This November, Diabetes Awareness Takes Center Stage for Indies

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—On October 31, President Biden released a statement declaring November 2022 as National Diabetes Month. In the statement, the President said, “Over 10 percent of Americans have Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, and tens of millions more remain at risk of developing this chronic condition… I call upon all Americans, school systems, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, research institutions, and other interested groups to join in activities that raise diabetes awareness and help prevent, treat and manage this disease.”

Indies Remind Patients That It’s Time to 'Use It or Lose It'

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, November 14, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—We’re hurtling toward the end of the year, which means, of course, that we’re firmly in the “use it or lose it” season for HSA/FSA benefits. This time of year is often a busy season for everyone—from the holidays to wrapping up work for the year—and it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks or get pushed off until sometime in the new year. As 2022 begins to wrap up, independent ECPs across the country are taking a moment to remind patients to use up their HSA/FSA benefits, encouraging them to schedule their annual appointment or pick out a new pair of frames before these benefits expire.

Fresh Frames and Fast Cars: When a Day Job and a Passion Intersect

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, November 11, 2022 8:30 AM The list of things I love is pretty typical, I think: my friends and family, my dog, reading and writing, baking and good food, travel and fashion, learning Italian, watching documentaries, supporting the New York Islanders. Then there’s Formula 1. I was raised a sports fan, one of those kids whose parents put her in an Islanders onesie before she could walk or talk, but my family was never into motorsport. There's something about the sport is just irresistible to me: the high intensity and high speed nature of it all, the mayhem of the media circus surrounding it and the beauty of the tracks all around the globe. I love going to live sports whenever I can—so, naturally, this year I decided it would be fun to attend my first-ever Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Shining a Spotlight on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

By Gwendolyn Plummer and Marge Axelrad
Friday, November 4, 2022 11:30 AM NEW YORK—Long term societal issues, like those of diversity, equity & inclusion, have been fighting the hard fight for many years. With the escalation of the disruption unleashed by the global pandemic, the brighter spotlight on the topic from media, and a groundswell among individuals and organizations that more vocal and active commitment was needed, DE&I initiatives continue to expand. Voices from within health care, business, family, politics and culture are starting to join with those in structured organizations along with more assertive storytelling from groups victimized or impacted by the lack of inclusion in hiring, in receiving or accessing fair and equitable business or health care services and more. Individuals, groups and organizations across the optical industry and vision care profession, are stepping up to support these as part of an expanding commitment.

Indies Have Some Halloween Fun

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, October 31, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Happy Halloween! This week is a time to chow down on candy, stock up on scary movies and just generally enjoy the spookiest night of the year before we head into the overwhelming holiday season head first. This week, we’re taking a look at how some indies are celebrating this final day of October. Celebrations across the country ran the gamut from pumpkin decorating contests to in office trick or treat events to spooky decors.

Looking at the 2022 Holiday Retail Landscape

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, October 21, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—There’s just over a week until Halloween, and Americans are probably preoccupied with thoughts about exactly that: how much candy will this year’s trick or treaters need? Are the kids’ costumes ready to go? What scary movie should we queue up for the 31st, to watch in between doorbell rings? The scariest night of the year is looming. But something else, something that might be equally as scary, is fast approaching too: the holiday retail season.

Embracing the Differences

By Gwendolyn Plummer and Marge Axelrad
Monday, October 17, 2022 1:00 AM NEW YORK—Long term societal issues, like those of diversity, equity & inclusion, have been fighting the hard fight for many years. With the escalation of the disruption unleashed by the global pandemic, the brighter spotlight on the topic from media, and a groundswell among individuals and organizations that more vocal and active commitment was needed, DE&I initiatives continue to expand. Voices from within health care, business, family, politics and culture are starting to join with those in structured organizations along with more assertive storytelling from groups victimized or impacted by the lack of inclusion in hiring, in receiving or accessing fair and equitable business or health care services and more.

#PumpkinPatchProject Brings Fun and Awareness to Amblyopia in Children

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, October 13, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Each year, the team at A Child’s Eyes, a pediatric practice, in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, hosts the Pumpkin Patch Project, a community event to help spread awareness for amblyopia and vision impairment in children. The project involves patching one eye of a jack-o-lantern, and the goal is to designate homes with patched pumpkins as “scary free zones,” where children can trick-or-treat knowing there will be no jump scares. In addition, those taking part in the project can share their patched pumpkins on social media to spread awareness—both about vision impairment in children and the project itself.

Skeletons, Spellcasting, ‘Stranger Things’ and Spending: A Look at 2022’s Halloween Trends

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, September 30, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—October has arrived, and for many people that can only mean one thing: Halloween season is in full swing. There are just 30 days until the sweetest and spookiest day of the year, and, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans are taking full advantage of the witching season. The NRF reported that Halloween spending is back to pre-pandemic levels this year, with Halloween sales up to $10.6 billion in 2022, up from $10.1 billion in 2021. Consumers are planning to spend $100 on average for Halloween candy, décor, cards and costumes; the NRF said that this amount is on par with last year’s record of $103 and is the second highest in the survey’s history.

Indies Head West for Vision Expo

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, September 26, 2022 8:30 AM LAS VEGAS—Last week, thousands of members of the optical community from all around the world congregated in Las Vegas for the 2022 edition of Vision Expo West. As always, the show was a successful mix of education, product, networking and celebration—a worthy reunion for an industry that has been through so much over the past two years. Of course, it’s the people that make Vision Expo great—especially the ECPs, who travel from far and wide to attend the show. This week, we’re taking a look at some social media moments from Vision Expo West 2022 shared by the indie ECPs that make the show so special.

Getting Ready for Sports Eye Safety Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, September 14, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Prevent Blindness has declared September Sports Eye Safety Month to help educate the public on the importance of wearing the proper eye protection while playing sports. Annual data from Prevent Blindness shows that there were more than 26,000 sports-related eye injuries treated in the U.S. last year. The new data also showed that the category of “non-powder guns, darts, arrows and slingshots” had the overall highest rate of eye injuries for the previous year.

Made in USA

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, September 6, 2022 1:00 AM NEW YORK—What it means to be American-made can be different for everyone. In July of 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) introduced a new rule that both clarified and narrowed what it means to be a product “Made in the USA.” Under this new rule, the FTC prohibits companies from labeling their products as “Made in the USA” unless “virtually all” https://www.ftc.gov/business-guidance/blog/2022/04/ftc-charges-battery-maker-first-case-under-made-usa-labeling-rule pieces or ingredients are made and sourced in the U.S. In addition, the final assembly or processing and “substantial transformation” of the item must occur within the U.S. as well.

Looking West Toward Las Vegas

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, September 2, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—If you’re anything like the VMAIL team, you’re probably reading this story while thinking about Vision Expo West. We’re just under two weeks away from this year’s show, and things are kicking into full gear now that we’re down to the wire. Let’s be honest: free time is scarce at any Vision Expo—it’s easy to lose track of time in those big, engaging show halls, to spend hours catching up at dinner with industry friends you haven’t seen in a while. But if you do have some free time, or if you’ve scheduled an extra day or two in Nevada, Las Vegas is a city worth exploring. 

Indies Show Off Kids’ Frames for Back to School

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, August 31, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—The back-to-school season has officially arrived, with kids and teachers all around the country heading back into the classroom full time. Of course, there’s no better time than now for an annual back to school eye exam—and no better time to pick up a new pair of glasses, too. Here, we are taking a look at how some Indies are showcasing the children’s frames they keep in stock as the back-to-school bell rings.

L'Amy America Debuts Home Grown Seven.Five

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, August 31, 2022 12:59 AM It was 2021 when L’Amy America signed an exclusive manufacturing agreement with Wayne, New Jersey-based Scene Eyewear. This year, that agreement came to fruition with the announcement of Seven.Five (75), L’Amy America’s American-made eyewear collection.