How did you become interested in eyewear and what kind of training, if any, did you have?
I was prescribed glasses when I was three, so wearing them daily has been an integral part of my life. When dreaming of what I’d be when I grew up, I did not expect to be an optician, but I am glad that I found my place in such a wonderful industry. Professionally, I learned skills mostly through on the job training, and a bit of formal training through a previous employer. Those lessons prepared me to sit for the American Board of Opticianry exam to become a nationally certified optician.
What brought you to the Battle Creek area and to BCEC in particular?
I grew up in the Southwest Michigan area, and had heard of the opportunity at BCEC from a friend of mine. I am happy to be part of a team which ensures that each patient receives utmost care and quality in every aspect of their experience at our office.
What are some of your favorite boutique eye wear brands and why?
My absolute favorite ophthalmic brand is OGI, and their sub-brand, Seraphin. I love the outstanding quality, unique shapes, bold colors, and edgy styles associated with the brand. I also really like Tura, and their sub-brands Lulu Guinness, Brendel, and Humphrey’s. Tura also has great color combinations, unique frame shapes, and incredible overall quality.
What eyewear is popular now?
Anything bright and/or bold, in my opinion. Eyewear is considered a huge accessory right now, so eccentric styles are embraced, and most people have multiple pairs to switch between based on outfit or mood.
What interests or excites you the most in the field of eyewear?
Lenses. I am amazed by the technology that is involved with fabricating lenses… Lens manufacturers are actively working to increase the usable area of the lens, minimize lens thickness, implement anti-reflective treatments to help protect our eyes as well as minimize eye strain. I truly feel that there is a huge difference between a conventional single vision lens, and a digitally surfaced lens with anti-reflective treatment. The optical experience is truly superior.
What trends do you see developing over the next several years in the eyewear field, and how do you stay ahead of them?
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not style savvy, so I can’t predict which way the fashion will go, but I can say that digital lenses are here to stay. Especially in progressive lens technology! The reading areas will become wider and easier to use. I’ve already seen so much improvement in the 4 years that I’ve been an optician.
Many people think they are restricted to one particular shape of eyewear, is this true?
Not always. I always like to encourage my patients to go outside the box, try something they may not have selected initially. Whether it’s a different color, a slightly different shape, or something entirely different; sometimes they like it, sometimes not. However, an external factor that influences frame shape is the patient’s prescription. Moderate to high nearsighted or farsighted prescriptions may not be suitable for certain frame sizes or types, namely drill mounts or semi-rimless.
Can you share a particularly satisfying patient story?
I always love dispensing glasses to children, especially their first pair. Their reactions are awesome!