New Kid on the Block
It was the morning of First Sight’s Grand Opening, and I was waiting for the nerves and anxiety to kick in. There was so much to do, but things seemed well organized. Family had arrived from out of town, and all the marketing channels had been exhausted. We were ready for the big day, and all that was left to do was to celebrate our “official” opening. As the staff and I set up the office for the trunk show, I kept waiting for the nerves to kick in, for the stress of the event to bubble up. We continued to set up. It was a windy day, and our sign kept blowing over, the tablecloths we rented for the food and drinks were struggling to stay attached. The musician showed up and claimed his stage. The bartender showed up; we had forgotten to get ice. I kept waiting for the anxiety to kick in, and then it hit me. It wasn’t coming. Having prepared for the opening of this business for over a year and seeing about two months of patients, I realized that there was nothing to be anxious about. The fifth gear I had been operating in was starting to slow, and I realized that today was a day to take a deep breath, look around, and truly appreciate the road it took to get here and the dream that truly had come true.
The night unfolded quickly, but I was sure to savor each moment. One by one, people started trickling in, excitement compounding each time the door announced their arrival. I remember standing in front of family and friends, members of the community, current and prospective patients, and really feeling it was surreal to be who they were there for, the place they came to see. The defining moment of the night, for me, was being the new business honored by the red ribbon. It seemed like something you see in the movies, something you watch other people do, but never yourself. The Chamber of Commerce made me feel right at home, and it was while listening to the President of the Chamber, Chris, speak that I realized this was a day I would always remember. My husband and I cut the red ribbon, each of us taking a side of the scissors. I was holding my daughter, nine months old, and thinking that she won’t remember this, but I wish she would. When we finished, my two-year-old son promptly reminded me of the cupcake he was promised if he was a good listener… right on cue. I looked around, and although it felt like a window I was looking in of someone else’s life, I was proud. I could feel that the night was charged with an electric feeling, like we were on to something. I met many wonderful new people, some had heard about the event, others just stopped in because they saw a crowd or heard Seth Campbell, the musician. I made sure to introduce myself and make them feel welcome. I truly felt grateful for the support of the community. The night carried on with rounds of people coming and going, and at some point, I realized I had not captured one picture. I had not documented any of the celebration. Ultimately, I was so engrossed in the night, seeing it unfold, being present and grateful for those that were there, that I couldn’t let it slip by.
So here we are, several weeks after our Grand Opening. The office has been restored to normal, the musician packed up and onto other gigs, the chamber ready for their next celebration of a new business that has just opened. Now, I look at the red ribbon in the office, placed somewhere that I can see it daily, and I remember why we are here, what this is all about. It is about the people and the community that we serve. It is about those we have met, and those that we will meet down the road. The day may have passed, but the memory will always be one I keep close. No matter what happens next, I am grateful and proud of the people and the hard work behind it all that made our Grand Opening, so beautifully grand.
Frame Materials: When and how they matter (Part 1: Titanium)
You may have heard a few terms thrown around about the kind of metal used in wire-rimmed eyeglass frames. Monel, you may or may not be familiar with, but Stainless Steel and Titanium are sure to ring a bell. Stainless Steel and Titanium are higher quality metals and do make the price of a frame go up, but you may wonder what the actual quantified difference between these materials is. Does it actually affect how your glasses feel or function?
In some cases, material will matter more than others. Titanium will hold up the best, and is the lightest weight metal that eyeglasses are made of. This makes it ideal for the customer who demands the lightest weight and requires high durability at the same time. Titanium is 40% lighter than Stainless Steel and 50% lighter than Monel, featuring the highest strength-to weight ratio of any eyeglass metal. It is highly corrosion-resistant and is biocompatible, meaning it is not harmful to living tissue and is hypoallergenic. It is often used in medical implants because of its biocompatibility, which also makes it a fantastic material for those with metal allergies. There are also a few alloys of Titanium that you may see printed on the non-prescription demo lens or inside the temple on some frames.
There are numerous places Titanium can be sourced from, but the very purest and highest quality Titanium comes from Japan, which is why it is a favorite source for some of the independent frame lines we carry, such as Orgreen and State. Titanium can produce the lightest weight frames due to the minimal amount that is necessary to create a durable frame, and for this reason it is also the best choice for a drill-mounted rimless frame. It is an exceptionally solid material which retains its shape exceedingly well and holds its adjustment longer than other metals for this reason. A titanium frame is a fantastic choice that can be reused for many years due to its durability and resistance to corrosion. While Titanium is naturally a silver or gray color, it can be wrapped in vibrant colors to create a look that will stand out from the crowd.
There is one Titanium alloy that became quite popular over the last few decades, especially among people who demand their eyewear withstand nearly any amount of punishment. It goes by a couple of names with some minor differences in the composition but very similar properties. We are talking about Memory Metal, also referred to by the name brand of Flexon. Sometimes this material is used only in one part of a frame, sometimes most of the frame is made of it. One of the properties this material has is the ability to “remember” its original shape. In other words, smush it underneath a helmet, step on it, twist it 180 degrees, and see it pop right back to its original shape. Memory Metal and Flexon are practically impossible to adjust, so it is not generally used for every part of the frame to ensure a good fit on the wearer. The temple tips, which are designed to curve behind your ear, are usually made of standard Titanium or another metal so they may be adjusted to provide a good fit. Nose pad arms are also usually made of standard Titanium or another metal for the same reason.
Most typically, frames that contain Flexon or Memory Metal will have it in the bridge of the frame, often distinguishable by the thinner cylinder of metal going into a larger cylinder before it attaches to the eyewire of the frame. Another common location of these materials is in the temples of your frame. Flexon or Memory Metal in either or both of these locations will negate the need for a spring hinge, as the material is naturally flexible, providing greater comfort and further reducing the weight of your frame. Flexon or Memory Metal are typically thin, round cylinders when used in frame construction, though they occasionally are made into more unique shapes.
Beta Titanium is different in that it does retain plenty of flexibility, but it is actually adjustable as well. Beta Titanium typically requires a solid amount of steady pressure over a longer period of time than other frame materials in order to get the desired result. Because they require more pressure to adjust, they hold that adjustment very well, which means you won’t have to visit your Optician as frequently for realignment of your frames. Because it can be adjusted, Beta Titanium can provide a more customizable fit than Flexon or Memory metal if used in the temples, and it is also more commonly made into a variety of temple shapes, including plate temples. Plate temples are generally flat, though some have a little texture or other design elements, and can be cut into any shape for a variety of styles. When properly cared for, it can outlast Flexon and Memory Metal frames, though it does not have the ability to be twisted and stepped on without needing to be adjusted back to shape.
To condense everything above, Titanium is a fantastic frame material which offers the best balance between weight and durability, is hypoallergenic, and corrosion resistant. All varieties of Titanium are incredibly durable and frames made from any of them will last for quite a long time. A couple of Titanium alloys have specific properties that lend themselves to be especially suitable for particular needs. When a frame that can handle being smashed and thrown around is needed, Memory Metal or Flexon will handle it extremely well. If more flexibility than standard titanium is desired along with a higher degree of adjustability than the previous choice, then Beta Titanium is your material. For the highest stability in shape, Standard Titanium is an excellent choice. Standard Titanium frame fronts can also be joined with Beta Titanium temples in order to get the maximum benefit from both materials, as can be experienced with our Orgreen Titanium line of frames.
Come in to experience the difference of our Titanium frames for yourself at First Sight Eye Care, located at 2126 1st Ave S in St. Pete.
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I never pictured myself as the owner of a business. Throughout my career, I have worked for others and have enjoyed the ride thus far. I have worked in a medical setting; I have worked in a retail setting. I have been rewarded for going above and beyond, but also told to stay in my lane. Along the way, the itch of being my own boss, of transforming a vision I didn’t realize I even had into a reality, grew. It grew from a small seed, into a loud and obvious calling. It became clear that there was only one thing left to do: lean in. How many inspirational quotes do you need to see before you simply take the jump. We have heard them all, “There is no time like now,” “If not now, then, when?” or a personal favorite that we can, perhaps, all appreciate, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky – Michael Scott. The truth of the matter is, no matter the outcome, unimaginable success, or a crash and burn, I would have always wondered, “what if.”
The other important question to answer is, why not me? I am a patient and knowledgeable doctor, yes. If nothing else, I know that I am great at patient care. Beyond that though, I am also a wife, and a mother, a sister, and a friend. I have my own doubts and fears, and of course, that little bit of generational anxiety that keeps me up at night sometimes. I am human. I am a woman that stands for things I believe in, and fights for those I love and respect. I make mistakes, but I am sure to own up to them. I am no different than you. But I want to be YOUR doctor. I have somewhat struggled with this new role of putting myself out there for all to see. I knew from experience and life thus far, that the traditional role of a doctor is seen as all business, all professional. I find you often see two sides of people, the doctor/professional, and then the everyday person. I began to wonder, why not show both. I want to know you, not just your eyeballs, and what better way to start that relationship than you knowing me.
I am days away from opening my own business, the business I never pictured having- until one day, I did. The journey to get here has been nothing short of wild. From the very start it has been challenging. But no one ever said it would be easy. At times, it’s been challenging in the way that you feel better for it after, and that you’ve grown into a person you never knew you were. At times, challenging in the way that you go to bed at 730pm just so that tomorrow is a new day. Beyond the challenges, the journey has been rewarding. Seeing a practice that only existed in my mind and knowing that it now holds a permanent mark on the community that I live in, and in the city that I love, has meant the world. I cannot wait to share my “art” with you, “the art of eye care.” and I hope it is a place you feel truly seen and honored.
I am days away from opening my own business. Here is to the opening day.
2126 1st Ave. S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712