Connect with us

Creatively Stuck? Fellow ECPs Share What They Do When Hit A Wall

Some ideas include walking away for a bit, hitting the internet and coffee... lots of coffee, among others.




  • I call a staff meeting. I have a very creative group of opticians and when we get together and brainstorm the ideas flow. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Wait for the next wave. — William Berk, Gleek and Howard Opticians, Millburn, NJ
  • Go on an idea/inspiration walk. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • Take about 30 minutes not doing work-based things to think outside of the box on new creative things to do for a certain season/holiday. Read INVISION for inspiration or see what other businesses are doing to feed off their energy. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Seek help from my creative coworkers. — Heidi Hipsher, Northland Eye Care, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Look at what other non-optical businesses are doing. — Siobhan Burns, The Eyeglass Lass, New London, CT
  • Move on to another task that doesn’t require as much creativity, like QuickBooks. It always comes back to me after that! — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Talk to employees; we share Pinterest groups too. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Pinterest. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Ask the staff or my spouse for ideas. — Sonja Franklin, OD, Modern Eyes, Austin, TX
  • I bounce things off of others, Google or use Pinterest. — Ann-Marie Weaver, Optimal Eye Care, Lewis Center, OH
  • Leave it alone for a time and hope to come back later with fresh eyes. I also seek out help from others. — Nichole Montavon, Oskaloosa Vision Center, Oskaloosa, LA
  • I usually give myself a break. Take some time off from trying to be creative and something will eventually come that will be awesome. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Call my older brother who is an MD. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Go on vacation! — Kimberly Theis, Powell Vision Center, Powell, OH
  • Borrow someone’s else’s! — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Pinterest or leaf through old trade magazines. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Hit the internet: Google, Pinterest, ODs on FB, FB Private Practice Group. — Susan Holt, OD, Coastal North Vision Care, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • I take a step back and allow my brain some rest and try again. Maybe ask another’s perspective to get more ideas flowing. — Selena Jachens, Urban Eyecare & Eyewear, West Des Moines, IA
  • Collaborate with colleagues. — Denise Robertson, Washington State University Vision Clinic, Pullman, WA
  • Look back on how I could have done something better and try to rework something that work okay but not great. I feel that sometimes things don’t work as well because it wasn’t the best time or place for the idea. — Nicole Leonard, Custom Eye Care, San Antonio, TX
  • Look to other opticals for inspiration. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Very recently I was working on creating a TV ad and felt brain dead. I simply recorded a few notes, rough ideas on what I wanted included in the ad. The next day, I opened the document, moved a few things around, corrected the grammar and created an exceptional ad. The moral of this story, go home, clear your mind and trust in your ability. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • Sit back and think some more to solve a case; ponder a better solution outside the box. — Kenneth Weiner, OD, Livingston, NJ
  • Talk to other people. — Danielle Doniver, Heritage Optical, Detroit, MI
  • Go to INVISION? — Minh Ta, Specs Appeal, Decatur, GA
  • Go for a bike ride! My mind is inspired every time I take to the pedals! — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Read INVISION magazine. I can always get ideas there and online. — Martha Davenport, Safe Vision, Wheatfield, IN
  • I look for inspiration from trade magazines, blogs and social media sites. It helps me when I feel like I’m in a rut. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Unplug from the electronics, sit in a quiet room and eat chocolate. — Erika Tydor, OD, Shoreline Eyecare, Shoreline, WA
  • Get another person’s perspective on the issue. — Elizabeth Knaus, A to Z Eye Care, Arcata, CA
  • I find the coolest person I know, butter them up by telling them their really ill-fitting glasses are…well…trendy(?) and bounce some ideas off of them. Another perspective always helps me. — Kirk Lee, Eye Care Associates, Ellisville, MS
  • I am a fan of the Google … or I go on Pinterest or Instagram and just scroll around on the pages that I follow. Sometimes just NOT thinking about something helps me figure it out. — Kim Hilgers, Monson Eyecare Center, Owatonna, MN
  • I try and get inspiration from other brands, not necessarily in the optical field. I search Instagram and other websites, watch videos, etc. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Think outside the box. — Leisa Lauer, Westcliff Optometry, Newport Beach, FL
  • I ask a patient, “What are your thoughts?” Many times once they begin speaking key words are said to spark an idea or recommendation on my part. — Robert M Easton Jr, OD, FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • Walk away for a bit. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • Read INVISION magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine, or talk to other doctors that I consider mentors. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • I always try to grab inspiration from everywhere; Facebook, online, journals, trade magazines etc. So far those things have given me TOO many ideas so being stuck is not the issue it is trying to focus and implement that is. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Reach out to my old office and old optical friends for ideas. — Gayle Bergthold, Bee Cave Vision Center, Bee Cave, TX
  • In terms of displays, I look at Pinterest! In terms of frames, I look at Opticians on Facebook. — Tiffany Firer, Lifetime Eyecare, Jenison, MI
  • I look at other industries for inspiration. Sometimes when you stop thinking about something the best ideas come. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Socialite Vision, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • Read INVISION magazine. (Does that earn me a bonus?) — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • I’m visual. I get on Pinterest. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • Take a break from that project, than come back to it. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • Read more articles in whatever area I’m working on to scan for ideas. Then do something completely different for a while like getting out in nature so my subconscious can work on it for a while. — Elizabeth Atkinson, OD, Atkinson Eye Care, Algonquin, IL
  • Doodle. Lots of doodling. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Drink some coffee and come back to it later. It gives my brain time to reset. — Deanna Phillips, Clemmons Family Eye Care, Clemmons, NC
  • Coffee. And music. From Mozart to Metal and back. — Pablo E. Mercado, Optima Eye Care, Alpharetta, GA
  • Read a magazine, browse Pinterest, sleep! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Turn to INVISION to see what others are doing for inspiration. Slowing down and taking a moment. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Take a break and relax in the swim spa. — Pam Neagle, Austin Eyeworks, Austin, TX
  • Brainstorm with colleagues and family. — Tammy Warmouth, Main Optical, Luzerne, PA
  • Read, research…expose myself to outlets that generate conversation and ideas. Take a break and come back around to allow my mind to open up. — Dianna Finisecy, Wagner Opticians, Washington, DC
  • Read and research. — Sabina Krasnov, i2ioptique, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Look at others in the profession and see trends, troll the internet. — Chris Clark, Advanced Eye Care Optical Shoppe, Panama City, FL
  • I look at what other retailers are doing. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • Look online or go to my family and/or friends. — Kimberly Riggs, OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Brainstorm with my coworkers. There’s nothing like hearing someone else’s thoughts/ideas to get my creative juices flowing again. Love to collaborate! — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Go on vacation and scuba dive; visiting practices in other countries gives me a healthy perspective on how good we have it in the states. — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center for Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • Take a step back and go on vacation or at least get out into nature and reset. — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care White Plains and Tarrytown, NY
  • Scroll through Instagram. I’m a very visual person. I could watch hours of people decorating cakes/cookies or throwing pottery. Three hours later… — Renee Berry, Nappanee Family Eyecare, Nappanee, IN
  • I read. Fellow opticians on OOF, management tips, style magazines, look at other types of businesses for influence. — Annette M. Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • Podcasts from all sorts of businesses. Looking for ideas not just from optometry. — Kristina Jordan, OD, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • Do something else. — Kevin Bushouse, Rx Optical, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Clean and attack my pile of paperwork. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Smoke pot. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Come up with a few ridiculous ideas and that usually shakes the cobwebs to make room for creativity. — Sarah Bureau, sbspecs, St. Catharines, ON
  • Search for more ideas! — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D, Pekin, IL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



The Best Overall Progressive Lens, Now Powered by AI

Engineered with Behavioral Artificial Intelligence and utilizing new XR-motion™ technology, Varilux XR series goes beyond prescription and eye physiology to consider the patient’s visual behavior and design a progressive lens that respects how
their eyes naturally move.

Varilux XR series comes in two versions, Varilux® XR design and Varilux® XR track. The Varilux XR track lens provides an additional level of personalization by incorporating the exclusive Near Vision Behavior Measurement, providing up to 25% more near vision width3 according to the patient’s need, so patients get the highest level of customization.

Discover Varilux XR series and enjoy instantly sharp vision in motion4 and seamless transitions from near to far.

For more information, visit here.

Promoted Headlines





Get the most important news and business ideas for eyecare professionals every weekday from INVISION.



Most Popular