Optical Lady Bosses | Autianna Wilson + Anissa Laval | Knowing Your Worth, Asking For Raises, and Indie Eyewear Tips

In This Episode:

There’s nothing sexier than a woman that knows optics and fashion. These two ladies, Anissa Laval and Autianna Wilson are crushing the optical game on all fronts.

Here’s what we talk about:
1. Knowing your worth
2. How to ask for a raise
3. How to find mentorship
4. Women in optical
5. What is independent eyewear?
6. Social media hacks for optical

This podcast was recorded on June 25, 2019 at The After Party, a regional independent eyewear event.

About Autianna Wilson:

Dedicated to her line of work as an optician, Autianna Wilson is the Optical Goddess. Known for her exceptional skill in frame selection, lens knowledge and uncensored honest opinions on eyewear/fashion, she is killing the game. Autianna enjoys independent, avant garde, eyewear designs and is always on top of what’s trending. She is most recognized for her wide selection of selfies x glasses and eclectic style. Outside of her life in the optical industry, Autianna is passionate about plus-size fashion, makeup and being an inspiration to all, to keep going – stay motivated and live out what you desire!

About Anissa Laval:

Info to come…


Important Links:

The After Party (check out North America’s finest regional trade show)

The After Party on Instagram


Check out Anissa and Autianna on Instagram!

Making Eyewear in Brooklyn, NYC | Gerard Masci | Founder of Lowercase

In This Episode:

Yes, there are frames being made in the USA, specifically in Brooklyn.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Gerard Masci of Lowercase NYC at The After Party in San Francisco for the coolest modern-day American eyewear creation story.

From a hedge fund manager on Wall Street for 13 years to learning how to build and design eyewear, Lowercase is one of the most rad eyewear brands to hit the American market in decades.

This podcast brings straight inspiration! So much warm fuzzy feelings knowing people still have the drive and curiosity to accomplish such entrepreneurial goals.

Visit www.lowercasenyc.com and www.eyewearafterparty.com for more info about the frame brand and this eyewear event held quarterly.

Important Links:


LowercaseNYC on Facebook and Instagram

The After Party (check out North America’s finest regional trade show)

Frame Inventory Management + Optician Training With Kayla Ashlee of SPEXY

In This Episode:

Opticals can easily drive 50% or more of an optical’s revenue. Optical educational for staff can be the key to success in staying abreast of sales techniques, technical knowledge, and staying motivated. Doctors invest lots of money in medical equipment, but many times overlook the cash infusion it takes to properly train staff and carry the right product assortment of frames.

Optical has relied on corporate frame and lens companies to provide education, but this obviously is not sustainable since these companies are now competing against small ECPs.

This episode with Kayla Ashlee of www.bespexy.com focuses on showing opticals the importance of frame inventory management (keeping things profitable and smooth) and on-boarding education for new optical hirees. Now, this isn’t your typical boring math-infused and marketing crap you get from everyone else.

Spexy provides video-based content that’s entertaining, engaging, and relevant. Plus, the online educational platform has a guided learning e-course that managers and owners can access to track learning

The optical resource is subscription-based, affordable and with no contracts.

About Kayla Ashlee:

In 2006 Kayla stepped into optical and has sought out ways enhance the magic of our industry ever since. Finding a passion for optics as an optician, she began incorporating her business and marketing education into her love of optics. Developing as business consultant for multiple opticals, she created a unique tool for maximizing the profitability of frame boards. She was asked to work for a lens distributor and used her skills as a speaker to solidify partnerships with the independent opticals they serviced. This expanded her skillset to making a difference in the Northwest United States.

The next step needed to be something big! This is when she joined forces with SPEXY. Sharing the belief that the independent can do more, if they just had access to it. Since uniting with SPEXY she has patented her frame board creation. She has become an international optometric speaker. She has created an online portal for opticals to access education. Most importantly, she has empowered independent opticals to think about our eye-world differently.

Kayla lives in her home state of Idaho, where she and Rook have built a beautiful home for their family in downtown Boise. There, they are surrounded by fantastic friends that have helped them to grow and loads of family that keep them busy and have supported their adventures from the beginning.

Important Links:




SPEXY on Facebook

Kayla on LinkedIn

Connect with Kayla at kayla@beSPEXY.com or at (929) 777-5817

Episode 24: State Optical and Europa’s Frame Pioneer, Scott Shapiro

In this episode of Eyetrepreneur, Scott Shapiro shares how he was able to find success in State Optical and Europa Eyewear. Enjoy!

In This Episode:

[3:31] The family roots of optical.

[8:00] What did Scott do before eyecare?

[10:22] What Europa is, what they do, and how they differentiate themselves in the market.

[15:26] The hardest thing to do within the industry, and how it is necessary for success.

[18:26] How to motivate a sales force to do a good job.

[21:06] Are eyewear events really just a big recruiting ground?

[21:56] The actual manufacturing process of eyewear.

[33:26] Why is the eyewear industry is one of the few that accepts exchanges and returns?

[33:50] How to handle the difficult customers and the crooked customers.

[38:40] What does State Optical mean today?

[48:08] How to shoot the core wire of a frame.

[53:20] How the public reacts to State Optical.

[58:02] Will we all end up online selling direct to consumers?

About Scott Shapiro:

Scott Harris Shapiro grew up in the eyewear industry. His parents founded Europa Eyewear in 1977 and for over 40 years the company has been designing, importing and distributing eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Scott studied journalism in college and spent 10 years on morning radio before finally joining his family’s business.

In 2014 he teamed up with two innovative entrepreneurs to build a first-of-its kind American eyewear factory and produce a new luxury brand called STATE Optical Co. Today he works out of the company’s headquarters just outside of Chicago, IL, but spends a great deal of his time traveling around the country talking to eyecare professionals about the craft of eyewear production.

STATE Optical Co – An Introduction (with Subtitles) from State Optical Co on Vimeo.

Important Links:

Check out State Optical Co and Europa Eyewear.

Episode 23: Spectacle Lens Business Revealed With Daniel Crespo, CEO of Indizen Optical Technologies

In this episode of Eyetrepreneur, Daniel Crespo takes a deep dive into the lens business and technology; with a background as a physicist, he brings a unique perspective to eyewear. Enjoy!

In This Episode:

[4:05] Daniel Crespo, and how he became CEO of IOT.

[10:30] Why freeform lenses are different.

[14:15] Putting freeform lenses into action.

[15:25] How an optical technology company is different from traditional lens companies.

[17:25] What makes a cheap lens cheap and an expensive lens expensive.

[25:50] How should an optician choose the right lens for the right scenarios?

[30:55] Exciting efforts surrounding photochromic.

[39:00] Myopia prevention lens.

[41:10] What private label means in the industry today.

[48:40] IOT sharing their research.

[56:00] The new space of electronic eyewear.

[1:00:20] In-office manufacturing of lenses.

[1:01:00] Where will the lens world be five years from now?


About Daniel Crespo:

Daniel Crespo grew up in Madrid, Spain. He is a graduate of the University of Complutense of Madrid where majored in physics and went on to receive his PhD in Optics with a focus on optical metrology. Dr. Crespo was the founder of several software companies dedicated to mathematical simulation. In 2005 he co-founded Indizen Optical Technologies (IOT) along with University of Complutense professors Dr. Jose Alonso and Dr. Juan Antonio Quiroga. Dr. Crespo has been the president and CEO of IOT from the beginning. He currently resides in California, USA with his wife and three daughters.

Important Links:

Reach out to Daniel and his team at info@iotamerica.com

Check out IOT’s website!

Order the new book Modern Ophthalmic Optics