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.
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.
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.
For almost 20 years, the dedicated Peepers Family Eye Care staff has attended to the sight of its patients with meticulous eye exams and medical services, including LASIK laser vision correction. During appointments, the team employs the latest technology, such as visual field-testing equipment and retinal cameras, which provide an inside look at the eye, as well as snap professional images for retinas in need of headshots. After appointments, friendly staffers help clients choose the most suitable lenses and pick out the most face-flattering frames from name brands. They work to cultivate a familial atmosphere at each of their five locations, offering up family vision plans and extensive children’s eye care.
The affability and expertise of Eyes on Main's staff prompted the readers of What's Up Mag to name the practice Annapolis's Best Local Optician in 2010, 2011, and 2012. By performing thorough routine eye examinations, the optometrists help to diagnose specific eye issues along with determining any changes in lens prescription. Opticians and frame stylists also help patients to adopt new eyewear from the more than 300 stylish frames—including styles from Pro Design, Waza, and BCBG—that stock Eyes on Main's plentiful shelves.
Somewhere among the rows of illuminated display cases that flaunt Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Arnette shades, a furry snout pokes out, sniffs twice, and returns to its brightly colored chew toy. The snout belongs to the official mascot at Shades of the Bay: Allie, a 13-year-old beagle who spends her days nuzzling visitors and frolicking amid shelves piled high with sunglasses and Reef flip-flops. Across the street lies Shades of the Bay’s sister store—Shades Unlimited—which also boasts a large collection of sunglasses from top designers, both polarized and nonpolarized. At either location, a knowledgeable staff helps lead customers to shades that flatter faces or transform sock puppets into trendy companions.