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Check Out These Six Memorably Named Eyecare Businesses

They passed on ‘Acme Optical’ and came up with monikers that help them stand out.

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THOSE OLD ENOUGH to remember the Yellow Pages may recall the cluster of businesses at the front of each section vying for pole position by stuffing multiple “A’s” at the front of their name. Think “Aardvark Optical” (a name actually considered — fleetingly, anyway — by Dr. Richard Frankel before he opted for the statelier Atlantic Cape Eyewear for his New Jersey practice). The demise of the phone book has consigned that particular strategy to the scrapheap of history, but every business still needs a name, and choosing one still brings out the creative side in owners, so we decided to celebrate that fact and asked some of our more memorably monikered Brain Squad members to tell us how they arrived at their appellations.

One-Hip-Chic-reflection

One Hip Chic Optical
Rochester, NY

One Hip Chic (where “chic” is pronounced “chick”) got its name from an off-handed comment a fellow optician made to owner Tamra Asmuth one day after she complained about her workplace at the time: “You’re one hip chick, why don’t you open your own place?” Recalls Asmuth, “On my way home that night, I made opening my own shop my New Year’s resolution.” Customers comment on the name all the time, she reports. “I’d say the only problem that has arisen from my name is that people sometimes think I sell only women’s eyewear. I don’t. I sell hip men’s frames too. I consider myself very lucky to have super confident, fun men who’ve purchased glasses and aren’t afraid to tell people they’re from One Hip Chic!”

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Stormin’ Norman’s Optical Supplies
Boca Raton, FL

Some businesses choose great names, and some have great names thrust upon them. Optical supplies wholesaler and cleaning cloth/spray manufacturer Stormin Norman’s, launched 32 years ago by Norman and Debbi Opper under a different name, is a case in point. According to marketing director Liza Fluke, the name grew out of Norman’s idiosyncratic telephone manner, which typically involved an entertaining conversation and bells literally ringing upon every order. Inevitably, perhaps, everyone started calling him “Stormin’ Norman”— and some clients would even pay their statements that way. Says Fluke: “Trying to deposit the payments became a problem at the bank when they would not accept them, so the public really changed the name of the company!” To this day the customer service department gets calls with people laughing about the name and offer to put him on the line. “Norman is still our fearless leader and will talk to anyone who might call in,” she says.

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Check Out These Six Memorably Named Eyecare Businesses

Eye Care Avenue
Frisco, TX

There’s no shame in basking in a little reflected glory. And if you’re in retail, what more glorious name to bask in than Saks Fifth Avenue? That was the thinking at Eye Care Avenue in Frisco, TX, according to office manager Nick Stubblefield. “We kind of branded our name based on department stores. Eye Care Avenue… You want to shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, right?”

Paris-West-logo-black-and-white

Paris West Optical
Baltimore, MD

“When I was 19 years old,” recalls Jordan Flitter, “I decided I wanted to have my own high-end European-inspired optical boutique.” He also wanted a name that wasn’t generic but didn’t have “the desire or ego” to name it after himself. Then, as now, a lot of the high-end frames came from France and Italy, so “Seeing how we are in the west”— west of Europe, anyway — “it came down to Paris West or Milan West. Paris West seemed more memorable to 19-year-old me. So 33 years later here we are.”

Modern-Eyes-exterior

Modern Eyes
Austin, TX

In this industry, no naming strategy is as tried and true as the “eye” pun — something to which the word “eye” readily lends itself. Styleyes, Eye Can See and Optomeyes are just three of the many that have graced our pages. Another is Modern Eyes, Dr. Sonja Franklin’s optometric practice in Austin, TX. Franklin came up with the play on words herself. The message, she says, is “Modernize your look with up-to-date eyewear.” Not a bad strategy for a college town; Modern Eyes is located blocks from UT Austin. “I came up with the name and my husband created the logo and colors,” says Franklin.

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