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Buzz Session

We Wanted to Know What Inspires You in the Optical Industry

Your responses were many, varied and … inspiring.





What people and/or other businesses inspire you in the optical industry?
  • I’m always inspired by good frame reps. When they love their products and tell me about the stories behind the frames, it’s always very inspiring. Morgan DiMaggio, Taylor Eye Care, Carmi, IL
  • Businesses who take pride in their work and want to keep our industry a professional one are the ones I admire. Not those who want to make it a Dollar store…. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • When businesses have programs to help children and low-income families with essential things such as eyecare. — Danielle Doniver, Heritage Optical, Detroit, MI
  • David Rips. He shares historical nuggets that are fascinating and relevant to our industry. He’s engaging and sincere about using his resources to collect significant pieces of optical history for preservation. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • I’ve never claimed to be the best optician on the planet; sometimes I need help and I phone a friend. His name is Joe Caldwell and any optical question I have he helps me out and never makes fun of me. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Friends. — Joanne Larson, OD, Palmer Family Eye Care, Easton, PA
  • People who are creative in their profession. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • Other small boutiques that sell small batch artisan goods. — Jordan Flitter, Paris West Optical, Baltimore, MD
  • Coffee shops and libraries. — Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Lancaster, MA
  • Anyone who puts patients first and does things the right way. — Scott Mann, OD, INVISION, Christiansburg and Salem, VA
  • Other doctors. — Patti Richard, OD, Family Eye Care, North Andover, MA
  • Gogosha Optique in LA, North Optical in Portland, Uber Optics in Petaluma, CA. Supporting independent eyewear, avoiding insurance, and doing things differently. — Kyla Skinner, Specs by Kyla, Atascadero, CA
  • Any business with great merchandising and branding! I draw inspiration from other industries to help me with displays, promos, etc. — Lorie Fox, Bakersfield Eye Care, Bakersfield, CA
  • Chik-fil-a for their efficiency. — Rick Pascucci, Towpath Vision Care, Clinton, NY
  • I love the creativity of the doctors and staff in so many offices; window/optical displays, office details – would love to hear more about staff inclusive ideas too! — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Well run retail stores. — Lisa Smith, Precision Eye Care, Vancouver, WA
  • Yaacov Wexler brings kindness and positivity to the entire industry. Your life is blessed if you’ve been Wex’d. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • I am actually envious of the aesthetics industry. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Any SMALL biz owner these days. — Billy Isgett, Eyecare of Florence, Florence, SC
  • I went to a conference where Sharon Carter was the speaker. Her session was the most inspiring I have ever attended. I often use some of the suggestions she had made throughout our everyday process. I could pick her brain for hours! — Susan Kantor, Central Phoenix Eyecare, Phoenix, AZ
  • I like to look at other businesses social media for ideas for marketing; fashion magazines, other healthcare providers, and unrelated businesses who market themselves well (Disney, Apple). — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • INVISION’s “America’s Finest” practices. Love reading about other creative folks who do things “differently.” — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Phernell Walker of Pure Optics is a wonderful trainer and teaches some of the best classes at Vision Expo! — Sydney Tramontano, Woolf Eye Lab, Pasadena, MD
  • In the industry, Gogosha for creative dispensing and being one of the first to be completely different. Carrie Wilson for constantly pushing to learn more and helping anybody that asks along the way. Matthew Smith for creative marketing and an unmatched attention to detail. Kevin Count for bringing the true craft of frame making back to the U.S. and making it accessible for others to learn. That’s just a handful, but our industry is full of incredible mentors and minds. And most are willing to help if you’re willing to do some of the work yourself. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision & LFVR Eyewear, Logan, UT
  • A friend of mine, Clara, owns 83 Best Clips locations. I learn more from her in an hour, than I could learn studying a year for an MBA. I also have friends that own candy stores, a plate glass company, cabinet and furniture manufacturing, injection molding plastics companies, and a host of others. I LOVE small businesses and am constantly learning from my peers. — John Bruening, Geauga Vision Group, Middlefield, OH
  • The leaders of our profession inspire me to remain active in board certification, advocacy and friendship. — Robert M. Easton Jr. OD, FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • One Hip Chic, Tamara Asmuth. I have watched and followed her for years, planting the seed to open my own shop. — Jennifer Yerden, Sights and Shades, Canandaigua, NY
  • Any other customer/retail shop locally. I like to mirror how active they are on social media. I also like to take my experience on how I’m treated at local retailers to help me improve how I treat our customers. — Amy Donoho, 20/20 Optical, Fergus Falls, MN
  • All the creative people in our “industry” are inspiring. Not the generic, cookie cutter, eye doctor office-y type places that don’t create a unique experience. I especially enjoy doing business with Cherry Optical. Refreshingly pleasant customer service on every level! — Julie Kubsch, Specs Around Town, Bloomington, IL
  • The practices that you highlight in your journal that are modern and unique inspire me. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • I am inspired by our industry as a whole. Always looking for the next “invention” to make seeing easier and hassle-free. So much has happened in our industry moving us from the days of “Ultra Vue” to Varilux XR and each new find is amazing. — Chris Clark, Advanced Eye Care Optical Shoppe, Panama City, FL
  • Anybody that works hard and deals with people successfully. — Robert Lootens, Physicians Optical Service, Jefferson City, MO
  • Any private practice owners that have a vision, make a plan, execute the plan, and create the practice they dream! — Mason Childers, OD, Wiregrass Eyecare of Ozark, Ozark, AL
  • The customer service of Amazon. The targeted marketing of Target. The business model in dentistry. — Ben Thayil, OD, Lifetime Vision and Eye Care, Miami, FL
  • I get most of my inspiration from talking with other optometrists like me. It is such a relief to hear the problems that they have been working with; it makes me feel more normal. — Dierdre Fogle, OD, Eyetopia Eyecare, Littleton, CO
  • My Instagram is filled with frame makers from around the globe. I’m drawing inspiration from what they put out into the world. — Kevin Count, Corner Optical / Optical Kitchen, Glenview, IL
  • Just about anyone who starts their own business. — Chris Gregg, Inver Grove Heights Family Eye Clinic, Inver Grove Heights, MN
  • Teaching graduate school. — Carolann Speranzo, OD, Second Sight, Quincy, MA
  • Lafont for their commitment and innovation. Dolabany for their independence, creativity and quality. — Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Chattanooga, TN
  • The military. The “can-do” attitude and the adherence to high standards guide me. — Pablo E. Mercado, Highland Eye Boutique, Atlanta, GA

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.


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