After the local camera shop went out of business, customers contacted Ron Henges, the building's manager, about picking up their finished prints and repaired cameras. In the process of helping fill these last orders, customers recommended Ron open his own camera store to fill the need in the community. More than 30 years later, Creve Coeur Camera continues to serve and educate its customers through nine area locations, including a 12,000-square-foot flagship store. The shops supply and repair top-of-the-line cameras and photographic equipment and timely print services and teach how to craft charismatic images through a broad curriculum of classes.
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 Puma, Eddie Bauer, and Jones New York. Pearle Vision also helps focus the world with contacts from Acuvue and Biofinity.
Under the Mercy umbrella of healthcare providers, Mercy Eye Care sees to patients’ optical needs in the form of exams and prescription eyewear. Qualified optometrists evaluate vision at three area locations, fitting faces with designer frames and lenses that enable eyes to see near, far, and that distance in the middle where cars are.
When Alive magazine publisher Elizabeth Tucker first thought about LASIK surgery as an alternative to the glasses she had worn since second grade, she didn't think it was an option. She feared the cost, worried about the time off work, and was unsure about how safe the procedure would be. Luckily, numerous friends told her about the transformative effects of their own procedures, and she finally decided to take the plunge at Crown Vision Center. There, a team of board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, and surgeons put Elizabeth and other patients at ease as they correct corneas with trained hands and cutting-edge equipment, boasting a 99% surgery-success rate. Elizabeth is now glasses-free and doesn't regret a thing. "It's been life-changing for me," she says in a video on the laser center's website, "I would recommend it to anyone."
In 1927, thousands of feet above the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was shielded from the elements only by the Spirit of St. Louis' thin linen covering. His eyes, though, boasted much sturdier protection on that historic flight?a custom pair of goggles designed by brothers A.P. and August Erker. More than 80 years and four generations later, the Erker name still stands behind high-quality optics.
Jack Erker Jr., great-grandson of August, presides over the business's two present-day locations, which have also played their part in adorning famous eyes. During Jack's tenure, Will Smith, John Goodman, and Shaquille O'Neal have all stopped in to swap needlepoint tips and grab a pair of stylish frames, which are sourced from Italian and German design houses, as well as his own manufacturing division, Studio Optyx.
Tower Optical is the stylish spawn of St. Louis's longest-running ophthalmologic practice, Clinical Ophthalmology. The eye-shield shrine is the retail section of Clinical and home to a horde of designer brands, including Vera Wang ($250+), Brooks Bros. ($150+), Coach ($250+), and J. Lo's own line of optical orb protectors ($165+). Break down the brightness while becoming the envy of neo-hipster friends with a pair of authentic Rayban wayfarers. If you're feeling self-conscious about your eyes' square-shaped irises, invest in a pair of mirrored eyewear, which strategically deflect the evil eye from frenemies while allowing true friends to check their teeth.