele, with about 25 percent of its patients scheduling appointments online. — Julie Fanselow

5 cool things

1 Designer Mark Lind of sun+stone used an exposed ceiling structure, task-specific lighting, and touches of lime green accents taken from the Modern Eyes logo.

2 Modern Eyes has near-perfect reviews on Google Plus and Yelp — but  when a complaint comes in, Franklin often responds personally.

3 The practice tries to help people compare “apples to apples” when measuring the services and products available at Modern Eyes to those at larger retailers. “We find that most of our customers understand the value of paying for quality and prefer not to cut costs (on) the care of their eyes,” Franklin says. 

Modern Eyes is in one of the most parking-challenged areas of Austin, but free validation at a nearby garage keeps motoring patients happy. 

5 Although she got her medical training in Houston, Franklin earned her undergraduate degree at UT and has big Longhorn loyalty.  

Our Judges Say

Cool modern look. Love all the windows. — Howard Purcell

The exterior is eye-catching. Good lighting coming out of of great window space. — Robert Bell


1st Place Eyes on Fremont / 2nd Place Silver Lining Opticians / 3rd Place Modern Eye

Fine-alists Eye Gallery / Eye Impact / Georgetown Optician / Look + See Eye Care / Modern Eyes / Providence Optical / Sight Optical

Explore more of “America’s Finest” eyecare businesses in each and every issue of INVISION.