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.
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.
Inside this immaculate Victorian Italianate building in Rittenhouse Square, optometrist Alissa Coyne conducts eye examinations alongside a dedicated staff of opticians and eyewear experts. Two show rooms display a selection of more than 2,500 frames by fashionable brands such as Salt. Optics or Oliver Peoples. Lens types range from standard plastic to Transitions-brand options that change tint when going from indoors to outdoors, and prescription and nonprescription sunglasses shield pupils from the sun's harmful rays and annoying habit of never wearing clothes.
A sextet of experienced eye doctors helms Family Eye Care's three locations. There, the doctors lead their teams in warmly accepting patients for services such as comprehensive eye exams, 24-hour emergency eye care, and glaucoma treatments. In addition to ocular services, each location lines its walls with myriad frame choices from designer brands such as Gucci, Brooks Brothers, or Versace. Clients can gain peace of mind from broken specs or faulty x-ray vision with Family Eye Care's two-year unlimited warranty on select frames and lenses.
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.
Since its opening in 2000, Omega Optical has sold designer frames in both classic and cutting-edge styles. At the Cheltenham Mall and Comcast Center locations, certified Doctors of Optometry perform routine preventive care and measure patients for prescriptions. Customers can then explore the store's collection, which includes glasses and sunglasses from Tom Ford, Alain Mikli, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Kazuo Kawasaki, and more. To help them decide on a pair, staffers show them frames that complement both their lifestyle and face shape, whether it resembles an oval, a square, or a Spanish galleon. Omega maintains a close connection to the community around them; the Omega Optical Scholarship Foundation raises funds for local college-bound students.