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. 

The Big Week for Small Business Offers Insights, Tactics and Stories From a Range of Indie Businesses

By Staff
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 2:54 PM NEW YORK—CO, the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s special online virtual resource center, which helps businesses “Start, Run and Grow” their operations, is offering a great recap of its recent Big Week for Small Business, a special virtual event marked by interesting speakers, presentations and insights, which brought together successful entrepreneurs and small business experts for advice, networking and practical strategies for business owners. Sponsored by CHASE for Business, the sessions were designed to help small business owners navigate challenging times.

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. 

American Express to Feature Eyewear Designers Coco and Breezy in New ‘Built to Last’ Black-Owned Small Business Podcast

By Staff
Thursday, November 12, 2020 6:58 PM NEW YORK—American Express’ #ShopSmall  initiative has taken on new dimensions in this unique year, extending the spotlight on the importance of supporting local small businesses to consumers in a range of categories. Just last month, Amex launched a new podcast, “Built to Last,” a series of conversations with trailblazing Black small business owners. The podcast is hosted by Elaine Welteroth, the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, journalist, producer and New York Times best-selling author. Welteroth said, “I am excited to partner with American Express to shine a light on Black entrepreneurs that are blazing new trails and finding innovative ways to thrive despite unprecedented challenges.”

ClearVision Launches Face Mask Design Contest for ECPs

By Staff
Thursday, November 12, 2020 2:14 PM HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.—By now, many of us have accepted that face masks will likely be around for a while. One good thing that comes out of accepting that fact is embracing the concept of fashionable face masks—ones that can show off your personality and keep you and those around you safe at the same time. There are countless face masks out there now, from over-the-top high fashion to your basic classics, and, now, ECPs have the opportunity to design their very own. Throughout the month of November, ClearVision Optical is hosting a face mask design contest specifically for ECPs.

Arbor EyeCare in Chicago

By Staff
Friday, November 6, 2020 8:42 AM The team at Arbor EyeCare in Chicago celebrates its technician team on Technician Tuesday. 

Arbor EyeCare in Chicago

By Staff
Friday, November 6, 2020 8:39 AM The team at Arbor EyeCare in Chicago celebrates its technician team on Technician Tuesday. 

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.

Social Media Calendars, Tools and Templates Can Help Small Businesses Plot a Marketing Strategy

By Staff
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 3:07 PM NEW YORK—In a recent blog post on HubSpot, marketing guru Sopia Bernazzani outlines 11 ways social media calendars, tools and templates can help small businesses plan their marketing content. Bernazzani said, “By now, most marketers recognize that social media plays an integral role in an effective inbound marketing strategy. And with so many social networks to manage and publish on, it's important to stay organized and have a plan for when and what you're going to share on these platforms.” Here are three highlights from Bernazzani’s blog post.

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. 

Bright Eyes Vision in Pennsylvania

By Staff
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 8:36 AM The team at Bright Eyes Vision in Hartsville, Pennsylvania shared an image of one of their favorite patients sporting her new sunglasses.  

Blue Light Fashion Isn’t Going Anywhere

By Staff
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 11:37 AM NEW YORK—There’s no doubt about it: screen time has become more or less unavoidable. While this might not be the best news for eye health, one upside has been recently emerging: the popularity of blue light glasses. 

Indies Warn Patients to Beware the Scary Consequences of Halloween Contacts

By Staff
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 9:50 AM NEW YORK—With Halloween quickly approaching, many people are getting their costume plans in order—even if we’re just going to wear them to sit on the couch and watch scary movies this year. For many Halloween lovers, a great costume also involves theatrical contact lenses in order to get the perfectly spooky look—but many consumers don’t realize the dangers involved in purchasing costume contact lenses from unverified sources. As October is also Contact Lens Safety Month, there is no better time than now for ECPs to remind their patients how important it is to ensure their contacts are legitimate and safe.

Lots to Learn from Others: At CO's 'The Big Week for Small Business'

By Staff
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 4:09 PM NEW YORK—For readers of VM's The Independent Eye, every day is a day to focus on small, independent eyewear businesses. But at CO, the special resource created for small businesses in all sectors by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, last week was special—it was The Big Week for Small Business, a series of videos, speakers and special programs that was designed to inspire and help small businesses "navigate uncertain times." CO, which always has as its mission a range of services, tips, inspiration and help to encourage local business and independent initiatives, offers a range of webinars, e-news updates and programs designed to help people find the resources they need to start or expand their own initiatives.