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.
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.
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 quality vision care—plus a huge selection of value-priced and designer eyewear frames—to patients throughout Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Together with company president Sue Healey Downes, they now boast a whopping 51 locations throughout the region, each with a licensed Doctor of Optometry on hand. 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 before MyEyeDr.'s team of eyecare consultants helps patients choose from a huge array of frames from such brands as Chanel, Oakley, and Ray Ban RX.
View a video from MyEyeDr. here.
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 trio of optometrists at Peepers of Severna Park restores optical clarity with a combination of traditional personal care, state-of-the-art digital machinery, and designer frames from brands including Oliver Peoples, National, Giorgio Armani, and Kate Spade. During eye exams, a trained doctor conducts a thorough vision history, performs a series of diagnostic exams, and runs computerized tests to determine eyes' ability to interpret poetry written in binary code. Following exams, calibrated lenses nestle between the grips of premium designer frames such as Oliver Peoples' Lance R frames ($339.95), Prada 22M ($299.95), or Candie’s Coco frames ($169.95).