We Got New, Rad Glasses by Thierry Lasry & Harry Lary's

We are so excited to collaborate with Thierry Lasry sunglasses and Harry Lary's prescription eyewear. Imagine 80's music meets modern design. That's what you're going to fall in love with –because all their glasses are VINTAGE PLASTIC! You read that right. VINTAGE PLASTIC. Apparently there was a truck load of zyl plastic (a specialized type of plastic for making glasses frames), but never used. They were just sitting around in a Paris basement left to die – until one day in 2006, Thierry Lasry added meaning. When you hear the designer's name, 'Thierry Lasry,' you make think of some old, white haired geezer who drinks tea with their pinky sticking out. Think: a Karl Lagerfeld type.

PS: this is Thierry Lasry

PS: this is Thierry Lasry

Quite the opposite. He's French. Young. And a killer glasses designer. The thing I love about Thierry Lasry is that he's not just a designer that decided to make glasses because it was easier than making shoes - his father was an optician! Thierry Lasry is a man is rooted in optics. I love that! And it makes sense, because his glasses are comfortable. Yes, even with my little nose. He actually made them to fit a person's face - which is a problem with many 'glasses' designers out there. Lastly, Thierry Lasry also made them for opticians, so when it comes to inserting your prescription lenses – your lenses will look beautiful.

Check out our Thierry Lasry sunglasses & Harry Lary's (for prescription lenses). And yes, you can put your prescription in any of the sunglasses. PS: these photos do not do these beautiful frames justice. You're just going to have to appreciate them with your own eyes. We are at 1960 Broadway in Uptown Oakland:)

Enjoy and happy glasses shopping!

 

Love these but need to update your prescription? Request an appointment online with us!

7 Reasons Why You Need an Eye Exam NOW. Not next week. Not next month. Not next time. I said, now!

Here's 7 reasons you should call 510-893-5566 right now:

1) You've been blowing it off for months. Years. Okay, centuries. 😙💨

2) You have been wearing the same contacts for years. And that's not a good thing. 🤢There's, new amazing tech in contact lenses now! 

3) You got used to looking "through" those scratches on your lenses. 😵

4) You sleep in your eye makeup and declare yourself "Not Guilty!" each morning. 😈

5) You are at risk of developing glaucoma and have no idea. Knowledge is 👑.

6) It's NOT your boss, its computer eye strain! 😫

7) Your eyes are red. Itchy. Dry. PS: They hate you. 😑

Find us at 1960 Broadway, Oakland CA 94612

Book us online

And yes, share this with that complaining friend that does nothing but complain.

Love + Healthy Eyes,

 

Because, Rad Glasses

We stopped selling licensed brands a few years ago. You know those brands: Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Coach, Nike, etc . . . We want you to get what you are paying for: quality, reliability, design – all at a reasonable cost. We don't want you paying more just because there's a logo on the side of your glasses. Plus logos are sooo last year, lol.

Check out our latest favorites. From France to the USA to Spain to Italy to Denmark, we bring you rad glasses for your face.

See something you love? Just let us know, and we will gladly schedule you a fitting. Because, rad glasses.

Simple architectural lines from Denmark. Meet Orgreen. 

Simple architectural lines from Denmark. Meet Orgreen. 

Our best cat-eye from France. Bonjour Anne et Valentin!

Our best cat-eye from France. Bonjour Anne et Valentin!

When nothing works except Oliver Peoples. Designed in Italy.

When nothing works except Oliver Peoples. Designed in Italy.

When your glasses make coffee taste better. Introducing Oliver Peoples:)

When your glasses make coffee taste better. Introducing Oliver Peoples:)

Freckles meet design. This is Prodesign.

Freckles meet design. This is Prodesign.

Never been to Spain? No worries. We bring Spain to you. Welcome Etnia Barcelona.

Never been to Spain? No worries. We bring Spain to you. Welcome Etnia Barcelona.

It doesn't get more American that this. From the USA. Say hello to Article One Eyewear straight from Flint, Michigan.

It doesn't get more American that this. From the USA. Say hello to Article One Eyewear straight from Flint, Michigan.

Icy hot from l.a.Eyeworks, USA.

Icy hot from l.a.Eyeworks, USA.

You're Hella Invited to our Glasses, Donuts + Love Event. Friday, FEB 3rd ❤️

Come & enjoy 🍩 donut savant and get $289 worth of savings at:

GLASSES, DONUTS + LOVE trunk show on Fri, Feb 3rd, 10-6pm.

Here are the deets when you buy a frame at our trunk show:

  • Get $100 off any Masunaga 1905 and Zero G Eyewear frame.
  • Get FREE Zeiss HD lenses ($189 value). Because, clarity.
  • All you can eat sugar, caffeine and frosting from our friends at Donut Savant (the best donuts in the world).
  • Need an extra pair? Well, you get 50% off all of it.
  • Need a non-prescription pair of sunglasses to wear over your contacts? Or perhaps you have perfect vision? Still, you get 50% off any pair.

 

Meet Zero G Eyewear

100% Japanese Titanium. Weightlessness. Rivets instead of screws. Full comfort.

zerogeyewear-glases-donuts-love-oakland-vision-center-3
zerogeyewear-glases-donuts-love-oakland-vision-center-2
zerogeyewear-glases-donuts-love-oakland-vision-center-1

Meet Masunaga 1905

Timeless styles. Built like a tank. Handmade in Japan since 1905.

masunaga-1905-glasses-donuts-love-oakland-vision-center-1
masunaga-1905-glasses-donuts-love-oakland-vision-center-2
masunaga-1905-glasses-donuts-love-oakland-vision-center-3

Due to space, this is an appointment only event.

Appointment are filling up fast, so RSVP today.

 

With glasses, donuts + love,

The Oakland Vision Center Team

♡ ♡ ♡

 

 

.  .  .

The fine print: 

- Eye exams can be billed to your vision plan, but the free digital lens & $100 off frame special is a non-insurance thing.

- We can only accommodate 1 member per household for an eye exam but bring your family members anyways and we will try to squeeze them in with the doctor. Pinky swear.

- There is a $25 no show / 24 hr business day (M-F) cancellation fee unless your appointment slot can be rescheduled. Dr Gill's fee is $50 for the above.

Do False Eyelashes Need Cleaning? Here's your dirty answer.

For all of you fabulous ladies out there that wear false lashes, here's what you need to do to keep your eyes safe and healthy from infection. And best of all, you heard it straight from an optometrist. Because, we know things.

Styes. Pink Eye. Conjunctivitis. Red Eye. They all have 1 thing in common. Totally gross, disgusting bacteria of the bad kind. If you do NOT clean your false lashes, you're asking for problems. Instead of entering a 12-step program for Dirty Eyelash Addiction, just follow these 4 steps instead:

Step 1: Remove your falsies & eye makeup with the help of our eye makeup remover oil. 

Our tea tree eye makeup remover oil will loosen the bond between your eyelid skin and the eyelash glue.

Rub in a few drops with clean fingertips until you feel the falsie loosen. Wipe away excess makeup and glue with a cotton pad. 

Remove the falsie gently. No more ripping off eyelid skin during this process!


Step 2: Pinch off all excess dried glue and place the falsie on the palm of your hand.

I use a pair of tweezers to pinch off excess glue from the falsie.

Our tea tree eyelid and eyelash foaming cleanser will cleanse your falsie from bacteria, dirt, allergens and other debris without harming the falsie. 

Your falsie will be clean, safe to apply again and have it's life potentially extended.


Step 3: Dispense 1-2 pumps of our eyelid foaming cleanser over the falsie.

Rub the falsie gently 5 times back & forth in our eyelid and eyelash foaming cleanser with clean fingertips.

Don't worry if the foam changes color as you may also be removing left over eye makeup. And that's a good thing!


We-Love-Eyes-False-Lash-Care-4.JPG

Step 4: Rinse the falsie under lukewarm tap water and lay on a clean towel to dry overnight. 

Tomorrow morning, you'll be ready to rock those false lashes again!

Clean. Refreshed. Safe. Beautiful.

Enjoy!

For more info about Dr. Gill's We Love Eyes project, click here.

A Contact Lens Survival Guide to Never Being Gross

In my 17 years of practicing optometry, I've seen a few things in my career. Some pretty. Some ugly. Here's 6 contact lens survival tips to never being THAT gross person.

1. Avoid sleeping in your contact lenses like you would avoid an ex. 

Your corneas need oxygen to stay healthy. While you are sleeping, your inner eyelids feed the cornea with nutrients and O2 via it's high density of specialized capillaries. When you're wearing a contact lens overnight (aka 'extended wear'), this re-charge process is blocked. 

Currently, there is a brand of contact lenses called Air Optix Night & Day that is FDA approved for 30 continuous days of extended wear because it has the highest oxygen transmission for a soft, disposable contact lens. Even still, out of my 1,500 contact lens patients I manage annually – only 2 patients wear this style of lens. Because, an ex is a thing of the past. 

.     .     .

2. Never, ever, ever, ever let tap water touch your soft contact lens.

And that's because microorganisms such as bacteria live in our drinking water. Our stomachs can kill this bacteria. Our corneas – not so much. If you wear contact lenses full time (40+ hours or more a week) . . . add some bacteria to an already oxygen-deprived cornea, you're just signing up for an vision-threatening ulcer. Bye. Bye. Bye.

.     .     .

3. Disinfection matters. A lot.

License to kill is the name of the game. If you use a 2 week or 1 month disposable contact lens, that bacteria needs to die. When you wash your dishes, do you use soap? What if you didn't use any soap and just rinsed them with water? Super gross, right? Well the same can be said for contact lenses. Here's what I recommend to patients for safe, healthy disinfection:

If not everyday, at least once a week - run your contact lenses through a cycle of Clear Care. Make sure you read the instructions as this is a hydrogen peroxide based system that cannot go directly into your eyes. In my opinion, Clear Care kills and does the best job of getting your contact lenses the cleanest.

 

If you prefer a multi-purpose solution due to convenience for killing and rinsing, Biotrue and Opti-Free are my go-to favorites. For me, they rank the highest in terms of 007 power and for my patients, they love the comfort they add to their contact lenses.

 

.     .     .

4. Ask your optometrist about daily disposables. 

If you wear a 2 week or 1 month disposable contact lens, did you know it starts to become pro-inflammatory on the 2nd day simply because the lens is not quite as clean and sterile like a brand new one? When your lens starts to feel uncomfortable, it's not the lens you're feeling necessarily, but rather it's they symptoms of inflammation and possibly bacteria.  Yikes! 

.     .     .

5. After sports. Disinfect or replace.

If you're active in sports, a daily disposable contact lens is your BFF. Last year, there was a case of a woman who went blind in one eye after participating in a popular mud run. If you are going to wear contact lenses for sports such as a mud run or swimming, my best advise is to:  1) put your contact lenses through a cycle of disinfection right after use; 2) do not sleep or nap in the contact lenses; and/or 3) toss out and replace the contact lenses with a brand new set. 

.     .     .

6. Your eyelids may sabotage it all.

Eyelashes exist to trap and keep bacteria, allergens and dirt from falling into the eyes. Washing your eyelids daily with a foaming cleanser will keep those lashes clean, bacteria-free and allergen-free. Why is this important? Because dirty eyelids create inflammation & infection which will make your contact lens wear uncomfortable and your eyes red over time. Here's my foaming cleanser that I invented and use with tremendous success with my contact lens patients. Use nightly. 

 

So the next time you grab those contact lenses, think about oxygen, bacteria, allergens and how awesome you are for being mindful. 

Shhh! Our Instagram Secrets Revealed. Here’s how we got to 5,000+ followers on Instagram. So can you!

One of the biggest challenges of running an optometry business would be the marketing component. In particular, social media. Here is an article I wrote for Eyecare Business that featured in their Sept 2016 issue. Enjoy!

Hello, I’m Tanya Gill, O.D. I am the proud owner of Oakland Vision Center Optometry in Oakland, CA and I am totally obsessed with Instagram. On July 1, 2016, we hit an Instagram milestone – 5,000 followers. We celebrated in the spirit of Instagram by blowing up gold balloons, snapped some photos and made a video. I’d love to share some of our secrets on our road to Instagram success – so keep reading!

You can check out the video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BHaR7KXhhZI/?taken-by=oaklandvisioncenter

With 500 million active users, Instagram is the real deal. I love Instagram for my business because it’s easy to use, has helped grow our brand, garnered us many new customers and has been the most lucrative marketing tool to date.

Just to illustrate. On May 24, 2016 we posted this pic of an Orgreen frame. A few weeks later, we sold it to someone who saw the Instagram post and had to have it. The total sale after lenses was $1,250. Let me repeat. $1,250. She came in, put the frames on and threw down her credit card. Because, true luv.

Do I have your #attention now?

I certainly hope so, because I’m about to share our secret sauce to getting 5,000 Instagram followers and thus building a lucrative marketing machine. Just remember, it takes time. It took us 19 months, posting 2 times a day to get here – just add some dedication and determination.


Secret #1: Camera + apps

 

Instagram is perfect for optometry because it’s all about the visual. Taking and posting great photos is key for having a successful Instagram account. Posting a photo for the sake of just posting something, anything – will not cut it. The audience is smart and wants to be inspired.

With just these 3 items, I am able to create gorgeous, inspiring images:

1.     iPhone 6+

2.     Facetune app

3.     VSCO app

The iPhone 6+ not only takes ridiculously great photos, but it holds all the apps I need to edit and post on Instagram – everything is in one place. Think Photoshop in the palm of your hand. I do not use the factory installed camera. Instead I use an app called VSCO to take all my photos. Here is a before and after photo. The before photo was taken with VSCO. The after photo has been edited with tools and filters as follows:

 

Facetune app

  •  “Smooth” Tool on skin to brighten & remove blemishes
  •  “Patch” Tool to remove the electrical outlet and table edge

VSCO app

  • Exposure: 3
  • Contrast: 3
  • Crop: 1 to 1
  • Sharpen: 10
  • Filter 06/Legacy: 11

 

THE BEFORE PHOTO

THE BEFORE PHOTO

THE AFTER PHOTO

THE AFTER PHOTO

WOW! What a difference. Since I’ve discovered these apps, 100% of our photos are tooled, filtered and edited before they can be posted onto Instagram. I am very strict on that. We want to be noticed and to inspire our audience with bright, eye-catching photos. Not sure how to use the apps? I didn’t know either, but thank goodness for YouTube tutorials.


Secret #2: The Photo Layout

Frame by Article One Eyewear

Frame by Article One Eyewear

The layout is the most popular style of photography on Instagram. We place our glasses and prop(s) on a flat (not shiny), white marble slab. The iPhone camera is held about 12 inches directly above the set up to capture the look.

Cards make the best props. They are fun, add visual interest, easy to photograph because they are flat, and after the photo session ­- we mail them out as thank you notes. Winning.


Secret #3: The Hold Photo.

secret-3-the-hold.jpg

If you’re holding something in your hand and take a photo of it, Instagram loves you. We hold glasses, lens spray, glasses cases, cards, succulents and the ever appreciated donut. To accomplish this look, a white background works best. The secret here is to take the photo while standing 3-4 feet from the wall. That way, the texture of the wall washes out and appears smooth in the photo. And it’s not a democracy in our office. Whoever has the best manicure often is the chosen hand model of the day.


Secret #4: Inspiring Quotes Rule The World.

One thing I love to do is write silly quotes about glasses. Like I said before, the Instagram audience wants to be inspired. What could be more inspiring than making someone laugh-out-loud or feel hella fine? I get my ideas from my morning commute: a billboard or a song I hear on the radio.  Here are a few of my favs:

. . .

. . .

Quotes are extremely valuable on Instagram. Not only are they highly shareable (which will help grow your followers) they also create a visual rhythm that is attractive on the eyes. We have 2 secrets here. First, post quotes every 5th photo. Second, create your quotes with “WordSwag” app. With WordSwag, you can choose from hundreds of backgrounds, fonts and endless text colors. You can even use your own photos as the background. It’s amazing!


Secret #5: When to post?

What are the best times to post on Instagram? For a local business, the best times to post are 9am, 12pm and 5pm to catch commuters and the lunch break. Since January 1, 2015, we have been posting 2 times a day, 7 days a week at 12pm and 5pm. Whew! That’s dedication. Now that we passed 5,000 followers, we are trimming our weekends to just 1 post a day. And come on now, do you really need to post 2 times a day? We tested it, and the answer is absolutely. Definitely. Yes.


Secret #6: Start Following + Liking.

Instagram is very much like high school. If you want to be noticed, you’ll have to start following other accounts. Since we’re a local business and wanted to start attracting local customers, we started following business accounts related to our city, Oakland. We also liked Instagram photos with relevant local hashtags such as #oakland, #oaklandish, #oaklandzoo, #oaklandart, etc.

One secret is to stalk your nearest business. Say, it’s a popular donut shop. Check out who’s following the shop and like + follow them. This is a great way to grab local customers. Because, shop local. Or should I say, #shoplocal?

.  .  .

 

There you have it! A few of our secrets to Instagram success. When we started back in January 2015, we had a total of 5 followers. We just stuck with it and never gave up. It’s been an amazing journey and we look forward to e-meeting you on Instagram! xo

Tanya N. Gill, O.D., is the owner of Oakland Vision Center Optometry in Oakland, CA. Dr. Gill is obsessed with ocular surface disease, kick-a$$ female entrepreneurship, never saying never, eating vegetables daily, and brightly colored sneaker pumps. She lives in Oakland with her husband and is the founder of We Love Eyes, a company that makes natural cleansing products for the eyes. 

 

Eye Love Glasses. Our Top 10 Rad Glasses for the Month.

Here's the scoop on what our glasses have been up to this past month! Enjoy, xo

 

1. Sunnies that scream Girls Rule.

rad glasses by Article One

rad glasses by Article One

2. Our glasses turn frowns upside down.

rad glasses by Oliver Peoples

rad glasses by Oliver Peoples

3. Glasses that blur the line between want and need.

rad glasses by anne et valentin

rad glasses by anne et valentin

4. Bringing out your inner selfie.

rad glasses by anne et valentin

rad glasses by anne et valentin

5. Feb 31st isn't make believe. It's wood.

rad glasses by Feb 31st

rad glasses by Feb 31st

6. Our version of Picasso's Blue Period.

rad glasses by la eyeworks

rad glasses by la eyeworks

7. Glasses that get hella compliments.

rad glasses by Etnia Barcelona

rad glasses by Etnia Barcelona

8. Find love at 1960 Broadway in Oakland, CA.

rad glasses by la eyeworks

rad glasses by la eyeworks

9. Glasses love is never lost.

rad glasses by Masunaga 1905

rad glasses by Masunaga 1905

10. For now, just glasses on paper.

rad glasses made out of sticks and paper:)

rad glasses made out of sticks and paper:)

See you again next month for our next top 10! 

Eye Love Glasses. Our Top 10 Rad Glasses for the Month.Dr Tanya Gill, xo.jpg

In Just 40 seconds, Glamoptometrist Shows Us How to Remove & Clean False Lashes

As an eye doctor, false lashes are not by BFF.  Let me explain.

Once a woman puts on false lashes, all rules about removing eye makeup, sleeping in eye makeup and cleaning those falsies seems to fall out of a 10 story window. To die. My patients come in with the grossest looking eyelids. Think: bacteria.

Ladies, let's talk truth here. False lashes are a pain to remove and clean, but say no more! Glamoptometrist to the rescue. Check out her 40 second video on how to do this right. After all, a doctor knows best. 

 
 

Step 1: Play amazing music.

Step 2: Loosen the false lash glue from your eyelid. 

Place 5 drops of We Love Eyes Eye Makeup Remover Oil or Cleansing Oil (Glamoptometrist prefers the Cleansing Oil) on a cotton ball or pad. Place it right above the false lash. The whole purpose of this is to soften up the glue so when you remove the false lash, it doesn't rip out your eyelid skin. Ouch!

Step 3: Don't forget to wash the false lash. Because, bacteria.

With the We Love Eyes Eyelid Foaming Cleanser, thoroughly cover the false lash and rub with a cotton ball or tissue until clean. Rinse with tap water if necessary. And remember that We Love Eyes is formulated with tea tree oil to get rid of that bacteria the natural way. 

And you're done! Wasn't that easy?

Top 10 RAD Glasses of the Month. Be a little jelly, xo.

This past month we were on a roll with the rad glasses thing. Check out some of our favorites. And, yes . . . it's okay to have a little bit of glasses envy.

#1 WHAT YOU WEAR MATTERS. A LOT.

 

#2 OUR GLASSES ALWAYS SEE THE POSITIVE

 

#3 COUPLES THERAPY (RETAIL)

 

#4 OUR MANTRA. PEACE. LUV. SPEX.

 

#5 MEET YOUR FACE BESTIE HERE.

 

#6 HOLD ON TO THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS.

 

#7 EYE EXAMS FOR PRINCESSES + SUPERHEROS.

 

#8 DON'T WORRY, GLASSES ARE HAPPY.

 

#9 GLASSES THAT MAKE YA WANNA HEYYYY!

 

#10 NOW THIS IS UV PROTECTION.

Thank you to all our amazing patients that showed off their new glasses! Please check back on Sept 1 for next months list. 

Never Use Baby Shampoo on a Baby or your Eyelids. Here's Why!

When I was in optometry school I was taught to treat symptoms of eyelid inflammation, called blepharitis, with baby shampoo. For the past 15 years, I did just that. I recommended baby shampoo to thousands of patients because that's what I was taught in school. 

If it's safe enough for a baby, it's gotta be safe enough for the eyes! Right? 

Image courtesy of feezu.com

Image courtesy of feezu.com

It turns out that I was totally, 100% dead WRONG. And I had no idea! Here's why I will never use baby shampoo on a baby or any of my patient's eyelids for as long as I live. Pinky swear.

Johnson's Baby Shampoo has ingredients that rank as a 'moderate to high hazards' and can actually cause eye allergies! Who knew? One great resource to look up the safety profile of any cosmetic product is www.ewg.org. They rank ingredients on a scale of 0-10, from low to high hazard. See below:

ewg-hazard score key.png

So I did a search on Johnson's Baby Shampoo and here's what I found:

If it's safe enough for a baby, it's gotta be safe enough for the eyes! Right?

FRAGRANCE: Allergies/immunotoxicity, Miscellaneous, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Ecotoxicology

 

If it's safe enough for a baby, it's gotta be safe enough for the eyes! Right?

PEG-80 SORBITAN LAUREATE: Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Contamination concerns (ETHYLENE OXIDE1,4-DIOXANEETHYLENE OXIDE1,4-DIOXANE)

 

If it's safe enough for a baby, it's gotta be safe enough for the eyes! Right?

COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE: Use restrictions, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Ecotoxicology, Contamination concerns (COCAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE3-DIMETHYLAMINOPROPYLAMINENITROSAMINES-in the presence of nitrosating agents)

PHENOXYETHANOL: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Occupational hazards, Use restrictions, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Allergies/immunotoxicity

So if you're using baby shampoo at this exact moment, STOP! It could actually be making your eyelid symptoms worse. And I'm not sure about the rest of your body. Yikes! So that's why I invented our cleansing oil kit. It's the safest way to perform eyelid scrubs. Even www.ewg.org agrees!

If it's safe enough for a baby, it's gotta be safe enough for the eyes! Right?

Dr Tanya N. Gill, O.D., is the owner of Oakland Vision Center in Oakland, CA. Dr. Gill is obsessed with ocular surface disease, kick-ass female entrepreneurship, never saying never, eating vegetables daily, and brightly colored sneaker pumps. She live in Oakland, CA with her husband and is the found of We Love Eyes, a company that makes natural cleansing products for the eyes. She is the author of How to be A Kick-Ass Female Entrepreneur which appears bi-monthly in Eyecare Business.

You are a creative genius. How to be a kick-a$$ female entrepreneur, Part 3

Hello, I’m Tanya Gill, O.D. I started this column because I wanted to share my journey from optometrist to entrepreneur. When you’re in school, you learn how to be a doctor, but not necessarily how to run a business.

 By definition alone, an entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater-than-normal financial risks in order to do so.”

Do you wake up in the middle of the night wondering if the frame warmer was left on? Ever think to yourself how much money you’d actually make if you just didn’t have any bills to pay?

Well, this is entrepreneurship. It’s the best thing in the entire world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In this six-part series I want to share what makes this journey worthwhile—and how I continue to create my dream practice every day.

In part 2, I talked about building a lifestyle brand. Whether it’s décor, merchandising or marketing – a lifestyle brand needs creativity. The spark. The idea. The pizazz. The thing that separates those that work harder from those that work smarter.

So where is this creative genius that is going to help me work smarter? And where is she hiding?

I believe that everyone has a creative genius inside of them. If you have eyes, you have a creative genius. If you are opinionated (and most doctors are), you have a creative genius. Let’s be frank here. I’m not the smartest person in the world, but I can be resourceful. Here I will highlight 4 of my best borrowed ideas and how I made them come alive in my optometry practice. And the outcome was – drumroll – surprisingly, genius.

THE RESTAURANT

Living right by San Francisco and Napa Valley, you can’t help but become a food snob. Having said that, the restaurant scene has us spoiled here. Not only is the food 5 stars, but so are the interiors. About 3 years ago I walked into a restaurant called Bar Agricole. I fell in love with how they incorporated wood walls, concrete counters and metal patio chairs to create that comfortable, from-the-earth feel. It was one of the most memorable meals of my life.

 When it came time to remodel, I hired that same exact vendor to make our concrete counters and I found those exact patio chairs on Overstock.com. I created that comfortable feeling at my practice. Because, why re-invent the wheel. 

THE COSMETICS COMPANY

With 6.9 million followers on Instagram, Sephora is doing something right. When it comes to knowing what women want, Sephora has landed and completely taken over Venus. A couple years ago I purchased from their online store. In addition to my lipstick and eyeliner, I got this really cool card. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a selfie card. The card said thank you and asked if I would hashtag Sephora and post a selfie with my brand new makeup on. It was marketing genius.

Today, we no longer have business cards at Oakland Vision Center. We have selfie cards. They are 2”x2” cards that ask for a glasses selfie and a follow/like on our social media pages. It has been the #1 way we have grown our Instagram following. 


THE GIFT STORE

The gift store industry knows how to merchandise. One of my favorite local gift shops, Atomic Blossom is always on point. They know how to showcase plain objects so they feel special. For instance, they merchandised heart shaped wooden magic wands for girls in a cookie jar. And because it was displayed to me as a treat, I couldn’t resist buying one.  

At my practice, we pay very close attention to how we merchandise our frames and services. In the optical dispensary we dropped all frame company displays and decorated our shelves with objects of interest such as ceramic hands, bobbleheads and our very own We Love Eyes signage. In the exam room we swept away all counter clutter and organized them into antique milk glass containers. We’ve had this antique milk glass display photographed by patients on many occasions. So much fun. 

At this very same gift store, I got one of my best ideas ever. As I was making my purchase, I noticed that the cashier was stamping my shopping bag with their logo. They used a large old school stamper and an extra large ink pad. Voila! The result was an uber cool, hand stamped shopping bag with a ton of character.

We now hand stamp our We Love Eyes tagline on all of our kraft shopping bags with a custom stamper from rubberstamps.com. The look is on point and it’s such a great feeling when you see your shopping bag being up-cycled as a lunch bag. Winning.

THE FASHION DESIGNER

Years ago, Marc Jacobs launched a line of camouflage handbags for Louis Vuitton. I never forgot it. The military inspired camouflage print in the background with floating LV logos in the foreground. I loved the urban look.

marc-jacobs-lv.jpg

I never thought I’d be making eyeglass cases out of camouflage print, but fast forward to 4 months ago.  I just so happened to find the perfect camouflage printed eyeglass case at LBIeyewear.com and I knew immediately. We added our tagline on the inside, and the result was perfect for our practice. Downtown Oakland urban chic.

Bringing creativity to work smarter has been challenging but it’s also been a ton of fun. I keep my eyes open. My opinionated brain thinking. And we are always in business.

Tanya N. Gill, O.D., is the owner of Oakland Vision Center Optometry in Oakland, CA. Dr. Gill is obsessed with ocular surface disease, kick-a$$ female entrepreneurship, never saying never, eating vegetables daily, and brightly colored sneaker pumps. She lives in Oakland with her husband and is the founder of We Love Eyes, a company that makes natural cleansing products for the eyes. 

Images appear courtesy of Pinterest, Sephora, Atomic Blossom and Marc Jacobs/LV.

This article appears in Eyecare Business Magazine, June 2016

 

Top 10 Glasses that Killed It.

#10. Green is the thing. 

👓  la eyeworks

👓  la eyeworks

#9. Big is the new black.

👓 la eyeworks

👓 la eyeworks

#8. Mind blown.

👓 article one

👓 article one

#7. Mad libs and props.

👓  Masunaga

👓  Masunaga

#6. Repeated messages, xoxo.

👓 Oliver Peoples

👓 Oliver Peoples

#5. Glasses, the best photo filter.

👓 Oliver Peoples

👓 Oliver Peoples

#4. Dubnation.

👓 Iyoko Inyake

👓 Iyoko Inyake

3. Find your inner hipster.

👓  article one

👓  article one

#2. 1,000 words.

👓  We Love Eyes

👓  We Love Eyes

#1. Comfort zone expanded.

👓 Etnia Barcelona

👓 Etnia Barcelona

Stay tuned for more fabulous looks in few weeks! xo, Dr. Gill ❤️