BUSINESS: The Independent Eye Main Street Takes On Vision Expo East By Stephanie Sengwe Friday, March 16, 2018 12:08 PM NEW YORK—Vision Expo East has officially taken off and the Jacob Javits Center is packed to the brim. With Pop-Up Talks, the new OptiCon Hub and a multitude of celebrity meet and greets happening all weekend long, there is so much to see, in addition to checking out all the new collections, of course.VMail Weekend asked a few people to speak about the various parts of Expo they’re looking forward to the most. Read what they had to say.Gina Dressler-KayCristall OpticiansI think this will be my 26th Vision Expo East. I started coming with my father, Dr. Gerald Dressler OD, in 1992. My father has attended since its inception in 1986. He taught me how to buy and the importance of attending Vision Expo as well as introducing me to many different suppliers and connections over the years. One of the things I look most forward to is connecting with old friends and catching up. Buying product has always been the priority at Expo. We are always searching for new and unique lines as well as meeting with our American and European vendors who do not come to Canada. There is very little time for pleasure and sightseeing during the show. It’s definitely a high energy few days and as a business owner you have to make every minute count. I don’t take advantage of formal classes as time does not allow it but I try and catch any panels and live events that are on the floor during the day. This season, I am looking toward the future and hoping to find what is coming. We try to stay ahead of the game so we are on the cutting edge. I like to buy what is coming, not what we have seen already. Something that is sellable, profitable, unique and fresh. Something that gets me excited and gets rid of the “been there, done that” feeling. If I can come away with a new line that no one else has then it has been a worthwhile trip.Jenny MaBrooklyn SpectaclesI’m looking forward to seeing more independent brands that are new to the U.S. market and are exhibiting at Vision Expo for the first time, such as MASSADA (Switzerland), Bathing Ape (Japan) and H-fusion (Japan). They’re all awesome brands that I look forward to meeting and learning about.I'm also looking forward to seeing if there are any marketing and advertising design companies that provide services for the eyewear industry. As much as eyewear and lenses are important to us, I hope to see other kinds of companies that offer services or products that can help our operation and future growth.Julie KubschSpecs Around TownI’m looking forward to ordering more Wissing frames. They’re so fun and we only see them at Expo and usually reorder stock once or twice a year via their website. I’ll also be checking out some new lines—Plein les Mirettes, Veronika Wildgruber, Sospiri and revisiting Theirry Lasry. It’s been years since we’ve stocked them. I also look forward to seeing our friends at Andy Wolf, Francis Klein and Krewe. Actually, we enjoy all our reps.I’ll be going to a few night parties hopefully. I’ve always wanted to get to the l.a. Eyeworks event at Alexander Grey but never seem to make it. LOFT party Friday night and hope its warm enough for the rooftop. Last few years have been a bust. I’ll be bringing my family this year to celebrate Specs Around Town’s 20th. They’ll be having fun during the day elsewhere but spending some time at the show too. So I think I’ll be taking home a very tired family. I forecast way too much fun and very little sleep.Sam Marie SlippMakeup for Glasses I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends that I met at last year’s Expo, and meeting new people. I’m excited to attend a few of the Pop Up talks on social media throughout the weekend. I really can’t wait to see all of the new eyewear fashion trends for this year.This year I want to completely live in the moment and enjoy my time at the center. Last year, was my first Expo and I was a little overwhelmed by how grand the convention is. Knowing what to expect this year will allow me to focus on making meaningful connections and having fun.