COOL, Calif.—This summer, the staff at Cool Optometry have found an unlikely yet creative way to get their patients involved with their practice. Rather than tempting customers into the store with trunk shows or sunglasses sales, they have started hosting paint ‘n sip classes as a fun activity for the community and to provide a way for people to get familiar with the staff.

The first paint night included wine, snacks and a
class on how to paint a peaceful beach.
(L to R) Adminstrative assistant Tara Hayes, office
manager Morgan Kesner and owner Jenelle Palmer, OD,
show off their painting skills at Cool Optometry’s
second paint night.

The first time Cool Optometry put on a paint night back in May, it was a free activity limited to 10 patients and it took place in the office. “It just started as a fun thing to do with our patients,” said Morgan Kesner, office manager at Cool Optometry. Since then, the practice has arranged two other paint nights this past summer, although they’ve moved the classes to a more accommodating space at the community center at Holiday Market right next door.

Morgan Kesner, office manager at Cool Optometry,
instructs attendees on how to create the perfect beach. 

Owner Jenelle Palmer, OD, and Kesner teach the class together, although Kesner admits that they aren’t exactly art experts. “We’ll do a practice run together before the class,” she explained. “Neither of us are established artists or anything, but everyone in the class knows that. Our paint nights are just fun, beginner classes and we’ve had people produce some really cool paintings as a result.”​

Although the first paint night was a little crowded inside of Cool Optometry,
the paintings and frames looked great side by side. 

What simply started as cool experience to share with customers has become another way to bring in new clients. “We’ve had great feedback from our patients,” said Kesner. “We’ve also had a few attendees who aren’t patients, which is great—we can hopefully can get them to come see us. In fact, we’ve had a few people book appointments because of the paint nights.”