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Editor's Note

Miss You, Mean It

Remember we’re all in this together… except for you anti-maskers… you’re on your own.

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HOW ARE YOU guys holding up? I, for one, take back every time I ever complained about having to go on another business trip.

Planning for 2021 without having seen or talked to any readers or friends of the magazine all year is hard. Without my usual trend hunting and story gathering, I feel adrift and out of touch. What is worse, those trips, those visits with you guys, hearing your stories, sharing a drink, they refill my bucket. They remind me what I love about this job and this industry. I feel empty. And while I doubt I would be comfortable attending a large scale industry event anytime soon, damn do I miss them.

But it’s not just that, that’s got me down. I’m a member of all the various optical Facebook forums and y’all it looks rough out there. Are you ok? Patients and customers really seem to be putting you guys through the wringer. Not to mention your own anxiety at being back at work, dealing with all manner of folk, when everything is still so unsettled. People all over are scared, and angry, and yeah, some are just plain old stupid. The sheer number of posts I’ve read from people who are fed up and leaving the industry, or didn’t have a job to come back to, is heartbreaking. It makes me immensely grateful for my weird little solitary work from home existence… even if some days the walls seem to be closing in.

Everything just feels so weird. And there is no apparent end in sight. So how about a little deflection toward some good news? Our America’s Finest Optical Retailers issue is usually one of the most exciting of the year, and while the industry, and how we do business, has changed a bit since the entry period, our 2020 winners and honorable mentions are still some truly remarkable businesses. You can check them out starting on page 28. I am particularly proud of the fact that our top three place winners are all women-owned.

Speaking of pride, we’ve got some amazingly colorful eyewear on our trend pages. Starting with our Inspiration Cover (page 13) and finishing with a little ROY G BIV eyeglass and sunglass action on page 18. It’s hard to be glum in the face of such vibrant eyewear.

But mostly, I hope these pages, this issue, this note, remind you that we’re all in this together… except for you anti-maskers… you, you’re on your own.

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Best wishes for you and your business,

Five Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. Readers can be models too. Check out the familiar face opening our product section! (Inspiration Cover, page 13)
  2. Social media isn’t just about spamming your followers with posts. You need to engage too for best results. (Manager’s To-Do, 14)
  3. We have a particularly proactive round up of useful business boosters in this issue. (EyeProGear, page 24)
  4. Been thinking about maybe, possibly hiring a consultant? Hear some dos and don’ts from a colleague who did. (Best of the Best, page 46)
  5. Now, maybe more than ever, a healthy practice culture is important. We’ve got tips on creating and maintaining one that cares. (Columns, page 51)

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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