Best of the Best

Best Of The Best: No Fit Is Too Tough — A Practice Takes Adjusting to the Next Level


Premier Vision Group

Bowling Green, OH

In Bowling Green, OH, no patient’s individual fitting needs are too difficult for one office thanks to a fully stocked tool box, a little practice and an intense dedication to ensuring EVERY patient has comfortable, well-fitting eyewear.

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 edition of INVISION.

THE IDEA: Everyone needs individualized frame fittings and experienced opticians know you can’t fit everybody the same. But some individuals present even greater challenges when it comes to adjusting and customizing their eyewear than the average patient. Often, that requires an opticianry staff that is willing to go above and beyond the usual to ensure the best and most comfortable eyewear fitting experience possible. The Bowling Green location of the three-office Premier Vision Group has just that sort of staff and has collected a little bit of a reputation locally for tackling the toughest jobs for some very special patients.

It wasn’t a specialty they actively pursued; it happened organically. “We’re an established practice, we’ve been around for more than 60 years and it just happened,” says Tami Hagemeyer, lead optician, who’s been with the office for almost five years. “We have one child in a wheelchair who required head guards to keep his head upright. It caused problems with traditional temples and knocked his frame askew when his head moved,” she says. “We have another gentleman who lost his ear and part of his skull to cancer. He had been an established patient, and after his treatment we had to find a solution to steady his frames. So we really fell into it. When patients come in and present with something challenging. You just do it. You try. You work with the frame until it works.”

THE EXECUTION: When Hagemeyer started she asked Dr. Mile Brujic, a partner at Premier Vision Group, about acquiring tools. He told her that if there were any tools she needed that would benefit their patients then she should get them.

Since then she has acquired quite the collection of tools in their lab, including several unusual pliers, like nylon gripping pliers and needle nose pliers, and cable temple converters, as well as a few sharp pair of cutters, like carbon heavy duty cutters for cutting stainless steel and titanium temples. “Nothing lasts very long when you’re cutting metal but we have to make these frames fit these patients,” she says.

Though some of her favorite tools are from Hilco, she also looks outside the usual optical tool suppliers to stock her lab and make sure she can get the job done. In fact, she is already on her second Dremel rotary tool. “I use it more than anyone would expect,” she says. “I use it on temples or if there is sharp edge on a frame or nosepad, I can file it off. I don’t think a Dremel is something you would see in a lot of labs, but I need it. When I started, I got two and sent the other one to one of our other offices. When mine recently stopped working, our office manager told me to take the other one back I had sent. They never even opened the box!”

THE REWARDS: “Patients are so appreciative,” Hagemeyer says. “When the family of the boy in the wheelchair come in, sometimes I’ll even just meet them in the parking lot and adjust his frames in the van so they don’t have to bring him in. Even with all his different issues, they know we got this. They know we are going to figure it out.”

And word has spread. “Now, there are a few places around us — special needs and group homes — that bring their residents to us because they know we can find something to work for all the patients that need eyewear.”


Don’t feel confined by the traditional tools of the trade. If there is specific task that needs to be done, perhaps your local hardware store has the perfect solution.

Practice! Keep old stock, dead stock and patients’ broken frames if they’re missing a nosepad or something and they don’t want it back, to use for practice. “We have a box here of some old frames that we practice adjusting on,” Hagemeyer says.

Build practice time into formal staff training so all opticians can operate at the same level and assess each other’s strengths so ANY problem that presents can be tackled.

Keep at it. “For us, we’ll often sneak additional practice in when the doctor is out of town and the office is slower,” Hagemeyer says.

And don’t despair. “Know you are going to break some frames and it’s OK,” Hagemeyer says.

Best Of The Best: With Big Risks, Come Big Rewards



Dover, OH

One small-town OD breaks out of the box and inspires his customers to embrace more fashion-forward eyewear styles. Dr. Scott Keating’s gamble, and not-insignificant investment, paid off and helped his Dover, OH-based Vision Trends find serious success.

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of INVISION.

THE IDEA: Sell unique frames to a small, middle-income town. “My town is about 15,000 people,” Dr. Scott Keating says, and he likes to sell unique, fashionable frames that won’t break the bank — a risk in a middle-American town where many would play it safe with more classic and traditional styles. Some examples of his frame mix include Specs of Wood, David Green Eyewear, and Coco Song, which all retail for about $180 to $250. “Our office offers about 1,300 frames and 700 of them are unique companies not found in our large region,” he says. “Our dispensary is now known as the place to get unique and fashion-forward eyewear that’s not high-end.”

THE EXECUTION: Keating took a risk, both philosophically and financially, and stepped out of the comfort zone of many of his local competitors. He also highlighted his distinct and forward-thinking selection with displays and advertising that was just as original. “We opened cold four years ago,” he says, “and I started from ground zero. I spent $20,000 in displays and another $85,000 in frames. Sounds like a lot but it paid off quickly.” He also used “walking models” to advertise for him by picking people in public positions, like supermarket cashiers, greeters at day spas, and retail workers, and asked them to wear a unique frame from Vision Trends. “We picked something that flattered them but was very bold,” Keating explains.

Keating was creative when it came to displaying the frames in the store too. “We set our wood frames on tree limbs or we put our frames with real gold sitting in a little treasure chest full of fake gold coins,” he says. Another great perk Keating thought of was to give away freebies with purchase. “We present customers their glasses on velvet trays with nice gift bags containing a cleaning cloth, spray, chocolates, and a thank you card with offers for discounts on second pairs,” he says. “We make our customers feel special when picking up their eyewear because we care about them.”

THE REWARDS: People who shop with him often get compliments and recommend Vision Trends, and now many in town know of the shop right off the bat. “Once a patient steps out of their comfort zone a little bit, with your guidance, and picks something unique, they get so many compliments, that you have a loyal customer for life,” Keating says. “People used to ask, ‘Where did you get those awesome glasses?’ Now they say, ‘I bet you got those glasses at Vision Trends.’ That makes me happy!”


Urge customers to go for bolder, more unique frames.

Locate eyewear brands that are hard to find, or not widely available in your town. Pick unique, colorful, and decorative frames.

Bring attitude and confidence. You might look silly but if you’re confident, people will get involved, have a good time and tell all their friends about the coolest optometry office in town.

Have fun with displays! Forget boring old frame racks. Go to a local party supply or craft store to find themed decorations.

Think of creative ways to market and advertise locally to further set yourself apart.

Give away a few goodies with purchases — candy, a branded case, etc. — make the customer want to come back.

Best of the Best: Michigan Practice Wins Bet On Casino-Themed Trunk Show

Having fun at Rockford Family Eye Care

Patients played roulette in order to get discounts on eyewear and sunwear.


Rockford Family Eye Care

Rockford, MI

Trunk shows are a fantastic way to build buzz and put up big sales numbers in a short period of time. Drs. Theodore and Carrie Sees of Rockford Family Eye Care know this and have gone all in on their planned twice yearly shows. While their second of the year will always be their Annual “Sees Spa & Soiree” featuring Etnia Barcelona and Studio 3, the first one will feature a different theme and a rotating roster of brands. This year they gambled that customers would place their bets on an eyecare casino.

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 edition of INVISION.

THE IDEA: The Sees partnered with Morel and Menizzi this year to display their collections. The practice marketed the trunk show by pushing it at their local business expo event, putting ads in their local paper, calling current patients, highlighting it on their social media, and mailing out a small amount of flyers.

The team at Rockford Family Eye Care

THE EXECUTION: The Sees hired a photographer to take pictures of patients in their new frames along with silly face props. They decorated the whole office in casino-themed decorations, and the entire staff dressed in casino-like attire. Guests enjoyed casino-themed finger foods created by a local chef and martinis throughout the night.

THE REWARDS: The purpose of the event was to build buzz and excitement for the year-and-a-half-old practice, and boy did they do that. Approximately 75 guests passed through over the course of the night and each was given a playing card (the first cards were all either a 10 or face card), as well $10 when they walked in the door. If they purchased a pair of frames, they got another card. If they got blackjack, they were awarded multiple different prizes including a free complete pair, a pair of glasses, a free pair of sunglasses, 20 percent off their purchase or a gift card to a local coffee shop. The Sees set up a roulette table where the patients or customers could gamble their $10. If they landed on black, they won another $5, for a total of $15 dollars off their purchase. If they landed on red, they lost $5. If they got green, they won an additional $40 (on top of the original $10) off of their purchase and all guests who attended, regardless of purchase, were entered into a drawing for a free 40-inch smart TV.



Find brand partners that are down for having a little fun. Though most, if not all brands love a trunk show, not all might want to participate in your chosen theme. Chose those that get it.

Bring attitude and confidence. You might look silly but if you’re confident, people will get involved, have a good time and tell all their friends about the coolest optometry office in town.

Commit. From food, to costumes, to games. The point of a themed trunk show is to pick a theme and execute it 360 degrees.

Partner with other local businesses to offer goodies and prizes. Free coffee and publicity for a local restaurateur was a great way to co-market and build brand awareness for all..

Offer incentives or prizes other than discounts. Obviously, the idea is to sell frames at a trunk show but how exciting would it be to award a guest with a big ticket item at the end of the night?

Have a goal. It doesn’t have to necessarily be about frames sold or profit made. Rockford is a newer practice and its only goal was to build buzz. Jackpot!