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AMERICA'S FINEST (1ST PLACE): Located on a former family estate, this Winston-Salem practice’s singular focus is offering guests a taste of Southern hospitality in a space that feels like home.

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1ST Place: A Proper View, Winston-Salem, NC

OWNER: Andrew Bradbury, OD | URL: aproperview.com | YEAR FOUNDED: 2018 | AREA: 1,785 sq. ft. | EMPLOYEES: 2 full-time, 1 part-time, 1 office dog | FACEBOOK: facebook.com/aproperview | INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/aproperview | TOP BRANDS: Article One, Barton Perreira, Orgreen, RES/REI, RetroSpecs & Co. | BUILD OUT COST: $155,000


Andrew Bradbury, OD

Andrew Bradbury, OD

A PROPER VIEW BEGAN as an idea to refocus eyecare on what we believe it needs to be: an opportunity to listen and learn about each person’s unique needs and wants so that we can offer individualized solutions,” shares Dr. Andrew Bradbury, owner of the nearly three-year-old Winston-Salem, NC-based practice. When much of eyecare, and the world at large, has turned into transactional conversations, A Proper View wanted their patients and guests to feel heard and to reignite the idea that each of us is deserving of being more than just a face in the crowd.

As such, they wanted the space to be open and welcoming so guests immediately felt at ease when entering, much like they’re visiting a home and not a business. It was a design decision that not only appeals to their business philosophy and customers’ comfort, but to the history of the building itself. Nestled on the historic estate of Katherine and R.J. Reynolds, the practice is located in the original power plant that provided electricity to the entire property. Reynolda Village, as the former estate is now known, has become a shopping district that supports a wide range of small businesses and is designed to reflect the cozy communities of the past rather than the hustle of many retail complexes today.

AMERICA’S FINEST 2021 SPONSORS
AF 2021 First Place: A Proper ViewAF 2021 First Place: A Proper View
AF 2021 First Place: A Proper ViewAF 2021 First Place: A Proper View
AF 2021 First Place: A Proper View

“When so many practices are focused on seeing as many patients a day as possible, we are trying to flip that idea on its head by slowing things down and bringing back good conversation to better get to know our guests,” says A Proper View owner Andrew Bradbury, OD.

Playing off of the space and its history, the interior design is focused on being open and elegant. Sweeping ceilings and antique windows help accent the building’s history while allowing ample natural light and space to showcase their range of exclusively independent eyewear. “We want all of our patients to have the opportunity to wear quality eyewear from unique brands,” explains Bradbury. A Proper View also focuses on carrying sustainably manufactured frame lines including one of their favorite collections, RetroSpecs & Co., who work to restore vintage eyewear.

Additionally, they only work with two independent optical labs within 30 minutes of their shop. Most orders are received within just a few days as opposed to the two to three week turnaround with which many managed care labs operate.

AF 2021 First Place: A Proper View

Dr. Bradbury’s primary focus at A Proper View has always been on his team. “They are the backbone of our business.”

Doubling down on this notion of hospitality and community, everything they do in their business is focused on enhancing the patient experience. A Proper View limits eye exams to every hour so they can budget plenty of time to listen to each individual and craft visual solutions based on their specific needs. “This also gives patients ample time to spend in the optical to find the perfect frame to reflect their unique personality and style,” adds Bradbury. “When so many practices are focused on seeing as many patients a day as possible, we are trying to flip that idea on its head by slowing things down and bringing back good conversation to better get to know our guests.”And it’s working. “Our doors opened in October 2018 and we were fortunate to receive immediate and sustained support,” he says. “We believe that supports our idea that many of us are seeking businesses that see us for who we are, rather than just another number.”

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PHOTO GALLERY (21 IMAGES)

JUDGES’ COMMENTS

  • The goal of creating a “home like” atmosphere for the space was surely achieved. The eyewear displays fit well into the overall look and theme of the space. This is a very good embodiment of lifestyle dispensing and professional services. It is easy to see why patients are comfortable in this space. — Jan Ennis, Ennco Display Group, Redmond, WA
  • The philosophy of care for team members first is refreshing. Pride is ever present with this group. Fierce Independence! Yes! — Mark Hinton, eYeFacilitate, Indianapolis, IN

Five Cool Things About A Proper View

1. WINNING TEAM. Dr. Bradbury’s primary focus at A Proper View has always been on his team. “They are the backbone of our business. Without taking great care of them, it’s impossible to take exceptional care of our patients.” As such, he supports them by covering certification and continuing education costs 100 percent, and offering a monthly health insurance stipend, paid time off and a retirement plan the business matches up to 3 percent.

2. MY DEAR WATSON. They say a house is not a home without a dog. So a business can’t feel like a home without one either. Luckily, A Proper View has that covered with official office greeter, Watson.

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3. OPEN ACCESS. Software helps A Proper View determine their patients’ managed care eligibility and benefits, so they educate their patients on their relationship with their vision plan at the start of any conversation. Benefits are easily filed by the office after a visit, allowing their patients to focus on their eyecare and new eyewear.

4. TALK THE TALK. With their fierce independence comes a desire to support local. They regularly feature their favorite local small businesses on their social media to help support the brands and businesses they love.

5. WALK THE WALK. That local support goes beyond an Instagram shout out. “We try to work as much as possible with local business for the services we need, from using a local florist for fresh flowers to offering complimentary locally roasted coffee, beer and sodas to our guests. To us, everything is about how we can support those small businesses around us to help grow our community.”

Fine Story

The business is located on the former Reynolds family estate. R.J. Reynolds – notable for his role in industrializing the New South and the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company that bore his name — along with his wife Katherine and their four children moved into the Reynolda House in December 1917. Given the historical significance of the location and his desire to make his practice feel like a home, Dr. Bradbury’s wife worked with the Reynolda House Museum archive to decorate the space with framed original images of the Reynolds family.

Having built a career in service journalism, Dee has been covering the eyecare industry for over a decade. As editor-in-chief of INVISION Magazine, she is passionate about telling independent ECPs stories and can be reached directly at [email protected]

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