November 21 is Entrepreneurs Day which always falls on the 3rd Tuesday of every November. An Entrepreneur is defined as’ person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.‘ which describes every independent eyecare practice including opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologist.
Entrepreneurs Day was created so that entrepreneurs can encourage, mentor, thank and fund others to take this step and be successful in business.
Today we are going to celebrate a few entrepreneurs that have have thought outside the lens so to speak and created a non-traditional optical business. Please note that there are thousands of other entrepreneurs, every eyecare professional that runs their own business, eyecare professionals that are now consultants, eyecare professionals that are creating Bespoke Eyewear, eyecare professionals that opened labs, that make equipment.
There are many ways to entrepreneur your life without opening an optical shop and pulled out a few ideas.
Make Something: Eyeglass retainers, eyeglass cases and giant signs are all ways that crafters can put some of their skills to work. Sell on Etsy, set up an Amazon shop, put on 1st Dibs.
1.) Irene Burgdorf: Tampa based Optician and craft maven. She makes her Specs Totes on the kitchen table and sells to primarily optical professionals.
2.) Frances Scholz‘s Backyard Spectacles make a huge fashion statement since 2009.Large and small signs, business card holders, dispensing tables, whatever you want in this eyeglass themed decor that she makes herself in Alaska!
3.) We Love Eyes by Tanya Gill OD of Oakland Vision Center who launched her own line of natural eye makeup remover.
Sell Something: You can sell some and make eyeglass apparel, but you can also resell via affiliates. Sites such as Zazzle allow you to customize your offerings.
4.) Colleen Brondo is a optical veteran with a Facebook site, The Crafty Optician: She offers themed optical products, billing themselves as cheeky and cute optical goods. One can purchase anything from necklaces and cuts via Facebook.
5. Love Optician Job: I am not quite sure what this is about, but it looks like they sell via affiliate programs optician type of goods including T-shirts. The reason why I mention them,, is this is a good concept, as optician-optometrist-ophthalmologist type of goods is a good trend now. Many companies including Zazzle can make up custom goods, which can be sold online.
Find a niche and Fill it
6.) Eye Care and Cure: This eyecare supply company was founded by ophthalmologist, Johan van Dalen MD. They have their own propriety products from medical supplies, equipment to eyeglass frames.
7.) Leo Hadley, an optician and active member of OptiBoard just opened his own preowned optical equipment company called Vision Equipment out of Florida.
Optical Training: One of the biggest issues in our optical arena is a lack of places to get eyecare training locally.
8.) John Seegers, an optician launched Optician Works, an optical – optician training site. Today he along with LaramyK the optical surfacing lab are making a series of educational training videos for eyecare professionals.
10.) GPN, the Edge with Jay Binkowitz (CEO) and Evan Kestenbaun (Chief Financial Officer). These two opticians have taken the consulting-speaking-writing-software-mentoring business by storm. While Evan is the quiet behind the scenes, you cannot miss Jay! He is the network king and we love him for it!
11.) Jerome Sude (OD) OD’s Excellence is another practice management group that was starting with Jerry Leiblein who passed away in 2017.
12.) Pogo Tec Group lead by Ron Blum OD was one of the first to get into the Smart Glass arena with his add on Smart Glass. Today both Clearvision and Essilor will be utilizing this technology.
13.) Jerome Ledgerton OD of Innovega. An old San Diego Based optometrist is leading the way with wearable displays in both eyewear and contact lenses.
14.) Daniel Bintz OD, co–founder of Vision Science Software- Acuity Pro which computerized acuity testing program.
15.) Fortieye Vitamins by Michael Lange OD: Many of you may be familiar with Dr. Lange, as he is a familiar name on many Facebook Forums. This nutraceutical company can be seen at optical trade shows.
16.) Sightbox Contact Lens Subscription services is the brain child of industry veteran Travis Rush. They have raised over $1.8 Million in venture capital to fund a contact lens subscription service.
Facebook Groups: This is not a easy as it sounds or looks like. You must be engaging, you must be on Facebook all time, you must interact. There are several ways to make money: #sponsored posts, advertising. including headers, for sale items.
17.) Alan Glazier OD: OD’s on Facebook group is most likely the biggest and most successful Optical Forum. With over 31,000 members of the optical industry, he offers #sponsored posts, yearly sponsors, Advertising and a For Sale area.
18.) Lou Fullager: Luxury Eyewear Forum: One of the earliest Facebook groups, the focus on this group is the high end luxury eyewear market. Lou comes from an optical wholesale and retail background. This group is gateway to several other online groups and blogs in which he sells advertising. He has built his brand by selling LEF branded products.