Share Tweet ACS-2016: Second Place -Look + See Vision Care A young OD’s cold open conviction in austin pays off with the sweet smell of success. Published 7 years ago on July 1, 2016 By INVISION Staff Invision July 2016 Issue Look + See Vision Care, Austin, TX OWNERS: Dr. Tammy Vo; URL: lookandseevision.com; OPENED: 2014; DESIGNERS: Matt Fajkus Architecture and Dr. Tammy Vo; EMPLOYEES: 2; AREA: 2,250 square feet; TOP BRANDS: Garrett Leight, SALT, Brooklyn Spectacles; FACEBOOK: facebook.com/lookandseevisioncare; INSTAGRAM: @lookseevision; TWITTER: @lookseevision; PINTEREST: pinterest.com/lookseevision FROM THE START, Dr. Tammy Vo knew running her own practice was the way to go. In 2014, about a month after graduating optometry school, Vo signed a lease and began transforming the Austin-based space she found into Look + See Vision Care. “While my office was being built, I worked for other people,” she says, and adds, laughing, “I was like, ‘Well obviously I’m making the right choice, because this is terrible.’” Vo set up the practice with care, making every decision that goes into building a space from scratch. “I chose every piece that went into my office, every piece of furniture,” she says. “I drew out the shelves, and a millwork crew, Hatch, did all the woodwork.” Vo spent weeks deliberating over just the right stain of reclaimed wood — “gray and brown, but not too gray, and not too brown.” She hired an architect who had no experience in optical design, but whom she believed had a great eye for design. The process was a true collaboration. Advertisement When it comes to the reception space, anyone looking for old issues of Time and Money, or a TV in the corner need not apply. Instead, the area welcomes patients into a fun and interesting book collection, curated by Vo herself. The library includes things like Calvin and Hobbes, pictures of dogs under water and books of short stories. “I think people really appreciate and enjoy it,” she says. The music is also important. “We bump it through our Sonos speakers,” adds Vo, a former piano major and violinist in an indie folk band. Once their wait is over, patients are treated to a personalized experience on which Vo prides herself. “I get to help people, and I see them back every year, which is cool,” she says. “Nobody dies in my office, so that’s great,” she adds, sounding relieved. Look + See has two full-time staffers: optician Alisha Sanford, and optician/receptionist Lauren Wiles. “Patients always know who they’re going to see,” Vo says. “I chose them very carefully, and I got very lucky.” She describes them as “opticians who also do everything else.” When Vo says she chose her team carefully, she’s not kidding. “I think the main thing is trying to find people you can tell pay attention to detail, because that’s very hard to train somebody to do — to be aware of everything they’re doing, and not make silly mistakes.” Advertisement During the hiring process, Vo gave applicants math tests and evaluated their correspondence for grammar and communication style. As far as training them, she focused on one thing at a time. “My first employee was here when I was setting everything up,” she says, “so I collaborated with her. She’s a pretty experienced optician. Then we had to retrain my second. She came from [a chain], so we had to change her ways a little bit.” In addition to choosing her team with care, Vo chooses her frames with care. “I choose all the frames that come in because I love glasses,” she says. Although Look + See has been open since 2014, Vo says it will be some time before she can confidently say that she’s out of startup mode. “That won’t end until I’ve hired another doctor and I’m killing it with passive income while I just hang out telling my patients I’m working hard,” she jokes. But then she gets serious. “I have so many ideas.” She plans to hire a technician, open another exam room to see more patients, and set up an in-house finishing lab, which is in the works. “I have so many things I still need to do.” PHOTO GALLERY (5 IMAGES) Five Cool Things About Look + See Vision Care 1. KEYS TO SUCCESS: As an undergrad, Vo majored in piano. “I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll play piano all the time,’ but I also took all these extra science classes,” she says. During that time, she worked for a number of ODs. “My goal was to go to optometry school,” she says, “This the a perfect job for me.” 2. PERSONAL TOUCH: Offering their patients direct, personal attention is a priority for Vo and her team. Whenever possible, all three of them will each choose a few pairs of glasses for a patient to try. “The patients feel like they’re the center of attention,” Vo says. “and it’s a fun game of ‘Whose Glasses Are They Going to Choose?’” she jokes. 3. WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Look + See brought a fresh look and welcome addition to its Austin neighborhood. “This was, apparently, an old print shop,” Vo reports. She’s been told the space was “just really ugly and smelly.” Advertisement 4. SMALL-TOWN FEEL: Vo is originally from Houston and appreciates the relatively small size of her current city. “Austin has the community feel that I appreciate,” she says. “You’re not going to find any chain stores or restaurants on my street.” 5. GIVING THANKS: When patients leave appointments at Look + See, they receive a thank you card for a free coffee. “We love supporting Once Over Coffee, the coffee shop next door,” she says excitedly, “except for when their patrons park in our parking lot.” WHAT THE JUDGES SAID Kudos to Dr. Vo for going after her dream and making it a success. Her shop is sensational with that amazing lighting, cozy reception area and unique frame boards. Colleen Galanti They obviously thought of everything when they created the space, even down to the music. We like that they give coupons for neighboring businesses to their patients, and they have a great social media presence. Marc Franchi and Jason Stanley You can feel the vibe looking a the photos. Everything in this store is an extension of it’s owner. The marketing is simple, fresh and not complicated, nor is the layout or experience one would expect. Very authentic and incorporates a total retail experience. Michael Karlsrud Related Topics:eyecare businesses in TexasLook + See Vision Care click to Comment(Comment) Up Next ACS-2016: Third Place -Urban Optics Don't Miss ACS-2016: First Place -Alberta Eye Care INVISION Staff Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. SPONSORED VIDEO Crizal® Sapphire™ HR: Invisible Shield of Protection Your patients’ main concerns of anti-glare, scratch resistance, and easiness to clean are covered. Crizal Sapphire HR, the latest and most advanced product in the Crizal No-Glare range, is now widely available across lab networks and through all major managed vision care providers. Crizal Sapphire HR is available with Essilor’s advanced lens designs such as Varilux® progressive lenses and Eyezen® enhanced single vision lenses. Click here to learn more. *External laboratory tests and internal technical tests – 2020. Compared to the competitor most known lens-brands by consumers (2019 external brand tracking in 11 countries). The word ’overall’ refers to anti-reflective coatings important criteria, ranked through an external quantitative consumer study – 2019. You may like At This Alberta Practice, the Eyewear Is Global, the Exams Are Thorough and the Staff Are Valued Trading on a Good Name 2023 America’s Finest Honorable Mentions Promoted Headlines On the Edger Maximizing Profit With In-House Finishing Visionix Made in Italy Italian Trade Agency Turn Patients Into Loyal Eyewear Shoppers Optify Advertisement Latest Trending Videos Photo Gallery3 hours ago Arnette’s Skateboard Street Cred on Full Display During New York Fashion Week Press Releases4 hours ago PPG, Flō-Optics Announce Exclusive Supplier Agreement for First Digitally Applied Optical Coatings Photo Gallery4 hours ago Celebrity Eyewear Pics Featuring Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Serena Williams, Blake Lively, and More Press Releases18 hours ago Hilco Vision Earns Green Seal Certification for New Sustainable Lens Cleaning Solution Press Releases18 hours ago American Optometric Association Releases Survey to Assess Burden of FTC Contact Lens Rule Photo Gallery4 hours ago Celebrity Eyewear Pics Featuring Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Serena Williams, Blake Lively, and More Photo Gallery3 days ago 23 Painfully Relatable Memes About Working Holiday Retail Sponsored Content2 days ago Made in Italy America's Finest4 weeks ago Trading on a Good Name Better Vision4 weeks ago E-Commerce Platforms for ECPs That Are Built for Eyecare and Easy to Use Sponsored Content1 month ago Turn Patients Into Loyal Eyewear Shoppers Sponsored Webinars2 months ago Shop! Masterclass Webinar: Sustainability for Retail: How Retailers Create Social, Environmental and Cultural Innovations Sponsored Content2 months ago Now Available: New Varilux® XR series™ Sponsored Webinars3 months ago Human-Centric Design in a Digital World: Creating Unexpected Moments That Inspire, Educate, and Connect at Retail Sponsored Content4 months ago The Very First of Its Kind: Introducing Ray-Ban Reverse Advertisement SubscribeBULLETINS Get the most important news and business ideas for eyecare professionals every weekday from INVISION. Advertisement Advertisement Most Popular Photo Gallery4 hours ago Celebrity Eyewear Pics Featuring Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Serena Williams, Blake Lively, and More Photo Gallery3 days ago 23 Painfully Relatable Memes About Working Holiday Retail Sponsored Content2 days ago Made in Italy True Tales6 days ago The Farting Mom Chronicles: One Optician’s Terrible Tale America's Finest1 week ago At This Alberta Practice, the Eyewear Is Global, the Exams Are Thorough and the Staff Are Valued Sponsored Content1 day ago On the Edger Maximizing Profit With In-House Finishing Cover Stories3 days ago Is Eyecare Ready for the Metaverse? Columns1 week ago You’re In Optometry School… Now What?