Alexander C. Nnabue knows that caring for eyes is really about caring for people. After earning doctor of optometry degrees from both Imo State University in Nigeria and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Dr. Nnabue decided to found his own company to help restore patients' ocular health. What began in 1994 as a single storefront has blossomed into six Visual Eyes locations throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Today, the caring doctor leads biannual medical mission trips to Africa, including one trip that, according to a 2006 Nigeria World article, put thousands of eyeglasses and medications in the hands of those in need. Dr. Nnabue also shares his knowledge as an adjunct faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Optometry, a senior examiner with the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, and an international instructor in countries including Israel and Norway.
At Visual Eyes, he and his fellow optometrists use advanced technology to diagnose and treat various conditions. A trained technician manufactures lenses at an in-house lab, and Dr. Nnabue specializes in orthokeratology, a vision-correcting process that eliminates the need to wear glasses, contacts, or a sign that says, "Sorry for walking into you; I forgot my contacts or glasses." The team also prides itself on showcasing the latest designer frames, including Oliver Peoples, Prada, and Robert Marc.
Founded in 1914, the original New York City location of Sterling Optical doled out frames amid the Ford Model Ts and paperboys that swarmed the city's financial district. The original band of eyesight experts weathered years of economic depression by impressing customers with speedy, full-service vision care, later launching a second store near Washington, DC. Today, a century of steady franchise expansion has given rise to almost 200 store locations in 23 states. Most locations continue the tradition of offering one-stop optical services, giving customers access to exams and onsite labs that manufacture glasses in one hour. The spectacle provider has been named one of the nation's leading franchises by Entrepreneur magazine.
In 2001, Dr. Robert Samit had a vision, which was a pretty appropriate phenomenon, considering that he's an optometrist. He saw in the future a network of eye doctors, united under the banner of a single company that provides trusted community doctors and a huge selection of value-priced and designer eyewear frames.
Together with company president Sue Downes, they equip this army of eye examiners with the latest technology. When a doctor determines that a corrective lens is called for, he or she prescribes them and MyEyeDr.'s team of eyecare consultants helps patients choose from a huge array of frames from such brands as Gucci, Coach, Oakley, and Ray Ban RX.
Though there are 130 For Eyes Optical stores around the United States, the company still has the heart of a small start-up. Owned and operated since 1972, when a small group of friends started it in Philadelphia, aiming for quality eyewear manufacturing as well as customer service. These same friends, aided by a few family members, still lead the franchise today. They ensure that each location adheres to their original principles and mandates for mustard-colored shag carpets.
In each store, expert independent doctors test clients' visual acuity and general eye health with comprehensive exams. Then, a store associate helps each person outfit their eyes with designer frames by brands such as Ray-Ban, Prada, D&G, and Versace. For Eyes Optical has its own advanced 40,000-square foot optical lab in in Hialeah, Florida, where technicians shape, surface, and coat the lenses to fit each person's exact prescription. After creating the lenses?whether plastic, polycarbonate, or trivex Toughlites?they inspect and fit each into its corresponding frame by hand, a process that ensures quality control and guards against the robots, whose first objective is to hinder our eyesight.
The doctors at Oliver Opticians demonstrate their passion for eye care by guarding their patients against glaucoma and cataracts with thorough exams. This passion is also visible in their boutique selection of designer frames, including shelves of frames from the likes of Gucci, Mykita, Prada, Sama, Ray-Ban, Modo, and Prodesign. Doctors also fit peepers with contact lenses?an important process they carry out with precision because some eyes are shaped like cubes.
Though SEE Eyewear?s specs are only found in their stores, their designs sprout from imaginations around the world. Winner of reader's choice awards in cities ranging from San Francisco to Nashville, SEE Eyewear stocks its frames directly from fashionable frame crafters and passes on the savings of doing business at the source to customers. The company calls on fashion designers from France, Italy, and other style-conscious countries to create one-of-a-kind designs to be featured on store shelves and client faces. Before that happens, though, each potential frame goes through a rigorous design and review process to ensure its distinctiveness and quality before it can be added to the national eyewear shop?s exclusive coveted selection.
From cat-eye to horn-rimmed and perfectly round to wayfarer-inspired, the cost of each frame includes single-vision lenses, giving customers the simplicity of a flat price that doesn?t require customers to pay an extra prescription fee or mine their own bifocal quarry. SEE Eyewear also trains its staff members to be aesthetically savvy so they can find the perfect fashion-forward, vision-correcting specs for any face shape, mood, or fashion sense.