<b>Short bio: </b>
I grew up near the Clearwater area of Florida. I attended the New England College of Optometry in Boston, Mass. My internships were at a laser center in Orlando, Fla., a Veterans Hospital in Manchester, N.H., a Community Clinic in Boston, Ma. and at the National Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md. and Navy Yard, Washington D.C. My husband and I relocated to D.C. in 1999 and have been in Alexandria ever since. I have two daughters, ages 6 and 3. I’ve been in practice for 10 years, nine of them in Alexandria and have seen roughly 11,000 patients in that time.
<b>Why did you choose this particular business?</b>
Eye care has always been fascinating to me. You can learn so much from the eye: the presence of diabetes, blood pressure, tumors-just to name a few. From a personal perspective, I always wore glasses as a child and became very interested in this field from a young age. My own eye doctor became my mentor as I entered this field.
<b>Why did you choose to work for yourself rather than as an employee for someone else? </b>
Coming from a Greek family who owned diners in the past, being my own boss was the only way I knew how to work. I was always taught to be independent and I learned from a young age how to run a business.
<b>What have you learned from being in business?</b>
The bottom line is this: Customer Service. People deserve to be treated with respect and honesty goes a long way in developing life-long relationships.
<b>Share an anecdote of a challenging or humorous experience or biggest surprise learned from working your business:</b>
I learned never to judge a patient based on age. I had a determined 9 year old whose coach would not let him wear his glasses to play hockey and recommended he try contact lenses. This little boy never gave up and after many hours in my office, learned to insert and remove contact lenses by himself. Determination goes a long way. On the flip side, I had a 72-year-old widowed lady who was new on the dating scene and was interested in contacts to make her feel younger and more attractive. She had never tried before, but we both said, "why not?" She too was successful and now recommends contact lenses to all her friends.
<b>What have been the advantages and/or disadvantages of operating a business in Alexandria ?</b>
The advantage of having a business in Alexandria, especially Del Ray, is the hometown feel you still have when visiting. Small business owners are what make up this town and without them, our property values would decline and the area would lose its charm. The residents truly support the local businesses as well.
Chris: She has been a licensed optician and expert frame stylist for 18 years. She truly understands the needs of the patient and can help accommodate all your eyewear needs.
Andrea: Lead receptionist and billing coordinator. She has been instrumental in keeping us up to date with all the insurance changes.
<b>Description of services and/or products:</b>
Complete eye exams for ages 4 and older. We have an excellent selection of eyewear for kids, teens, and adults. In addition our diverse assortment of sunglasses will meet all your needs whether it is for fashion or for sports. We also carry glasses and sunglasses to reduce glare on the computer, when driving, and while outside.
Member of the Northern Virginia Optometric Society, Virginia Optometric Association, and American Optometric Association.