NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.—Being an optician has been a life-long passion for Preet Kalra—lead optician and buyer here at Bright Eyes Optometry—who went so far as to fake her first eye exam to get a pair of glasses when she was 11-years-old. Fast forward to 2003, when she started having problems seeing the blackboard while in high school and needed to get fitted for contacts. Kalra went into an optical shop with the intention of getting her vision corrected and walked out with a part-time job to boot. “From 2003 to 2007, I worked part-time and got exposed to the floor of the optical boutique. I enjoyed troubleshooting prescriptions as well as styling patients in eyewear. I enjoyed edging lenses and loved the feeling when I held the finished pair of glasses in my hand,” Kalra said.
In January, Kalra decided to take her love for eyewear to the web and created Optician Life—a fashion and lifestyle blog targeted toward anyone interested in the optical field. “I love writing and eyewear is my favorite topic to write about. I want people to see eyewear as an extra piece of jewelry that can be incorporated into their everyday style,” she explained.
The blog portion of Optician Life links to three mini-sections: “Makeup & Beauty,” “Outfits” and “Eye Blog.” The “Makeup & Beauty,” section caters to the eyeglass-wearer who also loves makeup and gives tips on topics such as which makeup products are good for the eyes. The section treats glasses as, “the cherries on top that add an extra dimension to your personality.” In the “Outfits,” section, Kalra showcases outfits with a touch of anything related to the eye or eyewear. The “Eye Blog,” section serves to educate readers on topics related to the optical industry or eyewear, such as the Vision Expo experience.
The main page also links to a gallery of clients, (posted with permission) whom she has styled, under a tab titled, “Eye Styled.” The “Customize,” tab links straight to Kalra’s Zazzle shop, where readers can purchase products she designed. The “Shop,” tab is currently under construction, but will be used to list artistic eye pieces or artwork that readers can purchase as well.
When it comes to selecting topics, Kalra draws inspiration from questions she encounters on a daily basis or she writes about what times permits her to in-between practicing and other responsibilities. “Every day I come across topics or new information related to eyes, eyewear, fashion, style, life lessons, etc.,” she explained. “Every new question that comes to mind, I write it down in that instant, and when it comes to blogging, I choose the topic based on the allotted time. If time allows me to take photos of my outfits, I decide to do an outfit post. Otherwise, independent eyewear is my favorite topic to discuss, and there are many independent designers, I love and support.”
Though Optician Life features varying topics that Kalra is passionate about, her main focus remains eyewear. “I want people to leave with a thought that there is more to eyewear than wearing them as a necessity,” Kalra explained. “Everyone knows designer brands of eyewear, but I want Optician Life to be a tool to bring awareness to luxury independent eyewear brands as well. The optical industry is a versatile industry—it’s not just about the prescriptions or Lasik surgeries—there's fashion, styling and design elements as well.”