Follow optician extraordinaire Teddy Hamilton along for a fantastically fun, instant-film-camera-fueled visual tour of cool optical shops across the country

In over 13 years in the optical industry, I’ve been fortunate to work as an optician, store manager, and territory sales representative. I’ve had the opportunity to visit optical stores in over 30 states and see the diversity of styles of management, interior design, customer service, and business plans.

I hope this column is an opportunity to highlight some special stores and the remarkable employees, managers, and owners who make them so memorable. A big thank-you to the shops for taking such fun pics!


Eyes on First Ave


Within blocks of the Atlantic Ocean, Eyes on First Ave welcomes friends and strangers alike. As Susan Thierry, licensed optician, recalls, “We’ve even done a delivery at sea when one of our boat captains broke his glasses and couldn’t make it back in.”

This kind of extension of care is inherent in every interaction with the staff—one of the strongest and most enthusiastic teams that I’ve come across. Owner Jamie Troster has created a space that is more than a business, it is a vital part of the community.


  • Branded hoodies, jackets, and mugs for purchase
  • Proficient staff with in-depth knowledge of frame lines
  • Special to Me:
    The connection to the community and the way virtually every patron was greeted by name.

Photos taken by Eyes On First Ave

Eye to Eye


Eye to Eye Optometry serves as a warm and familiar reflection of the family behind the business. Jim and Kristi Williams have brought their hospitality into the practice where Kristi is also the O.D.

As Dr. Williams says: “We plan to stay ahead of technology, and always change or mix it up in the dispensary.” In a fairly new space, they already have a pool table and a bicycle as wall art—plus room to grow + bring in the very best for their loyal clientele.


  • Custom-made art + features, including reclaimed wood bar built by Dr. Williams
  • Wide variety of frame designs + price points
  • Special to Me: They made me feel like a part of their family.

Photos taken by Eye to Eye Optometry