Main Street Takes on Vision Expo East in Interactive Pop-Up Talk


(L to R) Jamie Wilson and Stephanie Sengwe of Vision
Monday hosted a panel discussion with independent
retailers, Julie Kubsch, Cliff Balter and Lisa Martinsson
during Vision Expo East in the Galleria Lounge.

NEW YORK—On Friday, March 31 at Vision Expo East, Vision Monday’s editors, Stephanie Sengwe and Jamie Wilson brought Main Street to the Galleria with an interactive Pop-Up Talk titled Bricks & CLICKS: Social Media Meets Optical on Main Street.

The 30-minute session explored the ideas and tactics that independent ECPs are using to give themselves a competitive edge and knit closer ties to their communities. It featured a dynamic panel discussion with Lisa Martinsson, owner, creative director of Glance Optics and Eyewear in Salem and Lake Oswego, Ore.; Cliff Balter, owner of Innervision Eyewear and founder of Philly EyeWorks in Philadelphia and Julie Kubsch, owner of Specs Around Town in Bloomington, Ill. Each of the panelists had a different viewpoint to bring to the discussion.

The discussion started off with Martinsson who spoke about the ways she uses social media in relation to her target audience. She mentioned that Facebook is the platform that most of her customers are engaged in, and so that’s what she prefers to use to interact with them. She also utilizes MailChimp as a way to connect to her customers.

The audience at the Pop-Up listens in on how to
knit closer ties to their towns and communities
via social media.

Balter spoke about the use of Instagram in garnering momentum for his recent campaign, FU WP, whose intent is to drive Philadelphia shoppers to use their money locally. Balter’s experience with Warby Parker included having the retailer parking in front of his location and later building a brick-and-mortar store in close proximity to his location.

Kubsch closed out the session by discussing how she gets foot traffic into her retail location by hosting various events and promotions that aren’t necessarily eyewear related, but help introduce new customers to her store and product. She also mentioned the strategic ways she announces and reminds customers about events so as to not overwhelm them.

Hosting a panel with independent ECPs during Vision Expo East provided not only a networking experience but showcased the innovation that independents have used and are using to maintain their relevance in the ever-changing optical landscape.