I’ve been in the optical industry for about 10 years. I started in one of the chain stores and lasted about 8 months. I liked the job but not the “corporate feel”. I went to a private practice and kept on that path and also added an independent optical boutique in the San Francisco Bay Area (where I’m from). It was at that optical boutique where my appreciation for better quality products and service really came to light. I appreciated the freedom that came with not having a marriage with insurance companies.
I opened my own optical boutique, Occoquan Optical, almost a year ago and I’ve never been so happy being an optician. Sure, the road has been bumpy (as any new business will experience) but being my own boss has been worth it. I put a huge focus on customer service. People fall in love with YOU as a person and really want to support you first and foremost. But you also have to be very knowledgeable about everything you sell. The brand, the lenses, the options, etc. I have found that people love to support small businesses and truly feel good about their purchases when they know where you came from. I hope every optician that has the same dream can be successful in this difficult field.