INSIGHTS: Voices + Views Daniel Brunson Gives Followers the HBE Perspective By Stephanie Sengwe Friday, May 25, 2018 10:46 AM Daniel Brunson TULSA, Okla.—Daniel Brunson, ABOC, is a fourth generation optician who pretty much grew up in the optical industry. Though he had a brief stint at a satellite TV provider—among other careers—Brunson eventually found his way back to the optical store his great grandfather founded in 1952, Hicks Brunson Eyewear, and he has been practicing since 2000. In May of 2013, in conjunction with the opening of Hicks Brunson’s webstore, he launched the HBE Perspective, an eyewear-centric blog targeted at anyone who wears glasses or sunglass and is into building an eyewear wardrobe to suit their lifestyle. “I started blogging at first as a way to educate the public about eyewear, prescription lenses and the value of having a good optician who you can rely on to fit you in glasses,” Brunson stated. While The HBE Perspective is made for eyewear lovers, it’s also a way to showcase Brunson’s own passion for educating readers about independent eyewear brands. Each post highlights a specific frame from indie brands such as Tom Davies, Andy Wolf, Masunaga, and Born in Brooklyn, just to name a few. Depending on the frame, Brunson will break down the specific trend it fits into, the amount of colorways it’s available in and what makes the particular collection stand out in his eyes. “Sometimes I like to highlight shapes that well-known people in history have worn, such as a shape that I dubbed the T.S. Eliot look that is flat on the top and round on the bottom. I first wrote about that shape in September of 2016 when I featured a Tom Davies frame, and this year at Vision Expo East I kept seeing it again and again,” he said. His love for independent brands came after he was alerted to Swiss Flex by a local TV personality who had been looking for a pair of frames from the brand. “For the first few years of my career as an optician, I was styling my clients in all the well-known designer licensed labels,” he explained. “I had to do some digging around and eventually I connected with the U.S. distributor for Swiss Flex and brought the collection into our store. It was a huge hit with our clients, and it was something we had an exclusive on in our market. I realized there must be more out there like Swiss Flex that I could introduce to my market and further differentiate my store from all the other shops and offices in my city.”Brunson also uses the power of social media to promote his blog. The Hicks Brunson Eyewear Instagram account has close to 1,000 followers, who get a synopsis of the week’s blog post on their timelines. “Every week I select three frames to highlight, and then with the help of my lovely wife who is also my modeling partner, I capture each frame on a face,” he explained. “Each week we share the three selected frames on a white background first one post at a time on Instagram, and then we share the images of ourselves wearing the frames in the same order. That way when you scroll through our Instagram profile you will see not only what the frame looks like on a face, but also an up-close shot of the same frame on a white background directly adjacent to the model image.”Though he sees the power of social media in giving bite-size information, Brunson also believes in being as detailed as possible so that his readers are fully informed and educated about each frame and collection. “Social media is great for pushing out small packets of content to people who are interested in following your brand, but I was interested in having the freedom to write long-form content that could help people who were searching online for eyewear related topics,” he told VMail Weekend. “For example, my four-part series on AR coating was designed to be relevant information for many years, and a blog is the best platform to make information like that available to people who need it.” As The HBE Perspective continues to grow, Brunson hopes that the blog remains a place where people can visit in order to have their questions about eyewear answered. “I hope they see it as a place they can learn about independent eyewear from around the world with an occasional post on emerging lens tech and trends, and frame style fitting tips,” he said.