Don't Forget Your Retainer

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 12:00 AM No longer just associated with librarians and grandparents, eyewear with chains—attached or removable—is stepping forward as a trend both practical and fashionable.

141 Years of History, and a New Location to Boot: St. Louis Icon Erkers Eyewear

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, November 30, 2020 3:21 PM ST. LOUIS—It was over 100 years ago, in 1879, when A.P. Erker arrived in the U.S. from Germany and founded Erkers in St. Louis, Missouri. Within a few years, A.P.’s brother August joined the business, and the rest, as they say, is history. Erkers is officially the first optical laboratory west of the Mississippi River, and also served as the official photographer for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The company is a steadfast and integral part of both St. Louis’ history and American optical history—and that stands true to today. Read More

A Few Ideas Approaching Small Business Saturday

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, November 25, 2020 12:30 PM NEW YORK—Chances are, you or someone you know is already gearing up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. But in-between those two major shopping holidays is another: Small Business Saturday. Championing small businesses across the U.S., Small Business Saturday is headed up by American Express, who put together an annual collection of resources for both shoppers and business owners. For shoppers, Small Business Saturday offers an interactive map to help find local small businesses, as well as resources that explain the impact shopping small can have. For businesses, there’s even more to offer. Read More

A Few Ideas Approaching Small Business Saturday

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, November 25, 2020 9:17 AM NEW YORK—Chances are, you or someone you know is already gearing up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. But in-between those two major shopping holidays is another: Small Business Saturday. Championing small businesses across the U.S., Small Business Saturday is headed up by American Express, who put together an annual collection of resources for both shoppers and business owners. 

141 Years of History, and a New Location to Boot: St. Louis Icon Erkers Eyewear

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 3:18 PM ST. LOUIS—It was over 100 years ago, in 1879, when A.P. Erker arrived in the U.S. from Germany and founded Erkers in St. Louis, Missouri. Within a few years, A.P.’s brother August joined the business, and the rest, as they say, is history. Erkers is officially the first optical laboratory west of the Mississippi River, and also served as the official photographer for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The company is a steadfast and integral part of both St. Louis’ history and American optical history—and that stands true to today. 

November Is Diabetes-Related Eye Disease Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, November 20, 2020 12:00 PM NEW YORK—In addition to the many things that have made this month an important one, November is also Diabetes-Related Eye Disease Month, an important month as any for ECPs. Diabetes can make patients two to five times more likely to develop cataract, according to Prevent Blindness, and can lead to a whole host of other eye health issues as well. This year, we’ve seen an impressive collective effort, particularly through the pandemic, to boost awareness about diabetes health threats and the connection of the disease to eye health. As part of that effort, ECPs and organizations have headed online to spread information about diabetes-related eye disease, providing templates and inspiration for all ECPs to help communicate with their patients. Read More

November Is Diabetes-Related Eye Disease Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, November 13, 2020 9:51 AM NEW YORK—In addition to the many things that have made this month an important one, November is also Diabetes-Related Eye Disease Month, an important month as any for ECPs. Diabetes can make patients two to five times more likely to develop cataract, according to Prevent Blindness, and can lead to a whole host of other eye health issues as well. 

Totally Tortoise

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, November 6, 2020 4:30 PM Tortoise patterned frames are perfect for pattern devotees, lovers of warm tones and those who love to shake up the traditional. From Charmant’s Eddie Bauer, Morel’s Koali collection, Marchon’s Salvatore Ferragamo, and WestGroupe’s Evatik come frames that span the traditional and the trendy. Earthy toned and perfect for autumn, tortoise is always in style—but eyewear designers are constantly taking the traditional staple to the next level by combining it with trendy shapes, contemporary silhouettes and exciting technological updates. Read More

Yes, We’re Thinking About the Holidays Already

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, October 29, 2020 9:39 AM NEW YORK—Yes, I know, it’s not even November yet. But I’m a Virgo: I like to be prepared, and I love to have a game plan—and so do small businesses. As we begin to approach what is sure to be a very different holiday season than the ones we’re used to, many small businesses across the country have joined the campaign to Shop Early, Shop Local, which encourages consumers to get their holiday shopping done ahead of time and to support local businesses in the process. This week, we’re taking a look at how different small businesses across the country are promoting this idea—giving you plenty of inspiration to get your practice on board, too.

Communication and Creativity Keep Patients Coming Back to Boston’s Envision

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 10:32 AM BOSTON—When Jaclyn Garlich, OD, FAAO, purchased her practice, Envision, on Jan. 1, 2020, this was definitely not the year she was expecting. A graduate of the New England College of Optometry, Dr. Garlich had been working at Envision, located in Boston’s Financial District, since 2018, before she purchased the practice. Now, as practice owner and optometrist, she and her team are working their way through a pandemic both in-store and online. 

Totally Tortoise

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 12:00 AM Tortoise patterned frames that span the traditional and the trendy.

Made in USA

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 12:30 AM NEW YORK—Each year when we set out to begin our annual Made in USA feature, the American social and political landscape looks a little different—and it’s safe to say that 2020 is no exception. It’s been a tumultuous year for Americans (and the year’s most anticipated moment is still to come) but we continue to chug along, all things considered. The same is true for the U.S.’ at-home eyewear companies, old and new.

ArtCraft Optical: Local Heritage, 100 Years in the Making

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 12:29 AM Founded in 1918, Rochester, New York-based ArtCraft Optical prides itself on being the oldest family owned and operated frame manufacturer in the U.S. ArtCraft began with the aim of producing frames for the U.S., Canadian and British war efforts, and the company, now in the hands of the third generation of the Eagle family, hasn’t slowed down since.

Hilco Vision: Keeping Americans Safe

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 12:28 AM Hilco Vision’s Made in the USA OnGuard safety frame collection grew out of a realization that the Hilco Vision team was brimming with internal expertise regarding safety, and that there are “exceptional materials and manufacturing capabilities located in the U.S.,” Debbie Fitzgibbons, Hilco Vision’s director of marketing and communications told VM. “We felt we had a unique opportunity to build a collection that celebrated these attributes while offering stylish Rx safety frames to our customers to prevent eye injuries while on the job.”

Lowercase: New York at the Center

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 12:27 AM Lowercase founder Gerard Masci knew from the start that his brand would be built around local production—production in New York City specifically. Together with head of design Brian Vallario, Masci told VM, “I brought a passion for acetate frames and Brian brought a passion for local small batch production. At the center of our approach was that we commit to making everything ourselves in NYC.”