Stephanie Sengwe, Contributing Editor

Stephanie's coverage includes independent retailers and ECPs and reports on optical boutique/eyecare practice news and trends including local events, social purpose initiatives and store openings. She is the editor for several VM print features, such as Local Diary, Trending, In/Store, HearSay and Endpage. Stephanie is also the social media coordinator for Vision Monday's social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Contact Stephanie at ssengwe@jobson.com


Erika Mabus, OD, Takes Readers into the World of Organic Products

By Stephanie Sengwe, Contributing Editor
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:30 AM NEW YORK—On Instagram, Organic Optometrist is an airy page, with carefully curated posts whose color schemes mostly feature green, blue and white. Curated by Erika Mabus, OD, Organic Optometrist is not just a page made to please the eye, it was made purposefully to educate its viewers on some of the skincare products in the ever-changing organic product market. Created in January of this year, Organic Optometrist has garnered over 1,000 followers in just 10 months.

Nicole Nguyen’s ‘Eye Scribbles’—a Therapeutic Hobby That Turned Into a Business

By Stephanie Sengwe
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:30 AM Chantilly, Va.—Nicole Nguyen, OD, has been a fulltime practitioner in the northern Virginia area for a little over a year now and her time as a full-time optometrist at MyEyeDr. in Chantilly, Va. inspired her to create Eye Scribbles, an Etsy shop that features eye-related artwork tailored for fellow doctors and lovers of all things eyewear.

Nadia Afkhami’s ‘Eye Am Nadia’ Functions as her Social Media Personal Diary

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, November 9, 2018 12:57 PM Nadia Afkhami is a second-year optometry student at the Western University of Health Science in Pomona, Calif. With a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Barry University in Miami, Afkhami made the decision to pursue optometry after observing the relationships optometrists often make with their patients. After having lived in Orlando for most of her life, (she was born in Iran and migrated when she was 2), Afkhami decided to create Eye Am Nadia in an effort to chronicle her life as a budding optometrist in California for her friends back home to see. Now with over 2,000 followers, the Instagram page has become a community.

Sathi Maiti, OD, Shares Her Obsession With ‘Eyeballs and Stuff’

By Stephanie Sengwe

Thursday, November 1, 2018 3:45 PM Sathi Maiti has been a practicing OD for about four years now. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry, she currently subleases inside SEE Eyewear, an optical boutique in Seattle. In Sept. 2017, Maiti created Dr. Maitis Eyeballs and Stuff, a fun Instagram page that shares optometry-related content that interests her, and she thinks will be interesting to others.

Dr. Samantha Rao’s EyeDocTravels Is all About Eyecare and Traveling

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, October 26, 2018 12:49 PM NEW YORK—Since Samantha Rao, OD, started her Instagram page, EyeDocTravels, in April of this year, the page has really taken off. Created out of her love for eyecare and traveling, EyeDocTravels chronicles Rao’s different adventures around the globe as well as some unique eye conditions she encounters in her daily life as a practitioner at an eye surgery center in New York City. EyeDocTravels has garnered over 1,000 followers since its inception six months ago.

Eyeaholic: Dr. Amanda Setto’s Instagram Page Will Get You Buzzed on All Things Eyewear

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, October 19, 2018 11:00 AM If you are a fanatic about all things optical—from clothing to jewelry, bedding and even tableware—then you have definitely run into Amanda Setto’s Instagram account, Eyeaholic. Dr. Setto started the page in March of this year and has already garnered over 3,000 followers and counting. Eyeaholic, which was created as a fun and easy hobby on the side, does not disappoint when it comes to providing her followers with a variety of eye-related trinkets.



Erika Mabus, OD, Takes Readers into the World of Organic Products

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, October 5, 2018 4:15 PM NEW YORK—On Instagram, Organic Optometrist is an airy page, with carefully curated posts whose color schemes mostly feature green, blue and white. Ran by Erika Mabus, OD, Organic Optometrist is not just a page made to please the eye, it was made purposefully to educate its viewers on some of the skincare products in the ever-changing organic product market. Created in January of this year, Organic Optometrist has garnered over 1,000 followers in just 10 months.

The Expo Experience

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, September 28, 2018 5:40 PM LAS VEGAS—As Vision Expo West begins to wind down, it’s been a jam-packed four days with a full list of activities that kept attendees busy. From new collections, celebrity appearances on the show floor and of course, a slew of parties planned for the nighttime, this year’s Vision Expo West can only be better than years past. Prior to the opening of the show, VMail Weekend asked a few people to speak about the various parts of Expo they were looking forward to the most. Read what they had to say.

Ashley O’Dwyer, OD, aka the Dry Eye Guru, Aims to Change Patients’ Mindsets

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, September 14, 2018 12:30 PM Ashley O’Dwyer has been a practicing optometrist for just over a year and she has hit the ground running. In February of this year, she created thedryeyeguru.com in an effort to educate patients about different causes and treatments of dry eye disease. “I started realizing a majority of my female patients had dry eye disease, and it had never been addressed before,” Dwyer told VMail Weekend.

Lisa Wahl, OD, Finds the Perfect Instagram Balance

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, August 31, 2018 1:34 PM Lisa Wahl has been a practicing optometrist for just over five years now. She graduated from the Southern California College of Optometry in 2013 and completed a residency in Ocular Disease at the VA Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center. Now an assistant professor at Marshall B. Ketchum University in Fullerton, Calif., she spent the last several years working at the Maloney Vision Institute in Los Angeles.

Optical Industry Observes August as National Eye Exam Month

By Stephanie Sengwe
Thursday, August 16, 2018 4:14 PM As children gear up to go back to school this month, the optical industry is promoting the importance of going for an annual eye exam by observing August as National Eye Exam Month. As VMail previously reported, National Vision Holding Inc. is among a number of companies in the optical industry that are joining the recognition of August as National Eye Exam Month, Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month, and Children’s Vision and Learning Month. Reade Fahs, chief executive officer of National Vision Holdings Inc. said that as kids and teens get ready to head back to school, “ensuring their vision is in top shape can help them not only see the blackboard more clearly, but we know that it can also have a positive impact on self-esteem, behavior and social interactions.”

Dr. Jen and Juice: Jennifer Tsai, OD, Serves the Perfect Shot of Optometry and Travel

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, August 10, 2018 11:12 AM MANHATTAN—On Instagram, Jennifer Tsai is known as @drjenandjuice— a fashion forward optometrist, with a love for travel and an eye for the perfect Instagram photo. Though her Instagram account—which has a whopping 49,000 followers—caters to a wide audience between the ages 18 and 45, it first started as a personal account in 2014 before she incorporated optometry earlier this year. “It was a way for me to share my passion outside of work and school,” Dr. Tsai told VMail Weekend. “It gained quite a following on its own, so I started to collaborate with hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies as a travel lifestyle influencer. I decided to combine optometry with my account around April 2018 of this year, to help advocate the field and health wellness.”

Colleen Brondo Is The Crafty Optician

By Stephanie Sengwe
Thursday, August 2, 2018 12:56 PM SUSSEX COUNTY, N.J.—Colleen Brondo has been a licensed optician since 1994 and in November 2015, she created The Crafty Optician, which started out as a Facebook page dedicated to people who can’t get enough optical finds. Her first piece was a self-made necklace, which got such a strong response when she posted it, that she decided to create more. “I found that optical people—myself included—love optical finds,” Brondo said. “After I posted the photo of that necklace I made, so many people wanted me to make more. I have been adding items on a regular basis since then.”

Nicole Nguyen’s ‘Eye Scribbles’—a Therapeutic Hobby That Turned Into a Business

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, July 20, 2018 11:07 AM Nicole Nguyen, OD, has been a fulltime practitioner in the northern Virginia area for a little over a year now and her time as a full-time optometrist at MyEyeDr. in Chantilly, Va. inspired her to create Eye Scribbles, an Etsy shop that eye-related artwork tailored for fellow doctors and lovers of all things eyewear. Eye Scribbles, which Nguyen started this past June has already taken off, gaining traction on Instagram and boasting nearly 600 followers in the short time it’s been up.

From Brazil With Love: Chantal Goldfinger Showcases her Obsession With Specs Through By the Eyewear

By Stephanie Sengwe

Friday, July 13, 2018 2:00 PM SAO PAULO—Chantal Goldfinger has been obsessed with eyewear ever since she can remember. When she wasn’t asking to borrow her friends’ specs, she would kidnap her father’s readers all the time—all out of curiosity and sheer love for the accessory. Goldfinger did not get her first pair of frames—a blue, bold, and rectangular Gucci pair—until she was 11-years-old and began her slow, but progressive road to collecting frames. “I was gifted my first specs at 11, my second pair at 16, and my third at 18, for graduation,” Goldfinger stated. “As soon as I began to work, that same year I began investing in specs, so I believe I officially began collecting at 18. However, my rate was really slow because I was unaware of what a cool and huge market eyewear really was. I must have bought a pair a year.”