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.
Since Dr. Stanley Pearle opened the doors to the first Pearle Vision in 1961, the franchise has expanded to more than 800 stores nationwide. In these stores, optometrists assess the ocular health of patients before onsite opticians help them navigate the assortment of frames from brands such as Versace, Ray-Ban, and DKNY. If they're not in the store, clients can utilize the Try-On tool, uploading a photo to see what they or their dog looks like in different types of glasses. Pearle Vision also helps focus the world with contacts from Acuvue and Biofinity.
Countless trees fly by under your feet as you soar hundreds of feet above the ground. Suddenly, the forest floor below opens up into a gorge. At Red River Gorge Zipline, riders witness this incredible sight on regular canopy tours set amid the picturesque wilderness of Daniel Boone National Forest. The system's ziplines span more than 4,000 feet above the forest canopy, with the longest reaching about 1,900 feet in length. At the end of the tour, dual racing ziplines send riders charging down from more than 200 feet above the ground, and reaching speeds exceeding 50 mph. All of Red River Gorge Zipline's guests are strapped into harnesses for the duration of their tours, while helmet cams document their adventure.
Dr. Paul Vernon, the LASIK board-certified ophthalmologist at Family I Care, has performed thousands of refractive surgeries in the past 20 years—even his children have had their vision corrected under his skillful hands. When not wielding a laser, Dr. Vernon also plays the role of general eye doctor, outfitting squinters with glasses and contacts or banishing cataracts from cloudy eyes. His expertise with dry-eye conditions caused by staring at computer screens and kissing benevolent air conditioners has earned him a venerable reputation in treating symptoms such as redness and itching.
In the words of the late Dr. Daniel Messinger, whose daughter and granddaughter now helm Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs, “We’ve been doing this for 100 years—we must be doing something right.” Overseen by the fourth and fifth generation of family that founded the company in 1888, the sense of history carries over into its opticians’ daily practice—they’ve been seeing many of their clients for decades, and bestow fast emergency services upon them whenever a client damages a lens or tries to stretch their frames to fit a family portrait inside. The personalized attention heaped upon each customer shines through in the services provided, which include technicians that grind and surface all lenses on-site in the flagship location’s lab, often fitting them into frames for next-day pick-up.
French native Valerie Vittu created Margot & Camille Optique to pair clients with the European frame styles popular in her home country. Drawing from her experience working for designer Alain Mikli on Madison Avenue, Valerie selects unique, nonbranded eyewear that sets trends rather than follows them. Past designs have included efforts from Alain Mikli, Lafont, and Tom Davies's made-to-order Couture Horn collection of natural horn-rimmed frames. A hands-on presence in her shop, Valerie helps clients pick frames that fit their faces and styles, and she happily offers extended hours by appointment to accommodate clients who spend every daylight hour holding mirrors to the sky to see how the sun likes glare in its eyes.