In this installment of Teddy’s Tour, I’m excited to visit stores in two of my favorite cities. Ulla Eyewear, based in Madison, WI, is in its second generation of family ownership. On the east side of Nashville, TN, Look East is run by a young family just starting to make their mark in the optical world. —TEDDY HAMILTON
With a large university at its center, Madison is part metropolitan, part college town. The population provides an intelligent and professional clientele who seek unique and fashion-forward eyewear to reflect their varied lifestyles.
Ulla reflects and serves that clientele with frames that are bold and unique. Founded by Ulla and Joe Graber and currently owned by their daughter, Brittany Graber, Ulla is also a part of Madison beyond eyewear. Sales Manager Margot Lanham elaborates: “We are passionate about our role within the community and participate regularly both in time and monetarily to Dane County Humane Society, Combat Blindness International, and a variety of organizations that support the LGBTQ community.”
- Staff business cards that feature hand-drawn portraits of each employee
- Excellent team of highly trained professionals
- Woman-owned and operated
- Special to Me: A joyful and kind staff; every visit was a time to laugh and smile.
Photos taken by Ulla Eyewear
Look East owners Joe and Kathleen (Kat) Brasfield, O.D., have created a shop that is a fantastic reflection of Nashville itself, a city rich in history, but with an ever-changing population looking for something new and modern.
“It’s definitely not your typical Southern city,” Dr. Brasfield says of Nashville. “I think that gives us the opportunity to bring in more unique and exciting eyewear.” Their clientele ranges from musicians to young IT pros, all requiring specialized lenses and frames to match their professional needs and unique style.
- Works with MusicCares to provide free eye care and glasses
- A modern optical practice that will soon include a dry eye clinic
- Located in East Nashville, an artistic and evolving part of the city
- Special to Me: I love the interior design—the desks, furniture, and fixtures!
Photos taken by Look East