Optical on Main Street

Indies Spotlight Cataract Awareness on Social Media

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, June 6, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Prevent Blindness has again declared June as Cataract Awareness Month. In recognition of the month, Prevent Blindness offers a variety of free informational resources in English and Spanish including fact sheets, social media graphics and a listing of vision care financial assistance programs. The group also offers a dedicated web resource, and the “Understanding Cataract” episode in the “Focus on Eye Health Expert Series,” featuring Albert Cheung, MD, cataract, cornea and anterior segment specialist with Virginia Eye Consultants and assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Department of Ophthalmology.

Social Media Posts Shine a Spotlight on Myopia Awareness Week

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, May 16, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—This week, May 13 through 19, 2024, is Myopia Awareness Week, a global event that aims to raise awareness about juvenile-onset myopia and encourage eyecare professionals to take necessary actions. The week has been marked by a number of myopia awareness related initiatives, both big and small, as reported in VMAIL Weekend. In addition, ECPs have been putting in the extra work this week to educate their patients about myopia, both online and in person. Here, we’re taking a look at how some indies are approaching Myopia Awareness Week.

Dr. Jennifer Wademan Strengthens Her Optometry Network on Social Media

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, May 2, 2024 8:30 AM FOLSOM, Calif.—Small business owners hear it all the time: social media is a nonnegotiable item if you want to grow. But the prospect of getting started can be daunting. What platforms should you be on, and what should you be posting once you’re on there? How do you gain followers and find a community? And what value is all of this offering both to you and your patients? For Jennifer Wademan, OD, jumping into social media was a slow but steady process—and one that has ultimately grown into a career-changing and life-altering move.

Indies Look to the Skies for the Eclipse

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, April 18, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Last week, millions of North Americans turned their eyes to the skies for a solar eclipse—total for some, partial for others, but special for all. Leading up to the big day, ECPs spent months educating their communities on how to watch the eclipse safely, and when the eclipse finally arrived, they were able to enjoy watching the astronomical phenomenon with proper eye protection. Here, we’re taking a look back at how indies watched the solar eclipse.

Indies Celebrate World Optometry Day

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, April 4, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—The week of March 17–23, 2024 was World Optometry Week, culminating in World Optometry Day on March 23. With the theme “Advancing Optometry’s Commitment to Global Eye Care,” World Optometry Day aims to shine an annual spotlight on the profession of optometry and the contribution of optometrists worldwide to increasing access to eye health care as a human right, as reported in VMAIL. Here, we’re recapping how some independent optometrists across the country celebrated their profession’s special day.

Indies Take on New York for Vision Expo East

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, March 21, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Last week, the optical community descended on New York City for Vision Expo East, the show’s final edition in the Big Apple before it heads to Orlando beginning in 2025. In addition to the thousands of ECPs, buyers, students and sellers, Vision Expo East 2024 showcased the second annual NOW Awards, over 450 exhibitors and more than 200 education sessions. As reported in VMAIL, Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo at RX, said, “We could not be happier to close out our final show in New York City on such a high note." As we set our sights on Las Vegas for Vision Expo West in September, and Orlando for 2025, let’s take a look back at how some Indies spent their last Vision Expo East in New York.

Indies at SECO Enjoy Optometric Education and Networking

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, March 7, 2024 8:30 AM ATLANTA—On March 3, SECO 2024 closed its five-day annual event of optometric education. As reported in VMAIL, the event, which featured special sessions, breakfast symposiums, hot topic breakfasts, awards events and an exhibit hall featuring more than 160 exhibitors, welcomed thousands of ECPs here. From executives to education professionals to tech experts to ODs, SECO 2024 created a hub for optometric minds.

Transitions Academy Brings Indies Together in Florida

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 8:30 AM ORLANDO, Fla.—From February 11 through 14, hundreds of ECPs gathered here for the 2024 edition of Transitions Academy. In front of more than 1,300 attendees from around the world, Chrystel Barranger, president, Transitions Optical, and president, EssilorLuxottica Wholesale EMEA, announced the launch of Transitions Gen S, as reported in VMAIL from Academy. In addition to this major product launch, the three-day event included breakout educational sessions, a brand experience and a number of networking opportunities. Here, we’re taking a look at a snapshot of Transitions Academy through the eyes of independent ECPs who were on-site.

ECPs Head to Milan for Mido

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, February 8, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK and MILAN, Italy—Over 40,000 people headed to Milan this month for the 2024 edition of Mido. The show welcomed visitors from over 160 countries—including many Americans who made the trek across the Atlantic to take a look at Italian eyewear up close and personal. Mido organizers reported a major success this year, with an 11 percent gain in visitors over last year and an active presence overall. Mido president Giovanni Vitaloni said, “Prior to the show opening, we had hoped for an increase in visitors compared to last year. Thanks to everyone’s efforts and the industry’s trust in us each year, we achieved the ambitious goal we had set for ourselves." Here, we’re taking a look at how some ECPs spent their time in Milan.

A Look at Glaucoma Awareness Month on Social Media With Indies

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, January 29, 2024 7:30 AM NEW YORK—January was Glaucoma Awareness Month, offering ECPs many ways to educate patients and the public about one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. Prevent Blindness is helping patients, care partners and professionals with a number of resources including a dedicated webpage, downloadable fact sheets that include financial assistance resources, shareable social media graphics in English and Spanish, educational videos, podcasts and much more.

Indies Have Plenty of Holiday Gift Ideas

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, December 20, 2023 8:30 AM NEW YORK—As Christmas approaches, there’s no shortage of errands and tasks to add to our lists—and that includes gift shopping. Finding the right gift can be tricky—and pretty stress inducing—but shopping and gifting season also offers the eyewear industry a moment in the spotlight. With the holiday just around the corner, many independent ECPs are taking a moment to showcase some unique and fresh gift ideas: frames. This week, we’re taking a look at some fun, bold and opti-themed gift ideas from indies.

How Indies Spent Diabetic Eye Disease Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 8:30 AM NEW YORK—This year, like every year, November marked Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. The month served as a time to bring light to the many diabetes-related eye diseases, and to educate patients and the general public on how diabetes can affect the eyes. As reported in VMAIL, the CDC states that approximately 37.3 million people have diabetes, and 96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes—making information about diabetes-related eye diseases valuable to most Americans. ECPs across the country stepped up to educate patients this past November.

Four Years Later, Independent Optical Is Stronger Than Ever—And Still Not Selling Ugly Glasses

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, November 20, 2023 8:30 AM MOUNT PLEASANT, South Carolina—In 2019, Jake Sunkin, OD, achieved a long-held dream of opening up his own, independent eyecare practice. When Independent Optical debuted in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina that June, things were looking bright and exciting—Dr. Sunkin’s dad, Chris, retired from a 25-year career in the industrial equipment industry and took on the challenge of opening a practice from the ground up alongside his son. The two documented every step of their process, from construction through to opening day, on Instagram, and in an interview with The Independent Eye that summer.

Griebenow Eyecare Leans Into Private Label With Your Brand Eyewear and My Frame Gallery

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, November 6, 2023 8:30 AM NEW YORK—For independent ECPs taking their practice to the next level, private label eyewear is often a logical and exciting step, allowing ECPs to flex their creative muscles, lean into the design world and connect with their patients in a new and unique way. Now, with the launch of a new program from Frames Data, in conjunction with private label supplier Your Brand Eyewear, that integration has become even more seamless. The new program offers practices the ability to display their private label frames from Your Brand Eyewear in an online gallery, but under a custom brand name that is exclusive to the practice. Previously, private label eyewear could only be displayed under the name Your Brand.

Indies Celebrate World Sight Day

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, October 19, 2023 8:30 AM NEW YORK—On October 12, members of the optical community all around the world came together to celebrate World Sight Day. This year, according to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and as reported in VMAIL, the 200+ member groups and companies’ efforts generated more than 13 million eye test pledges, well above the group’s target goal of 10 million for the day, which emphasized the Love Your Eyes at Work theme this year. And, of course, ECPs all around the world did their part, too, this World Sight Day. We’re taking a look at how some indies celebrated World Sight Day on social media, spreading the word to their followers everywhere.