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Entreprenurial OD Launches High-Glam Vision Care Salon

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Dr. Sheena L. Garner inside Eyebar

Dr. Sheena Garner has created a concierge-style practice with gorgeous eyewear in beautiful yet comfy surroundings.

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

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QUICK FACTS

LOCATION: Houston, TX
OWNER: Dr. Sheena L. Garner
OPENED: 2014
AREA: 2,233 square feet
EMPLOYEES: 2 full-time “EYEBARistas” and 5 part-time (including one makeup artist, registered nurse and lash technician).
TOP BRANDS: Paul Smith, Emilio Pucci, Matsuda, Tom Ford, Balenciaga
WEBSITE: eyebarhouston.com
FACEBOOK URL: facebook.com/eyebarhouston
TWITTER HANDLE: twitter.com/drsheenagarner
INSTAGRAM URL: instagram.com/eyebar_houston
PINTEREST URL: pinterest.com/drsheenagarner/eyebar/

The party starts as soon as the lipstick-red Porsche Boxster convertible with license “EYE (heart) DR” pulls in front of a stone cottage in Houston’s tony River Oaks section.

“My car is the ‘we’re open’ sign,” says Dr. Sheena Garner, the owner of EyeBar, a concierge-style eyecare practice and eyewear boutique that’s just over a year old. At EyeBar, clients can get eye exams, Lasik surgery, spectacles and contacts. But the menu also includes services seen far less often at optometry offices: lash and brow extensions, makeup and makeovers, eyebrow waxing and threading — even injections to banish crow’s feet.

“It’s not just an exam. It’s an experience,” says Garner, who schedules just eight appointments daily at EyeBar (versus 16 to 20 at InSight Eyecare, a practice she co-owns in northwest Houston). “Coming here is like therapy,” she adds, and quality time is her No. 1 goal. “It’s time away, and you feel special.”

After their eye exam, people can get their makeup done at no extra charge while Garner picks out frames for them to try on. Frame styling is her favorite part of the business, and a big reason she started EyeBar. After graduating from Texas A&M with a major in biology, she interviewed at Neiman Marcus to be a fashion buyer. “I realized I had two lives, medicine and fashion, and optometry was the only way to marry them,” she recalls.

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Exterior of Eyebar Houston

Eyebar is located in Houston’s posh River Oaks area.

Fashion drives EyeBar’s selection of 450 frames, which retail from $200 to $800 and include Matsuda, Paul Smith, Emilio Pucci and Jacques Marie Mage, as well as Tom Ford, Chloe, Miu Miu and Balenciaga. Frames become art as they jut from clear Plexiglas fixtures on the wall or perch in clear glass cabinets.

Garner designed the white, navy and gold interior, culling ideas from Pinterest and shopping at contemporary furnishings stores. Homey touches include candle-wax-dripping on bottles at the fireplace and faux fur pillows on the sofa. Espresso, mimosas, wine, beer and bowls of Hershey’s kisses offer comfort kicks, and “we bake cookies so the house smells good,” says Garner. Rather than spa music — “It puts me to sleep” — she spins Norah Jones and Coldplay, with the tunes at their liveliest on Fridays.

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EyeBar’s clients are women and men, mostly under 50, often from arty professions. “We’re all chasing our youth, wanting to be fashionable, staying up with trends,” says Garner. The business definitely lives up to its slogan, “A Place to be Seen,” with local TV news talent, fashion models and pro athletes among the clientele.

Famous or not, though, “everyone feels at home,” Garner notes. “Brandon (Brooks, a guard for the Houston Texans) sat on my blue couch watching football as he ate chips and queso.” And kids can watch Netflix movies with milk and cookies, or do their homework at the kitchen table while their parents get exams.

Dr. Garner's license plate

When parked out front, Dr. Garner’s cherry-red Porsche lets patients know the business is open.

Garner chose Houston’s River Oaks area for its gracious homes (many turned into businesses) and reputation for luxury. Yet a week after she signed a lease in 2014, major construction on her street was announced. Major floods last April and May also cut into traffic.

But as the child of entrepreneurial parents, Garner is undeterred. She and EyeBar are building a clientele through word of mouth, creative giveaways (like sno-cones on a scorching National Sunglasses Day last June) and pop-up shopping events with wares from local clothing boutiques carrying Suno, Roksanda and other hip designers. Garner also cultivates a strong social media presence, noting how it’s “a lot of work but worth it.” On Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, she shares beauty tips, inspirational quotes and party photos of her patrons, with the occasional red-carpet shot of Rihanna in Balenciaga shades or James Franco in Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

“I want to give the sense that my customers belong to a club,” she says. That club can include valet service, girls-night-out makeup parties or even an exclusive exam. Garner says, “If you want an after-hours exam and plan to buy something, shoot, I’ll open up for you.”

In fact, Garner plans to open another location, minus the EyeBar trimmings, where she’ll team with a plastic surgeon and obstetrician/gynecologist. (“You can get all your necessary evils in one place,” she says.) Meanwhile, she dreams of attending her first Silmo, too: Art of the Eiffel Tower decorates her office, near a sign reading, “Just sitting here on the corner of awesome and bombdiggity.” Garner’s long days and endless whirl make her realize “I don’t have enough time in the day — and I’m not invincible,” she says. “But I am a dreamer. That keeps me going.”

Eyebar Houston interior

White, gold and navy blue decor and furnishings bring a unified, upscale look to EyeBar.


Five Cool Things About
Eyebar

Dr. Sheena L. Garner of Eyebar

Dr. Sheena Garner is active in local charities.

1. Giving gal: A nominee for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year competition in Houston, Garner also donates to charities including Love Gives Back, CanCare, animal welfare nonprofits and the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

2. Something to talk about: Garner has had perfect vision since Lasik surgery five years ago, but she still sometimes wears glasses as a fashion accessory and conversation starter. “If I wear glasses, 10 more people will talk to me than without them,” she says.

Beauty maintenance is free for Dr. Garner’s staff.

3. Plentiful perks: Working at EyeBar has its benefits: free Botox, makeup and lash extensions as well as monthly spray tan and an annual pair of glasses. “My staff’s beauty maintenance is advertising for me,” Garner says.

4. Makeover heaven: The winner of Viva la Girls Night drawing and her BFF got professional makeovers and champagne at EyeBar followed by dinner at preen-and-be-seen night spot Ruggles Black. “We wanted to bring back college days when best friends would get dressed together and play with their makeup,” Garner says.

5. Handsome times 10: Michael Afshari, a friend’s brother, got an eye exam just to be supportive — and was surprised to learn he needed glasses. When his Montblanc specs arrived, “his reaction was priceless,” Garner says. “He gazed in the mirror and said, ‘I’m not as handsome as I thought.’ Mind you, he’s very attractive.” He now owns 10 pairs.


FINE STORY

SHOWING SOME (SOCCER) STAR POWER

While helping makeup artist Aubrie Layne choose new frames, Dr. Sheena Garner overheard Layne’s pre-teen sons, Max and Hanz Jimenez, admiring a framed story on her kitchen wall about Garner’s good friend and ex-Houston Dynamo soccer player Michael Chabala. So Garner phoned him. “He was there in no time to meet them,” she recalls. “I had to leave to see patients at my other office, but he stayed behind to dribble and sign soccer balls with them in our parking lot.”


FINE FEATURE

PATH TO SUCCESS

Dr. Garner began her vision care career as an optometric assistant to Drs. David Bridges and Donald Norcini at InSight before attending the University of Houston School of Optometry. She ultimately bought Bridges’ half of InSight and continues to work there on Tuesdays, Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings. (She’s at EyeBar on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Thursday mornings and Friday afternoons.) “I still work at that location because I can’t seem to let go of my patients,” she says. “You develop relationships and patients become family.”

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America's Finest

They Overcame This Fear … and Their Eyecare Practice Soared

This Colorado practice learned to ‘stop being afraid to offer the best’.

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Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO

OWNERS: Dr. Sara C. Whitney and Dr. Reed F. Bro; URL: eyecarecs.com; FACEBOOK: facebook.com/eyecarecs; TWITTER: twitter.com/eyecarecs; INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/eyecarecs; YELP: yelp.com/biz/eye-care-center-of-colorado-springs-colorado-springs; YEAR FOUNDED: 2001; YEAR OPENED FEATURED LOCATION: 2018; EMPLOYEES: 8 full-time, 2 part-time; TOP BRANDS: Moncler, Ørgreen, Morel, Lafont, MODO/ECO; AREA: 5,000 square feet; BUILDOUT COST: $210,000; ARCHITECT AND DESIGN FIRMS: YOW Architect, Thomas General Contractors


EARLY ONE MORNING ABOUT four years ago, Dr. Sara Whitney, co-owner of Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs, rubbed her eyes and glanced at her Instagram feed. “Get out of your own way!” the screen implored her. “It was a fitness post, but I immediately knew it was intended to help me improve as a doctor and a business owner. Many of us never come to realize that our only limits are self-imposed.”

Whitney and co-owner Dr. Reed Bro have gone to great lengths to ensure their customers experience a similar epiphany when, walking into the expansive optical, they take in the natural stone walls lined with reclaimed wood shelves, and the sunlit frames they display. “In our practice, ‘I don’t get a frame this year’ is no longer valid,” Whitney says.

Dr. Bro founded the Colorado Springs, CO, business in 2001 after years in a group practice. He realized the only way he was going to provide the level of service he felt comfortable putting his name on was to become an independent owner. The business launched less than two weeks before 9/11. As much as the commercial impact, Dr. Bro recalls bonding over a national tragedy with patients. “Yes, 9/11 was a factor during the start-up … I remember the weeks after 9/11, the appointment schedule was slower and I spent a good deal of time just listening and sharing thoughts and feelings with patients about what we were experiencing.” Once the business was on its feet, Bro knew that to get to the next level, he needed an associate. He made the offer to Whitney in 2010; by 2014 she was a co-owner.

Whitney has learned a lot since then, most of it coming back to the idea of throwing off self-created boundaries. “I stopped being afraid to offer the best. I used to worry that patients would balk at price, but I realize now it’s not within my scope of practice to read minds. I can’t assume someone will think a treatment or designer frame is too expensive for them … My fear as an optometrist is that a patient will come back and ask, ‘Why didn’t you tell me about overnight corneal reshaping lenses? Why didn’t you tell me I could have lenses that block blue light?’”

This year, the business moved into a historic building downtown, adding to its clientele office workers, military personnel and elite athletes in residence at the city’s U.S. Olympic Training Center. With nine employees and two doctors tripping over each other in their previous, 2,500-sq.-ft space, they needed more exam rooms. One day they got wind of an old building that was available, but the agent tried to talk them out of it. “You probably wouldn’t like it,” Whitney remembers being told. “It has concrete floors and exposed brick walls.” She insisted on seeing it. “We knew our search was over.” That space is the 1902 structure that Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs now calls home.
“We are definitely industrial chic!” says Whitney, pointing to the added elements that soften the hard vibe of the industrial space. The result is a welcoming ambience that weds early 20th-century commercial architecture and modern elements like acrylic seating, quartz work surfaces and iPad check-in. “We took a hospitality approach to eliminate the dread many patients feel [in] doctors’ offices,” Whitney says. The retail area is furnished with over-sized leather chairs and plush rugs, and basks in streamed music and sunlight that pours in from skylights in the bowstring truss roof. With natural stone walls and a reclaimed wood wall behind reception, the large space encourages browsing.

Full-length mirrors give customers a complete picture of themselves in their new frames.
Whitney and Bro make it their mission “to connect the exam dialog to the optical dialog, so we are all speaking the same language to the patient.” Eye Care Center is especially proud of its large specialty contact lens practice, with referrals from as far afield as California.

Their dedication to reaching beyond limits extends to the staff. “We have to re-educate ourselves and any new team members we hire,” Whitney says. The results speak for themselves — business is good, she says. “In July 2018, we hired a full time associate optometrist, a new grad from UMSL, Dr. Taylor Little. We are keeping her and ourselves busy!”

 

PHOTO GALLERY (13 IMAGES)

 

Five Cool Things About Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs

1. BIG SHOTS. Eye Care Center’s patients include Olympic shooters. The best marksmen in the world trust their eyes to their care.
2. BLAST FROM THE PAST. The historic building housing the practice dates to 1902, and was once used as a commercial carriage house. It was acquired in the 1930s by the Van Dyke Motor Company, whose historic sign remains.
3. FOCAL POINT. Eye Care Center has a large specialty contact lens practice. “We believe strongly in the importance of myopia control with corneal reshaping lenses or soft multifocals. We also fit therapeutic contact lenses such as scleral lenses, hybrid lenses, and scleral cover shells,” says Dr. Whitney.
4. SPREAD THE WORD. Dr. Bro will soon begin giving educational talks at contact lens-related industry events nationwide.
5. STREAM ON. Eye Care Center streams a wide variety of music including pop, “throw-back”, coffee house and classical guitar.

 

Judges’ Comments

  • The website has strong, thorough content for patients. Their social media platforms are very active, and the Yelp reviews were expertly managed! Natalie Taylor, Artisan Eyewear, Meredith, NH
  • This is really a beautiful practice. I really like all of the natural elements and the open, expansive feel to it. It has a bit of a rustic yet modern look to it. They carry some great frame lines, and seem to do a really good job with their social media. Michael Kling, OD, Invision Optometry, San Diego, CA
  • The interior of this store is by far one of my favorites. It is quite chic with its exposed brick, salvaged wood and industrial finishes. As a customer, I would feel very confident that the opticians know what is hip today and be able to help me select a frame appropriate for me. Jennifer Coppel, TURA, Inc., New York, NY

 

Fine Story

Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs hired Mark Hinton, a respected optician and industry speaker, to teach their team how to create the best patient journey. “He taught us the power of words, to use phrases that say ‘yes’ to customers, and how to ask questions to uncover opportunities,” says Dr. Whitney. “He taught us that ‘sell’ is a dirty word, and that we have the exciting privilege of helping our patients buy. We are giving them permission to get what they need or want by systematically eliminating phrases that allow insurance to dictate what is attainable.” She adds that Hinton visited to see the new space in June, to reinforce what staff had already learned and “to teach them how to guide patients through the patient journey in our new — as Mark would call it — ‘Eyecandyland.’”

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A Sleek Practice in the Heart of Downtown Austin, TX, Prides Itself on Its Eye for Detail

Attention to detail, in both eyewear and eyecare, is the calling card of this practice deep in the heart of Austin.

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Optique, Austin, TX

OWNER: Courtney Rhodes, OD; URL: optiqueaustin.com; FOUNDED: 2009; OPENED FEATURED LOCATION:2015; BUILDOUT COST: $500,000; ARCHITECT AND DESIGN FIRMS: Design: Michael Rhodes, Construction: Acero Construction; AREA: 2,200 square feet; EMPLOYEES: 7 full-time; TOP BRANDS: Mykita, Lindberg, SALT, Barton Perreira, Garrett Leight, Ahlem, Rolf; FACEBOOK: facebook.com/OptiqueAustin; INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/optiqueaustin; TWITTER: twitter.com/optiqueaustin; YELP: yelp.com/biz/optique-austin-2


DR. COURTNEY RHODES OPENED Optique in the heart of downtown Austin, TX, in January 2009, becoming just the second optometrist to open in her area. She and husband Michael, an architectural engineer and builder, designed the office to have a sleek, modern appeal. Rhodes envisioned an optometry office and optical boutique “like no other.” She stocked exclusive, high quality eyewear and set the goal of providing eyecare and service to match.

In 2015, Optique relocated to a new, larger office at the Seaholm Power Plant. Just a year later Rhodes opened a second location about a mile away at the new South Lamar Union development. (Designed by architect Burton Baldridge, the South Lamar Union location was featured in Texas Architect.) For the last nine years, Optique has continually grown with two optometrists and an in-house lab.

Rhodes says that when looking at potential sites for the practice, her choice was guided by “Location, vibe and high foot traffic,” adding that it was always her plan to have multiple practices. “Our patients live or work near downtown/South Austin. They are willing to pay more for high-quality products, value the experience — i.e. they are looking for one-of-a-kind, hard-to-find items that no one else has — and want to find it in an environment that isn’t replicated anywhere else.” She adds that her clients generally want a more customized and personalized experience, and are looking for a one-stop shop to get all their vision needs met. They are the kind of customer that likes to shop at small, local businesses, and that “values creating a long-term relationship with their medical providers.”

Optique is set apart by a cool look and sleek, elegant finishes. Michael personally designed and built Optique’s Seaholm office to serve as a showcase for the Mykita, Lindberg, Rolf, Garrett Leight and other distinctive frames that line its walls, while delivering on Dr. Rhodes’ interest in service excellence. Every detail of the finishings, Courtney says, was “meticulously designed and custom fabricated” to be durable and ergonomic. The result is a timeless, elegant look that is something of a trademark for Michael’s projects. 

“As a small, local business,” Rhodes says, “we prefer to support independent and handmade brands. We value our relationships with these companies. We appreciate their detail, quality and craftsmanship. We want patients to be inspired by their eyewear and feel they are making a personal statement.”  

Rhodes has set herself the ambitious task of “perfecting the customer’s experience.” This entails analyzing the practice’s operations from start to finish. When the patient walks in, they are greeted at the reception desk/wet bar and offered a choice of sparkling water, wine, or local beer. Snacks are provided and a bag of jelly beans is handed to every patient at their frame dispense. “We pride ourselves by operating on our four core values: approachable, distinctive, proficient and conscientious. I tell my staff to make every decision regarding our patients and practice with these principles in mind.” Rounding out the experience, “We try to communicate with our customers as much as possible whether it be with a hand-written thank you note or phone call to check on them,” says Rhodes.

Rhodes refuses to engage in “pressure sales.” She believes in “fast and easy-going exams,” after which patients are handed off to opticians with a combined 40 years of experience fitting frames. Among Optique’s conveniences are an in-house lab that can often make lenses in one hour, and home/office delivery.

Optique’s attractive website and Instagram emphasize frames and outside events. And while Rhodes hasn’t ruled out the idea of online sales, she believes that “with the current race to the bottom with online retailers like Warby Parker, it is so important now to focus on the customer’s experience. Happy customers are our lifeline, and we depend on their referrals.”

Staff have weekly team lunch meetings and quarterly team-building activities including escape rooms, happy hours, Top Golf, bowling and swimming. At least once a quarter, the store organizes a party, frame pop-up or sponsorship of an outside event. Outings this year have included numerous trunk shows and events related to the SXSW festival and Austin Fashion Week. “They are fun! It gives our patients a chance to come hang out and get to know us. We have drinks, often with a specialty themed cocktail to match the event, and snacks.”

As for the bottom line: Business, Rhodes says, “is great! We love being in Austin.”

PHOTO GALLERY (13 IMAGES)

Five Cool Things About Optique

1. CHOICE ITEMS. Staff feature their favorite frames with a “Staff Pick” card. Aside from highlighting key collections, “it also helps spark a conversation between the optician and patient,” says Rhodes.
2. TO YOUR DOOR. Optique’s white Fiat, featuring the business’s ‘See Well, Look Better’ logo, delivers “anything and everything” to patients.
3. HOME TRIAL. Customers can take three pairs of glasses home for 24 hours under a “keep some or none” offer.
4. PRIZE-WINNER. Optique won a Mykita contest for 10 custom-made frames based on an elaborate POP display staff created in the store.
5. HIGH PRAISE. Dr. Rhodes’ husband Michael Rhodes is an architectural engineer and builder who worked on Optique. Among the other projects handled by his firm is a home featured in Architectural Digest.

FINE STORY

Dr. Rhodes is a fitness enthusiast, and provides regular opportunities for staff to live a healthy lifestyle together: monthly team workouts after work (Wellness Wednesday); a weekly allowance for healthy team groceries; participating in the Austin Capitol 10K run as a team; and sponsoring employees in the Austin Marathon. ”

 

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID

  • “Optique’s presence is a “signature” that modulates nicely from one location to the next. The ultra-clean palette is balanced by a pleasing combination of wood, white, and insertions of warm and cool colors. Smart and logical, as if they epitomize the clarity of vision customers will enjoy.” Brent Zerger, l.a. Eyeworks, Los Angeles, CA
  • “Hands down, one of the best exterior storefronts I’ve seen of any retailer, not just optical. My favorite aspect is the “staff picks” card. I’ve been preaching this for years. It’s a natural conversation starter and makes the selling process that much easier.”  Robert Bell, EyeCoach, San Francisco, CA
  • “Both interior and exterior are very chic and mirror the high-end product the optical carries.”  Jennifer Coppell, Tura, New York, NY

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America's Finest

A Love of Fun and Experience In and Out of Eyecare Create an Ohio Practice That Is Anything But Clinical

Drawing on owner Dr. Cynthia Sayers’ experience — in and outside of optometry — and sense of fun, EyeShop Optical in Lewis Center, OH is the ‘opposite of clinical.’

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OWNER: Cynthia Sayers, OD; URL: eyeshopoptical.com; FOUNDED: 2011; BUILDOUT COST: $10,000; ARCHITECT AND DESIGN FIRMS: Real Space Design, MeetMeg; AREA: 2,000 square ft.; EMPLOYEES: 4 full-time, 2 part-time; TOP BRANDS: FYSH, Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Ray-Ban, Nike; FACEBOOK: facebook.com/EyeShopOptical ; INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/eyeshopoptical ; TWITTER: twitter.com/myEyeShop ; YELP: yelp.com/biz/eyeshop-optical-lewis-center


IF YOU SHOULD STRAY INTO EyeShop Optical Center in Lewis Center, OH, looking to go through the motions of an eye exam just to “get it done,” it shouldn’t take you too long to realize you’re not in your typical optical chain. If it isn’t the non-stop ’80s music that tips you off, or being greeted by the sight of Monsters Inc. Mike wearing an eyeglass on his one eye, then maybe bumping into Barbie in the exam room or the glasses-clad dogs in the bathroom will do the trick. And if all that fails to set you straight, it’s probably safe to say that if your appointment happens to be on Dessert Friday (or the store’s monthly Lollipop Day), the penny will drop.

“EyeShop is 100 percent me, in every way,” says owner Dr. Cynthia Sayers. “I love adorable things and anything that represents whimsy.”

By any measure, Sayers’ experience owning and operating EyeShop Optical has been a successful one. But the achievement she’s most proud of is having learned how to connect with her patients. “I love finding the common ground with people; whether we are both dog lovers, have children the same age, or like to gripe about our 40-something struggles. That makes the day worthwhile,” she says.

Being relatable, she says, means walking out into the optical to voice very honest opinions when a patient is stuck between three pairs of glasses. It means returning phone calls and responding to emails personally. In the management sphere, it means hiring employees “based on personality, not experience, she says. “I could not work six days a week and go to a place that I didn’t love. I wouldn’t expect my employees to either. So, making the environment light hearted makes every day a good day.” 

Looking back, Sayers remembers hoping that “people would just pop in without an appointment just to say ‘Hi,’ or grab a cup of coffee. Who knew that would actually happen?” 

Sayers opened EyeShop Optical in May 2011 after 10 years of practicing optometry in a commercial setting. During the first decade out of OD school she worked at a LensCrafters as an associate doctor. “The experience was great,” she recalls. “We saw a lot of patients from varying backgrounds. I learned who I wanted to be as a doctor and what was important to me.”  

By the time her daughter was 3, nights and weekends were starting to take their toll and she decided to look for alternatives. “My boss at the time was well versed in the business side of optometry. Watching and learning gave me the confidence to go out on my own. I knew I wanted to be involved in all aspects of the process, not just the exams … After driving by my current location many, many times, I finally decided it was time.”

Sayers and her husband started to piece together how they wanted the business to feel. The goal, she says, was to be the opposite of all things clinical. She recalls thinking, “Don’t show me one of those optical cabinets! I refuse to have matching waiting room furniture! EyeShop would be the place to go.” She opened the doors offering appointments six days a week with just herself and one employee.

Opening cold was nerve-wracking, she admits. “You have no idea if your plan will work or if people will come. I was lucky to align myself with great people. My marketing guru, Meg Russell, truly made my voice come through.” The toughest part, she says, was figuring things out as you go, “finding out labs can’t just do anything, and that you have to learn to problem solve quickly.”

Sayers describes Lewis Center as “the perfect demographic … a growing area that has just added a fourth high school so family is everything.” EyeShop carries several independent brands for those who are seeking to stand out, but they share optical space with brands people have come to rely on, she says. “We love FYSH and KLiiK. Unique design, great color options to make our boards pop, and a great price point. We also love Kate Spade for classic looks with a twist. And due to our large volume of families, Ray-Ban provides styles for kids, moms and dads, as well as great sunwear.”  

The results speak for themselves — business is booming. “We continue to grow at an amazing rate seven years in. I couldn’t be more proud,” Sayers says. If years as a business owner have taught her anything, it’s that “an optometry practice isn’t just about vision and health; it’s about earning someone’s trust and becoming a primary resource for their overall wellbeing.”

Oh, and one other thing, she says: “Why can’t it be fun too?”

PHOTO GALLERY (19 IMAGES)

Five Cool Things About EyeShop Optical Center

1. TGIF. “I love to bake,” says Sayers. “So every Friday is Dessert Friday. I bring in my baked goods to share with patients.” Some even make a point of booking on that day.
2. NAME GAME. Last Christmas, staff received new titles. Explains Sayers: “My optical manager Rachel is the ‘EyeShop Overlord,’ and my lab tech is ‘Living on the Edger.’” There’s also a “Creative Genius,” “Style Guru” and “Master Organizer” on staff.
3. PLAY BALL. Last year EyeShop sponsored a little league team and, you guessed it, Sayers treated them to popcorn and other goodies before the first game.
4. SUMMER RITUAL. The town’s July 4th parade is taken seriously at EyeShop. “We’ve been Jedis, Superheroes, Emojis, and the Founding Fathers. Patients try to get us to give up how we are dressing each year,” Sayers says.
5. VISION PLAN. Under the store’s EyeTeam Membership plan, patients can purchase a yearly membership for themselves or their families. They pay a reduced cost for exams and discounts throughout the year on glasses and contacts.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID

  • “EyeShop sparkles with personality and love for the customer … Complete engagement on every level, from the customer to team-building and the community.” Brent Zerger, l.a. Eyeworks, Los Angeles, CA
  • “The owner has added a lot of unique touches to her office. You can really see the personality of it come out. She’s done a great job creating marketing materials and is very well branded.” Mick Kling, OD, Invision Optometry, San Diego, CA
  • “I love the in-house vision plan and the detailed card… and that the owner makes baked goods for patients on Fridays and holds contests with prizes.” Natalie Taylor, Taylor Vision Consultants, Boston, MA

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