Connect with us

Kindred Spirits

Their team spirit and sense of community service are unparalleled.




Kindred Optics, Maitland, FL

OWNER: Ryan Schott, OD; URL:; FACEBOOK:; INSTAGRAM:; YEAR OPENED FEATURED LOCATION: 2018; YEAR FOUNDED: 1971; AREA: 2,640 sq. ft.; Buildout cost: $80,000; TOP BRANDS: Rudy Project, Randolph Engineering, KLiiK, Dita, Tom Davies, OVVO, Say-OH, private label, Icare USA, Optos Daytona, Wave Equip, A-Scan, Acuvue, Alcon; EMPLOYEES: 7 full-time, 3 part-time

Ryan Schott, OD

Ryan Schott, OD

KINDRED OPTICS HAS a long history dating back more than 50 years, over the course of which it has seen changes of location and ownership but maintained its core mission of providing the highest quality optometry and eyecare services to central Florida. The current standard bearer for that mission is Dr. Ryan Schott, who joined the practice in 2012 and bought it two years later, quickly making his stamp by adding an optical. Complementing Dr. Schott’s focus on ocular disease management and myopia control, 2016 saw the arrival of Dr.
Brad Giedd, who specializes in RGP/scleral contact lenses. In 2018, the practice moved into its current location and was rebranded to Kindred Optics, which operates out of a 2,700-sq-ft. location with four exam rooms and a staff of 10.

Kindred occupies an office condo in Maitland, a scenic, community-oriented suburb of Orlando with a rich history. The overall vibe is mid-century modern with a dash of primary color, creating an impression that Schott describes as “clean-cut but not too sterile.” A standout feature of the optical is its frame shelving units; the primary displays were constructed by Schott himself from solid walnut slabs he milled in his garage. He had the glass shelves made by a local glassmaker, and the dispensing desks and large walnut display were made by a local professional woodworker and friend. Schott also personally designed the office, including the floor plan, decor, color palette and materials. “Woodworking, gardening, working out, and Call of Duty are my primary hobbies, as well as juggling the family’s needs,” he says.

The optical offers a diverse selection of independent eyewear, but at the moment their top lines are their private label, followed by Europa and OVVO. Their top lens is IOT by Laramy K, while Acuvue’s 1 Day family leads the way in contact lenses. According to Schott, Kindred Optics’ private eyewear label “is a good value and has done well to help us compete with the many local big box stores surrounding our locations. We found that many of our patients and customers want to support us, but so many find frames retailing for $400-500 dollars to be out of their price range.”

This Orlando Practice Is Carrying On a Tradition of Fine Eyecare Started Over 50 Years Ago

Schott and his team have continued the practice’s long-standing tradition of offering low vision services, including working with the Division of Blind Services of Florida. They also support the local community by working with Shepherd’s Hope, a clinic offering healthcare for the uninsured, pro bono.

In keeping with Kindred’s ethos of supporting small businesses and the local community, if they have a patient who is a professional in an industry or field whose services they need, they will try to work with them first before going to bigger companies. “We also like to donate every year to organizations such as RAISE at the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, a work and social skills training program for adults with disabilities seeking employment,” says Schott.

Kindred Optical has found it has little need for social media in its marketing. “Honestly, we are primarily found through word of mouth and our online reputation — i.e., Google reviews.” The team has found Weave to be really useful in garnering feedback from patients, which has helped to build the practice’s online reputation.

He also shouts out Revolution EHR, which, “though not perfect, is still the most robust software available for an independent full scope optometry office.”

The staff has almost doubled under Schott’s leadership, but relative to the current size of the practice is still lean at 10 members. “Bigger is not always better. With a smaller staff, we can ensure that not only our patients are having all their needs met. We try to go above and beyond for not only them, but our employees too.”


Periodically, Schott will set practice revenue goals for the entire staff to participate in, such as for annual CL supply sales or optional retinal imaging. “I’ve found that these are helpful for certain lag measures in the office, but an overall total revenue goal is what brings everyone together and on the same page.”

It’s something of a tradition here at INVISION to ask our “America’s Finest” finalists what’s “cool” about their practice. Schott doesn’t need to think about his reply: “We’re cool because we care — honestly and truly. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Our patients mean everything to us. Without them, we simply cannot exist.”

Five Cool Things About Kindred Optics

1. PERSONAL TOUCH. “We love to hang up cards sent in by our patients,” says Schott, “and we keep the handmade ones hanging in our office.”

2. ALL HANDS ON DECK. “We clean the office ourselves, every day. No one will put the same love and pride into your office that your staff does.”

3. LOCAL TALENT. Most of the artwork in the office is purchased by Schott at a local charity art festival put on by Maitland Rotary Club every November.


4. WORK/LIFE BALANCE. The office is closed the week of Christmas every year. “Yes, we sacrifice some earnings, but our staff deserves time with their families.”

5. WAKE UP CALL. When he senses a dip in the mood, Schott will have a staff member go grab coffee with the business CC.


  • The care taken shows, from the stunning interior with handmade display fixtures to the talented team. You see the extra care given to showcase independent brands and the time they take to educate their patients on why the independent path is much more compelling. — David Duralde, Chief Creative Officer, OGI Eyewear, Minneapolis, MN
  • Patient-first care with offerings for low vision, philanthropy to local charities, and pro bono care to the uninsured shows the heart of Kindred Optics. — Jenn Denham, Head of Business Development, Review Wave, McKinney, TX
  • An absolutely unique and gorgeous office. Clean, inviting and not sterile. Marketing images are very cool and go well with the interior theme and decor. The community aspect and care for staff is also an added bonus. — Paige Kraemer, ABOC, Sales Consultant – Minnesota, Cherry Optical Lab, Green Bay, WI


Fine Story

“Our success is 100% dependent on our incredible staff,” says Schott. “There is no hurdle we won’t jump over to help our patients. Today, our top-notch optician Ed and I stayed late to help a walk-in patient with a recent sixth nerve palsy and cut him a Fresnel prism after hours to help alleviate his new diplopia. Our reputation is solely because I have people working with me who see the humanity in everyone who comes through our door. Respect and kindness are given with grace in our office. They really are like family to me, and we share joy and sadness in our mutual ups and downs.”



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