Eye on the Prize

Optical Business Owners Share Secrets to Success

By
By Catherine Wolinski: Assistant Editor

In 2012, two optical experts set respective goals to conquer new frontiers. By February 2013, both could boast owning their own dispensaries.

Eye Smart Optometry, led by Andrian Nguyen, OD in Westminster, Calif. celebrated its opening as well as its diversity—the staff collectively speaks English, Vietnamese and Spanish and operates with a variety of customers, products and services.

In Midland, Texas, 11-year optician Paul Garza spearheaded Imagine Eyewear with Dr. Bobby Ray, a previous employer and longtime companion. With their combined background of optical skills, genuine customer service remains at the forefront of their business.

Both practices opened their doors within shopping centers in distinct areas, and VM pulled together their unique perspectives for this month’s installment of Grand Openings.





 


 Eye Smart Optometry staff celebrated their grand opening with the Westminster Chamber of Commerce in February—“just in time for the Asian Lunar New Year festivities,” said owner Andrian Nguyen, OD, center.




 Eye Smart’s interior reflects the neighborhood—bright, colorful and diverse.
EYE SMART OPTOMETRY

WESTMINSTER, CALIF.
OWNER ANDRIAN NGUYEN, OD SAYS:

EYES ON SAIGON
Eye Smart Optometry resides in the heart of “Little Saigon” in Westminster, California—home to the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. We are located inside the Asian Garden Mall, a popular Little Saigon attraction and the largest majority Vietnamese owned and operated mall in America.

LITTLE SAIGON, BIG SERVICE
Our clientele, just as the surrounding Orange County communities, is very diverse, yet has certain commonalities—they demand a wide selection, high quality materials and customer service. We provide comprehensive eye examinations, contact lens services, acute ocular care, eye nutrition products and an optical boutique featuring a wide selection of designer ophthalmic frames and sunglasses.

OD IN THE OC
Some popular designer lines we carry include Tiffany & Co., Bvlgari, Cavalli, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Dior, ProDesign and more. We will also be welcoming Tom Ford and Armani to our collection, just in time for summer.

WARM WELCOME
It was important for us to design the showroom with warm and inviting colors in order to create a welcoming and fun ambiance. We wish for our clients to leave with a modern impression of our store, as well as a positive customer service experience. When clients are happy with their eyewear and overall experience, they are more likely to refer their friends and family.

SOCIAL STATUS
We have also received overwhelming feedback and support on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EyeSmarts, our main online portal for announcements and special promotions.




IMAGINE EYEWEAR
MIDLAND, TEXAS
PARTNER PAUL GARZA, ABOC SAYS:





(L to R) Paul Garza, daughter Shannon, staff members Brenda Ballard and daughter Breann Huff, Susan Ray and Bobby Ray, OD stick together to run the dispensary.





 Imagine Eyewear has sections tailored to men, women and children.
THAT WAS THEN…
I started working in optical in August of 2000 as an optician for Dr. Bobby Ray at Optics Unique [in Midland]. In 2002, he sold it and left for almost two years. I left in April 2012 to work for Integrity Optics to learn more about lens manufacturing, and it was a good opportunity, but I missed being an optician. When I decided to come back into the business, I said [to Dr. Ray], “Hey, listen, I’m thinking about opening a store and really need a doctor.” At that point, he said he was interested.

…THIS IS NOW
It’s exciting, it’s new, it’s fun. The new location has lighter colors and a big open window. You can see the frames and colors in a better light. The whole shopping center we’re in is under construction, but once we’re past the construction we want to do some trunk shows.

CERTIFIABLY DIFFERENT
I’m a certified optician. In Texas, opticians are not required to be certified, or even licensed. I have a good following of clients that come back over and over again because they appreciate that I’m knowledgeable, honest and fair. The importance of fit, temples, lenses—those variables really allow me to stand out. People know I really care about what I put them in before I make that sale. Dr. Ray and I both have a great following because we do offer really good customer service.

WHAT’S IN STOCK
Caviar, Cazal, Jimmy Choo, Silhouette, Harley Davidson, Lulu Guinness, Tura, Ogi, Modo. Definitely a good variety of different styles. [Lenses include] Shamir, Zeiss, Hoya. It’s good to have variety and be able to choose the lens that best fits the patients. I try to stay up with the trends as well, and try to keep everything current and fresh. We also have a kids’ corner in the store, where we carry Miraflex for babies.

EYECARE, YOU CARE
Cornerstone Shopping Center has an optometrist, ophthalmologist and retinal specialist all in one section of the shopping center. Our store is split in two [one entrance leading to Imagine Eyewear’s retail section, and the other into optometrist Bobby Ray’s office]. Next door is [ophthalmologist] Dr. Silpi Fish, who sends over patients with prescriptions, and if we need to send someone to an ophthalmologist, we send them to her. And the retinal specialists, Dr. Richard Culbert and Dr. Gerardo Escobedo, are three doors down. We support each other. It’s definitely a work environment for helping each other and sending referrals out. ■