Here’s How a Few Optical Industry Colleagues Are Spending Their Summer Vacation

By Mark Tosh
Friday, June 21, 2019 1:46 PM As of about midday on June 21, we officially began the summer season of 2019. So, basically, what this means is that if you haven’t already scheduled an amazing summer adventure, then you’ve missed out on the best beach rentals, the hot summer shows and much of the off-peak visiting times for just about every national park.

Framing the Father’s Day Retail Landscape

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, June 14, 2019 12:32 PM NEW YORK—According to the National Retail Federation, this year’s Father’s Day is slated to be bigger than ever before. The NRF reports that Father’s Day spending in 2019 is expected to reach an all-time high of $16 billion, with an average planned spending of about $139 per person. In the same vein, this year, the optical community is getting online and getting involved with Father’s Day in a major way.

Screen Time for Kids—How Much Is Too Much?

By Mary Kane
Friday, June 7, 2019 11:20 AM Growing up in the ‘60s, I watched a LOT of television with friends and family. We were riveted by shows like “That Girl,” “Rat Patrol” and “Dark Shadows” and we spent countless hours lolling on the living room floor in front of the TV. My Mom used to refer to it as the “Boob Tube” and she was constantly yelling at us to “go outside and play.” Well, as usual, it seems like my Mom was on to something. Today’s electronic babysitter of choice is the iPhone and iPad. But the audience has changed a bit—it’s not just teens and tweens glued to the screens but toddlers and babies, some less than a year-old.

Putting Glasses on Noses

By Andrew Karp
Thursday, May 30, 2019 2:07 PM James Brown was known as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. James Chen might be the Hardest Working Man in the Optical Business, at least the non-profit sector of the optical business. Chen is the driving force behind Clearly, a three year-old non-profit organization whose goal is eliminating poor vision throughout the world. The group’s mission is “Putting Glasses on Noses” of everyone who needs a pair, no matter who they are or where they live.

Dim the Lights, Grab the Popcorn and Prepare for a Possible Blockbuster Summer Movie Season

By Mark Tosh
Friday, May 24, 2019 1:34 PM For many of us, Memorial Day weekend is the curtain raiser for the summer movie season. And this summer’s lineup of new releases looks to be one of the best in some time. And while “eyewear” may not appear to have a starring role in the upcoming summer releases, there will  be plenty of screen time for shades and spectacles.

Add Some Optical Treats to Your Memorial Day Celebration

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, May 17, 2019 3:22 PM NEW YORK—With Memorial Day just around the corner, many of us are thinking about summer parties already. Planning a Memorial Day celebration can be overwhelming. There’s so much to take into account: the guest list, the food, the decorations, the drinks. Thankfully for all us optical-nerds, there’s no shortage of fun ways to inject a little optical joy into our parties alongside the abundance of American flags, and getting the party planning out of the way early means more time to relax and commemorate this Memorial Day Weekend, which is as good a reason as any to get shopping now. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite optical treats to help make your Memorial Day, no matter what you’re planning, stand out.

Here’s to You Mom

By Mary Kane
Friday, May 10, 2019 11:39 AM The joys of motherhood were front and center this past week as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka Meghan and Harry, welcomed their own bundle of joy into the world. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor made his entrance into the royal family on Monday amid much fanfare as his arrival lit up the Twitter-verse. But come tomorrow it won’t just be the royals celebrating motherhood as millions of Americans plan to pay homage to their moms on Mother’s Day.

What I Learned From My First Optical Job

By Andrew Karp
Friday, May 3, 2019 11:28 AM Lately, I’ve been thinking about my first year in the optical industry, and what I learned during that formative period that led me to spend the next 30 years writing, researching and analyzing this business. I came to optical from the advertising industry, where I learned the basics of marketing, market research and business strategy. In advertising, we called copywriters, art directors and producers “creatives.” That term stuck in my mind when I arrived in optical.

How Sunwear Became Funwear

By Ted Gioia
Friday, April 26, 2019 11:37 AM In a 1916 article published by American Optical, chemist H.T. Reeve marveled over an exciting new technology: tinted glass lenses. But this scientist, for all his enthusiasm, was forced to admit that few people really wanted to wear sunwear. These lenses would never get dispensed, he explained, “unless those prescribing them were convinced that such glasses were a necessary and beneficial precaution.”

Surviving Festival Season: Eye to Z

By Jamie Wilson
Friday, April 19, 2019 12:24 PM NEW YORK—It’s that time of the year again, festival season! As the second weekend of Coachella kicks off, music festival style has become just as important as the performers. While festival fashion reigns supreme (including sunwear) what often falls to the wayside is eye health and protection. Hours in the sun at various festivals in a range of climates from Coachella and Bonnaroo to Governor’s Ball and Lollapalooza can take its toll on our eye health leaving them dry and irritated. Here are some things to take into consideration before heading out to a weekend of fun, sun, music and a camera roll full of Instagram pics.

April Showers Bring an Important Reminder About UV Protection

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, April 12, 2019 1:01 PM NEW YORK—I recently returned from a week-long vacation to Ireland. When our flight landed in Dublin, I stood up and gathered my things, ready to disembark. I put on my jacket, wrapped up my scarf, and slid my sunglasses onto my face—only for the friendly Irishman seated behind me to laugh and say, “Ah, you won’t be needing those here! It’s always overcast.”

Seeing Is Believing (Or How New Contact Lenses Helped Patrick Reed Win The Masters)

By Mark Tosh
Friday, April 5, 2019 2:52 PM A year ago, 27-year-old Patrick Reed was relatively unknown outside the world of professional golf. But after a drama-filled Sunday—and hearty challenges from some of the biggest names in golf—Reed rolled in a 3-foot putt for par on the 18th hole at Augusta National to win The Masters by one stroke. He picked up his first major championship that Sunday in April a year ago, and all of the notoriety that comes with winning the most prestigious event in golf (if not all of individual sports).

5 Takeaways From Vision Expo East

By Mary Kane
Friday, March 29, 2019 1:50 PM NEW YORK—Think of it, just one week ago today many of us were in the thick of it at Vision Expo East. It was a very busy three days crammed with appointments, show floor events, celebrity sightings and parties that stretched into the night. Going into the final day of Expo, show organizers were very upbeat about the mood and momentum of Expo East. Initial pre-registration figures showed an increase in registration for key categories, including optical buyers, practice managers, optometric technicians and opticianry assistants, Vision Expo reported. And of the 7,000 companies present at this year’s Show, one-third of attendees represented new practices and optical locations. Here’s what co-owners of the Show, The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions, told Vision Monday about this year’s Vision Expo.

Return to Expo City

By Andrew Karp
Friday, March 22, 2019 12:28 PM As I walk the aisles of Vision Expo, I find myself reflecting on the show and how it’s changed over the years. Although I missed the very first Vision Expo in New York in 1986, I’ve covered nearly every Expo since then, both East and West. Over the course of some 61 shows I’ve filled dozens of notebooks, taken thousands of photos and written countless stories about the companies, products and people that all make up the Expo experience.

Goodbye Winter, Hello Allergies

By Jamie Wilson
Friday, March 15, 2019 12:26 PM NEW YORK—It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for—spring is officially just a few days away. Everything starts to come back to life: leaves return to the trees, the grass regains its color and as the earth softens, flower come into bloom. But along with enjoying the beauty of springtime, that also means saying hello to an old friend—pesky seasonal allergies! While some stop to smell the roses, others are busy battling red, itchy, swollen eyes, incessant sneezing and general discomfort. Not exactly the ideal way to ring in a new season.