Started in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle, the nationally recognized and trusted franchise now operates in nearly 800 company and franchise locations nationwide. The master visionaries at Pearle are well trained in assisting all bespectacled beings, from casual librarians to picky, temperamental Cyclopes. Equip a corrective pair of Essentials frames starting at $99.95, or slip on a pair of designer eye enhancers, such as those by Anne Klein and DKNY ($149.95+) or Versace ($205+). Single-vision lenses adjust a singular field of vision ($120 for plastic scratch-resistant), while specialty PearleTHIN complete lenses ($215) are lightweight heavyweights.
Since 1982, the licensed opticians at Kitsap Optical have been keeping their eyes on emerging technologies, helping ensure their customers can view the world with 20/20 clarity. After each exam, the staff assemble eyeglasses with prescription lenses that correct blurry vision and popular brand-name frames that suit the client's unique sense of style.
Dr. Michael Steiner, MD, is an ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon who's been treating Seattle–area peepers for more than two decades. In addition to performing reconstructive and plastic surgery with a keen eye for aesthetics, Dr. Steiner addresses glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic issues. During all surgeries, Dr. Steiner uses local sedation, a safer alternative to general anesthesia.
Optometrist James McCrum enjoys his job so much he lives at the office. Literally. As documented in a 2005 feature in Pacific Northwest Magazine, Dr. McCrum and his wife, Paula Whelan, converted the bare walls of what used to be a commercial building into a modern, urban-chic home office where they can live upstairs and work downstairs. The daunting project took a year and a half—about three times as long as they had originally planned. Whelan called upon her instincts as an artist to help design the 1,700-square-foot space. She used artwork made from swimming fins and roller skates and installed stair treads that are actually the repurposed rafters from the former building. Vibrant, playful pieces from Whelan's above-garage art studio spill over into the Eyeballs office, where lime-green chairs and bold, red mirrors complement her innovatively painted lampshades and eyewear-inspired artwork. Adding to the fun atmosphere, the reception desk boasts a blackboard where patients can doodle anything they want or copy poems discovered within the eye chart.
And the decor isn't the only aspect of the shop with a decidedly vivacious vibe. The lighthearted, friendly staff aims to make shopping for glasses fun and encourages leisurely browsing of boutique frames neatly arranged in drawers and open wall displays. Together with fellow optometrist Dr. Chris Hettinger, Dr. McCrum does his part to make each guest's visit a pleasant one by using a state-of-the-art retinal camera to check for issues such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
At Spex in the City, Dr. Mark J. Hamilton and Dr. Cathy Tran lead their team in framing faces with trendy yet functional eyewear. The optometric physicians begin by examining eyes and conjuring up prescriptions that correct nearsighted, farsighted, or age-related vision problems, as well as those caused by wearing View-Masters as glasses. From there, frame stylists step in to help clients select complementary frames from D&G, Oakley, Tom Ford, and other major designers. Technicians at the in-house laboratory can craft the custom eyewear in as little as one hour, treating Zeiss prescription lenses with luxurious extras such as progressive thickness, antiglare coating, and the ability to discern dreams from reality.:
Over the years, the expert vision gurus at Suburban Opticians, including co-owners Pamela and Melissa, have outfitted clients with lenses and more than 2,000 frames by designers such as Adidas, Ray-Ban, Silhouette, Versace, and Juicy Couture. An onsite optical lab enables the team to assemble individualized frames with single-vision lenses or bifocals. Their additional services include specialty adjustments, such as progressive lenses designed for smaller frames, and custom rhinestone settings. Taking an active role in the community, Suburban Opticians donates to several nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Emergency Food Network, and the Tacoma Rescue Mission.