Calendar: January-February 2014

JANUARY 15 Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli of Happy Days (which launched on this day in 1974) was the coolest character on TV, with the ability to attract women with a snap of his fingers and start a song with a slap of the jukebox. In addition, he was a pompadoured statesman for the eyewear business, with the aviator sunglasses he wore indoors and out, as well as his dramatic battle with visual imbalance, culminating in his famous “Wearing glasses is cool!” speech. Mark 40 YEARS OF HAPPY DAYS with an in-store event — milkshakes, ’50s music, leather jackets and aviators required. Aaaaeeeyyy!

JANUARY 17 Today marks DITCH YOUR RESOLUTION DAY when gyms note a significant decrease in attendance and candy bar sales spike. But if you can hold on one more week, there is a good chance that the desired behavior can become a much-easier-to-keep habit. Twenty days is the magic number, so stick with your goals. And if you haven’t made any resolutions, see page 36 for how — and how not — to set goals you can achieve.

JANUARY 18 Say “Cary Grant glasses,” and nearly everybody immediately gets the picture. That’s the mark of a true fashion icon. On the 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF CARY GRANT’S BIRTH, associate your store’s eyewear selection with this legendary actor’s style by promoting vintage sunglasses styles and the Rodenstock Roccos he wore off-screen later in life. (And what were those sunglasses he wore in North by Northwest? See a discussion at

JANUARY 29 While her TV program has been retired, for many, Oprah Winfrey, who turns 60 today, is considered “America’s most influential woman.” Celebrate

OPRAH’S BIRTHDAY with an email to your customers noting some sunglasses and eyeglasses she’s promoted with her famous O List over the years. Most recently, she discovered one of the coolest reading glasses/desk magnifiers we’ve ever seen in her December “Favorite Things” feature. (See it at

FEBRUARY 1 February is LOW VISION AWARENESS MONTH. With 16.5 million U.S. residents over the age of 45 reporting some form of vision loss (according to, it’s the perfect time to hammer home the importance of annual check-ups for clients to stay on top of their visual performance and address problems as they arise. And by hammer, we mean hammer — repeat in emails, repeat in social media, repeat yet again in your ads.

FEBRUARY 2 Today marks the start of PUBLICITY AWARENESS WEEK. Read up on techniques to get free publicity for your business. Start with one of J. Conrad Levinson’s idea-packed Guerrilla Marketing books or Jeff Crilley’s Free Publicity. Quick idea: How about a 20/8 contest to identify the people in your town who have the very best vision?

FEBRUARY 4 Has it really been 10 YEARS SINCE FACEBOOK LAUNCHED? As Mark Zuckerberg’s monster website wraps up its first decade, let’s restate the obvious: Social media has changed the world, and if you’re one of the 11 people on Earth who has yet to give Facebook a try, you really should. Done right, it’s an easy, inexpensive way for an eyecare pro to get closer to customers and show their fun side.

FEBRUARY 14 Why, oh why, isn’t eyewear considered a romantic gift? After all, is there any body part more romantic than the eyes? (Don’t answer.) Let’s whip up a little eye-oriented romance today by sending a special VALENTINE’S DAY discount to customers who buy frames for their significant other. Encourage purchasers to be creative and take chances. Make it very clear that the new frame doesn’t have to be one the recipient will wear every day. The idea is to start thinking of glasses more of an accessory, like jewelry — “here’s one pair of glasses for wild nights out, another for dinner parties, another for active weekend afternoons.”